Friday, June 18, 2010

Paris Day 2: Lunching on Ile Saint Louis

Our second day in Paris we explored the Louvre, and toured the amazing Notre Dame. (See my travel blog for more on those). I'm here to talk about the food. After  full morning of sight seeing I succumbed to the lure of the sandwich counter in the Louvre. So a 12 euro tuna sandwich was my first real meal of the day, but nothing to write home about.

We wandered onto Ile de la Cite and toured Notre Dame and then strolled the small streets of Ile Saint Louis. The weather was cloudless, beautiful, and hot. So we, like all other tourists and Parisians, went seeking glace (ice cream). Ile Saint Louis has hundreds of cafes each serving the same brand of glace, Berthillon. This ice cream giant was started in 1954. They are famous for their ingredients which are all natural, milk, eggs, and sugar. No artificial preservatives, colors, or sweeteners are used. They offer plenty of unique flavors. After eating this several times, we settled on pistache and frambois (pistachio and raspberry) as our favorites.

As we wandered the island, we were treated to a slower pace and more residential (albeit wealthy) setting within the hustle and bustle of Paris. Strolling along the Seine, we stumbled upon a cute little cafe Le Lutetia. It overlooks the Seine and the Pont Louis Phillipe. This was a great spot to find some wine and people watch. As one glass of wine became two, we decided to split something for lunch. And so I ordered my first Salade Nicoise. I had eaten this salad as a daily lunch staple in Italy, and have even tried its replicas in the US, but this was the real thing (well one version of it). The salad recipe hails from Nice in the south of France and features leafy greens, hard boiled eggs, anchovies, tuna fish, green beans, tomatoes, and either rice or potatoes on the bottom. Typically it is served with oil and vinegar.  The version at Le Lutetia was one of the best I had while in all of France. Theirs was served with rice and had the addition of cucumbers. I am not sure if it was the wine or the atmosphere, but we devoured this salad. Since coming home, I have tried a tuna version with rice and a modified version using roasted chicken. Both make an excellent summer dinner. For some recipes check here.

Stay tuned for our amazing Moroccan dinner!

No comments: