Intermezzo …

We walked along the Right Bank of the Seine, past the Hotel de Ville, most likely the grandest Mayor’s office in the world.

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and then back across the Seine.

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to Le Comptoir, a small and very famous Brasserie, always packed with tourists, a few blocks away from us near the Odeon. As we approached we saw that all the inside and outside tables were set with white linen tablecloths and napkins and large Bordeaux glasses. What stuck us immediately was that the outside tables had blankets on them, colorful and creatively arranged, 2 to a table. It was not unusual to see people sitting at the outdoor tables under the heaters, blankets on their laps. best-outdoor-le-com.jpg

It was after 8 PM and the place was empty. Aha, we thought, let’s grab the opportunity. We went in and were told they were booked. It was a special menu and only the tables outside were available on a first come basis and dinner would be served at 8:30 pm.

The temperature was in the 40s and E nixed the outdoor idea. We were told to go next door to the receptionist at the hotel to book for another night. We were planning a weekend trip to Beaune (Burgundy) over the weekend so we thought we would make a reservation for the following week.

We were informed that all dinner reservations were booked until September, 2008! 

We continued down rue de Monsieur-le-Prince to Restaurant Polidor, which we had spotted a week before.

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An inviting room with long refractory tables, seating 6 or 8 people. First time we had seen that in France.

The menu was basic French food, which they had been serving since 1845: steak tartare, blanquette de veau, beef bourguignon. chocolate mousse, tarte Tartin. The wine of the day was a Cote de Rhone at 13.50 Euros for 500ml - a good price and a pleasant wine as it turned out.

What struck E was the mirror at the back of the room where the “special” wines were listed.

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The menu for the food was 5-8 Euros for entrées and 11-15 Euros for plates so the prices and the wines they were advertising was a great contrast: a 1999 Petrus for 2500 Euros and the 1999 Margaux for 700 Euros.

 

Then to Burgundy…

After a hair-pulling exit from the Montparnasses car rental agency, we drove to Bourgogne (Burgundy) over the weekend to pick up wines left from our importing days. E was stopped by the police after he jumped a red light in his haste to get out of Paris before the Friday rush hour. To top it off the car’s registration had expired, but we supposed as a gesture to Franco-American goodwill, we were given a stern warning and sent on our way.

Burgundy is one of our favorite places.  There is a tranquility and order, even a kind of seriousness about the countryside.  The food and wine are extraordinary even in small unassuming restaurants not recognized by any guidebooks. 

We stayed at La Chouette, a 6-room hotel in Puligny-Montrachet that was perfect: clean, great breakfast, pleasant owner (Suzanne) and a view of the vineyards. At breakfast we noticed the handcrafted plates she had and she told us about the potter who lived out in the country, a very small village called Sampigny les Maranges.

Nuvi, our GPS life-saver system found it.

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We were greeted by Madame Fresnais, the cat and the peacock fully displaying and turning to show every angle like a model on a runway.

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The barn offered a feast for hungry pottery lovers like us.

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M. Fresnais is the potter and Mme. Fresnais does the designs on bowls, serving plates, cooking platters, table settings, cups, candlestick holders- candel.jpg

Last year both Monsieur and Madame were at the Folk Art Market in Santa Fe and he was surprised that he had sold everything out. No surprise! We couldn’t stop, refusing to consider how we’d get it all home. They plan to go back to Santa Fe in July so check them out. 

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One Response to “Intermezzo …”

  1. Hello Renée,
    How are you ?
    I spent a very good moment with you on the train from London. I look forward to see or read you soon.
    Your photos are beautiful.

    Isabelle

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