Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday at the Table

You travel to Europe, and you're pretty much guaranteed some food-related moments you don't want to forget. And I have many, and I hope to share a few of them here. Considering we traveled through several different countries, I thought I might try sharing them by location. Let's begin where our trip began.... in Paris.

Our first meal was on the historic market street, Rue Cler, at a little place aptly named Le Petit Cler, recommended by our hotel clerk. Petit indeed, with the tables so close together, they pulled each one away from the banquette so diners could be seated. That aside, everything about it was charming. We had tartine, basically open-faced sandwiches topped with exquisite French ingredients.

Though our trip was primarily a guided group tour, we arrived a few days early, and enjoyed a Wine & Cheese Lunch we had pre-arranged at O'Chateau wine bar. There were some 20+ attendees from all over the world, which was an added bonus to the delicious food and wine pairing. It proved a great "opportunity not only to taste good French products but also to get an education about them," exactly as advertised.

As luck would have it, there was a very fine fromagerie [cheese shop] just steps from our hotel. Knowing full-well that it was unlikely that much English would be spoken there, we stepped in and had a lovely minimally spoken/mostly pointing "conversation" with the shopkeeper, and as hoped, left with a small collection of cheeses that proved perfect as an impromptu happy hour with the baguette we'd picked up at the corner boulangerie [bakery]. We were so glad we'd stepped out of our comfort zones - both for the encounter, as well as for that perfectly-crafted cheese.

There was a second opportunity we'd pre-arranged before leaving home, and that was a Paris by Mouth walking tour "Taste of the Left Bank." The tours are "designed to share the very best of what Parisians excel at: cheesebreadcharcuteriechocolatepastry, and wine." We visited several shops together, gathering goodies along the way to share at the end in a crowded little wine cellar. 
  • La Maison d'Isabelle, whose butter croissants won "Best in Paris" in 2018, and for good reason
  • Charcuterie Saint Germain, think rillettes, Paris ham, and terrine
  • Laurent Dubois, from which we picked up a variety of sheep, cow, and goat cheeses

Not to worry, we also devoured crepes, quiche, French onion soup, kir, and numerous salads topped with goat cheese on toast (I ordered it every chance I got!) while in town. Let's say Paris more than exceeded our expectations, culinary and otherwise.


  1. oh my goodness, I just had lunch & now I'm hungry again! Welcome home, glad to see you ate well!

  2. I'm excited to hear more through your virtual tour of Europe. Although I'm a bit hungry now after these pictures!

  3. Hi Debbie, your post just sent me down memory lane: I discovered the rue Cler several years ago when visiting friends who had relocated to Paris for a couple of years. Their apartment was on the rue Cler and it was 'quintessential' Paris to me with the cheese shop, p√Ętisserie, awnings etc. It's a charming street and I'm glad you enjoyed it too :-)