Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Paris: How do you say "yum!" in French?

We just got back to our hotel from what was quite likely one of the most amazing dinners of my life. We knew Florence and Bruno from our first couple of years at Fort Knox, when Bruno was there as an exchange officer from the French army and Mike became friends with their elder son. Tonight we met them at 8 p.m. for dinner at Les Ronchons, a charming restaurant that overlooks the Seine. We sat for hours, laughing and talking about old times and enjoying a true Parisian dinner.

We started with kir royals for the ladies (except for Caroline, who had a cola manufactured in Corsica). Then it was on to white wine and starters. I had a creamy soup with scallops and mussels, and Annabelle and I both tried a bite of Florence's starter: baked bone marrow with a very coarse salt. For the main dish, Annabelle and I both had a wonderful fish and rice dish, and for dessert, an amazing chocolate-almond cake with ice cream:

After dinner the owner sent over dessert wine, which was a lovely way to end the meal.

The food was fantabulous, and it was so wonderful to see Florence (and Bruno) again!

After dinner we walked together along the Seine. At one point, a couple of people walked past with dogs: a small dog in a sweater and an elderly yellow lab. As they passed, the lab turned around and came back to us. She offered up her paw to us and lay down literally on my feet for scritchy-scratchers and tummy-rubs. Eventually the people and their dogs went their way, and we continued on together with Bruno and Florence until it was time for us to turn off toward our hotel.

We walked past the crepe stand, and Annabelle's admirer from last night was there, so we stopped to say hello.

Caroline continues to amaze me with her traveling stamina and enthusiasm. I am sure that parts of tonight's 4- hour dinner were less than enthralling to her, never mind the fact that she had marched miles across Paris. Yet she remained engaged and well-behaved and was so open and eager to trying new foods. Likewise, I'm so proud of the delightful young lady Annabelle has grown into. This trip makes me nostalgic for my time in Europe with Annabelle, Mike, and Fred, and I wish we could have the guys along to re-live those years.

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