Paris is a Beloved City

More hateful violence by bad actors in Paris this week, and therefore, all the more reason to reinforce the goodness and light of that beautiful city. Reblogging this post in solidarity with Parisians and folks all over the world who reject prejudice, hatred, violence and vitriol.

Glover Gardens

I am very sad about yesterday’s shootings in Paris. It is such a beautiful, magic place, populated with wonderful, friendly people who enjoy life and rich with history, architecture, art, cuisine and culture.  My heart is heavy for the victims of the shootings and their families, and for all Parisians as they struggle to recover from the shock and horror of the violence.

My tiny contribution to the healing process and return to normalcy is to reinforce the positives. Today’s post is just a quick couple of photos I snapped on my iPhone as part of a texting dialogue with my son while I was walking along the Seine. He traveled with me to Paris 5 years ago and we had an amazing experience, but that is literally another story (click here for “The Thankful Foreigner”).  He has great memories of Paris, and longs to return.

Me:  “I’m at the…

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Comfort Food Alert: The “Best Gratin in Paris” (or maybe anywhere)

Bistro Des Augustins - Sign
Bistro Des Augustins is perfectly situated on the Left Bank at the Corner of the Pont Neuf and the Seine River, in the middle of the action without seeming the least bit touristy

Amazing gratin!

Most satisfying meal in Paris!

The best gratin, bar none…

Read the online reviews of Bistro Des Augustin in Paris and you’ll be hooked.  There’s no way to overstate the simple deliciousness of the gratin at this humble little restaurant at the corner of the Pont Neuf and the Seine river in Paris, on the Left Bank.

Also billed as a wine bar, Bistro Des Augustin is known primarily for its gratins and provides a nice selection of them, from vegetarian with tomatoes or eggplant, to duck breast or chicken, to smoked salmon. But the one that four of my colleagues chose on a recent summer evening after work (on a business trip) was the Bistro Gratin.

Bistro Des Augustins
My colleague was gracious not only with regard to letting me snap a pic of his Bistro Gratin after he had already dived into it, but also in giving me a taste and then letting me finish the last few bites; the others cleaned their plates and wouldn’t let me anywhere near them!

As you can see, this dish is swimming in creamy, cheesy goodness, browned to perfection on top and sprinkled with extra herbs of Provence.  Bits of bacon dot every bite of the perfectly cooked potatoes. All four of my colleagues who ordered this meal were close to swooning with the goodness of it.  I realized after begging a bite that I had made a huge error in judgment by ordering a (very good) smoked salmon and goat cheese salad, copying our only French colleague in the group and trying to eat healthy.  Mistake! The salad was lovely, fresh and flavorful, but the Bistro Gratin far surpassed it – it was downright heavenly.  You know those dishes your grandmother made waaaaaay back when you were a child and no one has ever been able to reproduce, no matter how hard and how often they tried? That’s the taste in this gratin; it’s grandmotherly good, an instant and permanent deep-seated taste memory.

The menu lists the ingredients for the Bistro Gratin: potatoes, cream, egg, bacon, herbs de Provence, garlic and Emmental cheese.  I haven’t been able to find a recipe with this precise mix of ingredients on the internet, but I am on a mission to recreate this cheesy, rustic masterpiece.

Bistro Des Augustins - Menu
Diverse gratin selections
Bistro Des Augustins - Salmon and Goat Cheese Salad
The smoked salmon and goat cheese salad was beautiful, light and very tasty, but paled in comparison to the gratins my colleagues ordered
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A photo of the duck gratin from the Adventurous April blog post, Three Days in Paris; she said: “Bistro des Augustins, amazing duck au gratin dish. Magnifique!”

I can’t recommend this restaurant highly enough, and noticed in the online reviews that many of the testimonials include a mention of eating there two or more times during the same vacation! In addition to the mouth-watering, jealous-making (if you didn’t order it) gratin, Bistro Des Augustins has a Parisian homey charm and an authentic, true sense of place.  Did I mention that it is tiny? There are perhaps a dozen tables, half inside and half out.

Bistro Des Augustins - Bartender in Mirror
Folks stop in for a quick beverage while walking the Left Bank 
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Exterior shot from the Bistro Des Augustins Facebook page

Here’s one final shot of the Bistro Gratin, until I can replicate it at home and share it with you here.

Bistro Des Augustins - Bistro Gratin Up Close
The grandmotherly good Bistro Gratin, with its browned, cheesy top and the smattering of herbs of Provence – heavenly!

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Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook ~ with thanks, again, to my colleagues for sharing their time, their photos and those bites of gratin (from just the one) ~

Haiku: Open Window

an open window,
the soul outlasts the body:
eternal spirit

This single open window at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris inspired my haiku.  It is a very peaceful and comforting place.  Dad is not gone, just in a different form.

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Travel is so illuminating and inspiring.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

Paris is a Beloved City

I am very sad about yesterday’s shootings in Paris. It is such a beautiful, magic place, populated with wonderful, friendly people who enjoy life and rich with history, architecture, art, cuisine and culture.  My heart is heavy for the victims of the shootings and their families, and for all Parisians as they struggle to recover from the shock and horror of the violence.

My tiny contribution to the healing process and return to normalcy is to reinforce the positives. Today’s post is just a quick couple of photos I snapped on my iPhone as part of a texting dialogue with my son while I was walking along the Seine. He traveled with me to Paris 5 years ago and we had an amazing experience, but that is literally another story (click here for “The Thankful Foreigner”).  He has great memories of Paris, and longs to return.

Me:  “I’m at the Pont Neuf!”

My son:  “Photos, please!”

Me:  (photos below)

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The Pont Neuf Bridge over the Seine
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The Eiffel Tower, way in the distance, from the base of the Post Neuf Bridge

My son:  “Wow! you went on the right day!”

It was after work on a Friday, a glorious afternoon, and I was due to fly out the next morning.  After depositing my computer in my hotel, I walked around for hours, along the Seine, through parks (including the Tuileries Garden), past the Louvre, and down the Champs-Elyseés, absorbing the sights and culture.  Paris is a beloved city of the world, and cannot ever be ruined by individuals or groups doing evil deeds.

More raving over Paris can be found in these posts:

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Postcards from Montmartre

More random photos from an extremely pleasant afternoon in the Montmartre section of Paris.

Flowering trees and shutters, seen from the viewpoint of Renoir’s Gardens, otherwise known as the Museum of Montmartre.

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The Eiffel Tower framed by ancient oaks, a few steps from the famous Steps of Montmartre.

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More to come…

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook