The question I have been asked most since our return from France? My favourite moment. How to level down such a list of experiences, memories of magical places visited and literally storybook castles and villages?
I have to go with my gut and answer dinner at the Jules Verne. We had so many wonderful meals, be them on a park bench tearing apart a baguette and some cheese, with wine from plastic cups, or all gussied up for a fancy dinner with some well heeled Parisian friends, this evening stands out above them all.
The Jules Verne is a fine dining experience, named after the famed French author who pioneered the science fiction genre.....and the piece de la resistance? It's high up in the Eiffel Tower. Head chef Pascal Feraud helms the kitchen, a finely tuned piece of the Alain Ducasse mega dining empire. Is it a bit cliche? I think not, mes amis. Even our two French friends seemed just as excited to be dining there as we were. Private elevator to the top? Yes. Unrivaled views from sunset to midnight, paired with a delicious meal? Double check. Impeccable service? Mais ouis. Imagnez un diner a 125m d'altitude!
Fashionably speaking, I opted to wear my new Sophie Theallet sheath, paired with leopard kitten heel Louboutins for a low key, yet dressy look. Luckily the dress had a bit of a loose, bell shape to it...because I certainly ate my way through the a la carte menu.
After a cheese puff amuse bouche that melted in your mouth, I moved on to the preserved fois grois with artichokes, gelee of sauternes wine, and buttery toasted brioche. When dining at these heights, one doesn't worry about their diet (words that came back to haunt me!). Post starter, I chose the sauteed sole with morels and baby spinach. Husband went with the lamb, of course.....what else would the Greek get at a Michelin starred French restaurant? We opted to pair our entrees with an elegant Pommard pinot noir to celebrate last year's trip to Burgundy and our return to France again this year.
As if all that wasn't enough to sate my desire for French cuisine the cheese course was ordered, my personal highlight of the evening- four different selections of fromage paired with complimentary sweet or savory items. A mild, creamy blue veined roquefort juxtaposed with a salty-sweet gingerbread? I had to stop myself from taking portions from my neighbor's plate. I needn't have worried too much, because we still had to finish the meal with a final plate of chocolate caramel delight. No dessert? It's not possible in Paris!
A meal to last a lifetime. We relished food to tempt our taste buds, views to draw the eye, great friends, conversation and ample laughs, carrying our party through a 5 hour culinary journey. My favourite experience on all sensory levels.