View all posts filed under 'Restaurants'

The Date

Monday, 23. February 2009 14:27

Joe and I went out last Friday night far an all-too-rare dinner date at the restaurant Daniel Desavie. I have been driving by this restaurant for years and I knew it had a good reputation so pretty much every time I drove by I would say to myself, “We need to eat there some day.” So now I can say that I am glad that I did. We had a very nice meal — the food and wine were excellent.

It took us a while to establish which language to speak in. The staff heard us speaking English to each other and so spoke to us in English. We are used to ordering in French by now so we repeatedly responded in French until the staff spoke to us in French as well. After we had finished our main course, however, the waiter came up to us and said:

Waiter: There is a cheese course included in your menu.

Me: Oui! (I had been eagerly awaiting the cheese course — I love France!)

Waiter: Would you like it served the English way or the French way?

I look at Joe because I have no idea what the waiter is talking about. Joe is no help.

Me: Uhhh. Je suis américaine. Je ne sais pas….. what is the English way? (and once again my French escapes me)

Waiter: The English take their cheese course after the dessert.

Joe and I: Really?!? No we’ll have it the French way!

Waiter: Yes, the French way is better.

Category:France, French Language, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Autor: Erica

Paris

Tuesday, 2. October 2007 14:03



Versailles, originally uploaded by emorris1.

Ryan (my brother) and Carolyne (his wife) showed up September 14 for a visit. I had told them when they showed up that we’d probably take it pretty easy for their first few days, until Joe returned from a business trip to the states, and that’s pretty much what happened.

We made it to the Gastronomie Festival in Mougins for an afternoon to taste some wine (well they did anyways) and olive oils and just check out what they had to offer. There were a ton of cooking demonstrations, but we decided to hold off on that since they were all in French — I might try and check it out again next year.

Then Joe showed up and in one day took them to San Remo, Italy, Monaco and Menton (I hope I didn’t miss anything there). Sophia and I stayed home for that one.

But the highlight of Ryan and Carolyne’s visit was a week in Paris to meet up with Dad and Kate for their 25th wedding anniversary. We rented an apartment in the 18th, not too far from Sacré Coeur, and had a great time exploring the city.

My whole plan for Paris was to see the fountains at Versailles since we had been rained out of last year, and to eat as well as possible! Fortunately, I was able to do both.

After seeing our photos from Versailles I have decided that you should never shoot a pregnant woman from the side — it just isn’t nice. Other than that, the fountains and music were beautiful and it was the first time that we have been able to make it to Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Hameau. I find it quite interesting that a woman who could have had almost anything in the world had fantasies of being a peasant.

On the food front, I highly recommend Le Grizzli Café in the Marais. Joe and I took Dad and Kate there for dinner one night and everything was just fabulous. My dessert was a strawberry millefueille with a mint cream sauce that made everyone jealous that they hadn’t ordered it. Now if I could just figure out how to make it myself……

Oh, and the last night of the trip we toasted Dad and Kate in style with champagne and pastries from Lenôtre. Yum!

Category:France, Restaurants, Travel: France | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

Random Thoughts

Monday, 4. September 2006 13:56

I received an unexpected gift in the mail today and have now added Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless to my cookbook shelf. It looks awesome and I now have to decide what I’m cooking first. Hmmm, Tomatillo-sauced Enchiladas or a Classic Tortilla Soup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And, the best part is that it’s got all sorts of substitutions like how to use crème fraîche if you don’t have sour cream.

In the meantime, Joe is in the US eating the real thing and I’m incredibly jealous. Also jealous, of course, that he gets to visit with some close friends and family while he’s there.

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I promise that this will be my last post about La Rentrée, but it’s just so new to me that I’m having a hard time getting over it.

They started construction in July on one of the main roads that Joe takes to work. They usually have a temporary traffic signal set up because they close one lane of traffic during the day. For the whole month of August they had pushed the barricades to the side of the road and there was no signal. But today they’re back at work. Cracks me up!

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Sophia started at the Halte Garderie (basically a nursery) last week. They’ve got a program where you gradually leave your child with them. So for the first day, she and I went for an hour. The second day we were together for a half hour and then I left her there for a half hour. Tomorrow, I leave her for an hour. And then on Thursday she’s there for her normal three hours on her own. She’ll be going there 2 mornings a week, and I’m incredibly excited. What am I going to do with a whole 6 hours a week to myself? Study French!

Category:France, General, Mexican food | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Happy Birthday

Tuesday, 27. June 2006 11:43

Bon anniversaire. Happy Birthday.

Yesterday was our 7th wedding anniversary. We’re planning on going out to dinner, sans enfant (without the child), in a couple of weeks, but for a Monday night we figured it was safe to go out to dinner with her. We had a nice dinner at Le Restaurant d’Adele in Valbonne. We’ve eaten there a few times before and the food has always been good, and they are very accommodating for children. This time was no exception, and Sophia got to play with the kids at the next table as well, so in all, a good meal and no worries about whether Sophia would make it through dinner or not.

As we were going to bed last night, Joe and I exchanged cards. Joe was quite proud of himself for finding a card, and for doing it a few days early. He passed it to me saying that he was happy to have found a card in French that could express his sentiments.

I didn’t make it through the first sentence before turning to Joe and saying (while trying really, really hard not to laugh), that he needs to learn French! And then I just lost it. I practically had tears in my eyes as I continued to read this card wishing me a happy birthday while expressing how long it’s been since we’ve seen one another.

“Hand that over.” As he read through the card again he pointed out the sections where it talked about the days, months and years, and how he had seen those, along with the word anniversaire, and had been certain that the card was for a wedding anniversary. I let him know that the passage was saying that in spite of the days, months and years that had passed since the people had seen each other, the recipient was still in the sender’s thoughts. I then suggested that maybe he should have highlighted the words that he knew. He thought it would have been better to just cross out the ones that he didn’t. Either way, it did end up being a card that I will remember for a long time.

Category:French Language, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

Cinq de Mai

Friday, 5. May 2006 15:17

Cinq de Mai. Fifth of May. Cinco de Mayo.

Joe and I are continuing our quest to find decent Mexican food here on the Côte d’Azur, and we figured what better day than Cinco de Mayo to test out a new restaurant. I mean, how can we pass by a Cinco de Mayo without a margarita?

So, we found Poco Loco in Nice and I called to make a reservation. I did think that it was a bit strange that I could call a Mexican restaurant at 6:30pm on Cinco de Mayo and get a reservation, but I figured that it’s just not a holiday that they celebrate in France being so far removed from Mexico, right?

Actually, it’s probably not celebrated in France because the Battle of Puebla victory that Cinco de Mayo commemmorates was a battle fought against the French! Good to know. We are now very glad that we didn’t make any references to it while we were at the restaurant.

The margaritas were pretty good (and we found out that Joe is now a lightweight when it comes to drinking), but the rest of the food was just OK. Joe had a burrito and I had enchiladas. Those were fine, but the rice and beans accompanying them were a bit off. Oh well, I think we’ll keep looking for other Mexican restaurants before we go back.

Category:Mexican food, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

Avignon

Thursday, 2. March 2006 12:10

Aunt Meg, Sophia and I took a quick trip to Avignon to see the Palais des Papes. It’s about a 2 and a half hour drive from here so we took off and spent a Thursday night there and came back Friday evening.

Avignon is in Provence along the Rhone river and was the center of the Catholic church with the arrival of the Pope in the 14th century. Civil war was waging in Rome, so it was too dangerous for them to stay at the Vatican. They arrived in 1309 and settled into Avignon for about 100 years.

We stayed at the Hotel d’Europe. It was built in 1580 as the city home for the Marquess of Gravezon and became a hotel in 1799. The hotel was very nice, and the staff was very accommodating. They were able to serve us a late lunch, made us dinner reservations and let us keep the car there while we toured around on Friday.

The Palais des Papes was, of course, where the popes lived during the 14th century. Since that time the building has seen revolution and served as army barracks, so there is not much inside of note, but the building itself is impressive and they have a very well-documented audio guide.

Admission into the Palais des Papes also gets you onto the Pont St. Bénezet. Several people in Avignon had proudly told us that it’s the bridge from the famous song. So of course Aunt Meg asks me, “What famous song?” I have no idea.

Next to the Palais des Papes is the Petit Palais. This building has one of the largest collections of religious art, mainly Madonna and Child, that I’ve ever seen (outside the Vatican, of course). I couldn’t help but think if they had taken just a few pieces out of this collection and put them into the Palais des Papes…..

Dinner on Thursday night was outstanding, and very Provencal. We ate at Le Brigadier du Théâtre. I had a Caviar d’Aubergine (an eggplant caviar served on a bed of tomatoes) to start and a Tian de Legumes á la viande de Canard Confit (a gratin dish of legumes and duck). Followed by a Crème Brulée that was served on top of a chocolate granache. Yum!

I don’t think we actually spent enough time in Avignon, so I’ll be going back. And next time I’ll hopefully have some time to explore the Rhone Valley wine region while I’m there. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is not that far away.

Category:Hotels, Restaurants, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Trying to Catch Up, Part 1

Tuesday, 28. February 2006 22:19

I am so far behind on my blog, I don’t know where to start….

We had a nice visit with Terrie (Joe’s Mom) back in January. She was here for a week and I was able to visit a few places that I hadn’t been to before…

- Palais Lascaris – It’s a house in old Nice that gives you a taste of how people (OK, rich people) used to live. The walls are painted to look like marble and the ceilings depict characters from Roman myths. It’s also neat to see the inside of the buildings in this section of town because from the outside you just can’t get a feel for what’s going on inside.

- Verrerie de Biot – Biot is a town near Sophia Antipolis that is known for its glassworks, and the Verrerie de Biot is the largest glassblowing facility out of almost 20 that can be found in the city. Unfortunately, the Verrerie seems to be mainly set up for you to tour their store. You can watch the glassblowers making things, and they have one area that you can pay 3 euro to tour. Terrie and I tried to go on the tour, but the lady talked us out of it by saying that from watching the glassblowers, we had already seen most of what is on the tour! We later found a smaller glassblowing studio that was much more interesting than anything that we saw at the Verrerie.

- Le Feu Follet – We had a very nice dinner at this restaurant in Mougin. We all had a lovely meal (if I had written this in January I might have even been able to tell you what we had!), and the staff was very accommodating with Sophia (we tried to get her to fall asleep on the drive there, but it didn’t work). They brought her madeleines and carried her around for a bit! We’ll definitely be back.

Category:Restaurants, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Oh the weather outside is frightful

Friday, 30. December 2005 12:19

We found a restaurant that was open (lots of places were closed for the holidays). Le Restaurant d’Adele is in Valbonne. We’ve eaten there before and it’s very good. Their menu is a Tour de Monde (tour of the world) with dishes from France’s Alsace region (where Adele is from), North Africa, Indonesia and their version of American (Bison with BBQ sauce – haven’t tried it). I love going to Adele’s because I can have saurkraut which Joe hates so we never have it at home!

Anyways, as we left the restaurant and got into the car, we noticed (how could we not) that the temperature was -6 degrees Celsius (which according to the handy-dandy converter on my cell phone is a very cool 21.2 degrees Farenheit)! Joe and I have repeatedly asked ourselves where we are living because we thought it was supposed to be the warm and sunny French Riviera. I mean, we knew that they would get a little cooler in the winter, but we never expected 21 degrees. When we had considered where in the world did we want to live, the answer was always somewhere a little warmer than the Bay area, but here we are.

Do you think I’ll be complaining about the heat this summer?!?

Category:France, Restaurants | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Viva Monte Carlo

Saturday, 3. December 2005 20:19

Daammmnnnn! Before I head to Monaco again, I’ll need to brush up on my knowledge of luxury automobiles. I have never seen so many Bentleys and Ferraris in one place in my life. The front of the Casino Monte Carlo has a parking lot just full of any number of wildly expensive cars. And of course, there are shops for any luxury brand that you could possibly want. I made sure to point out to Joe what I wanted for Christmas from Van Cleef & Arpels.

We took a quick tour inside the casino. No babies allowed, so we had to take turns going in. We didn’t spend the 10 euros to actually go into the gaming area, I guess that will be another trip.

No rain today, so we got to walk around Monte Carlo, and then up to the vieux rocher where the chateau and cathedral can be found.

For dinner we found a TexMex restaurant. Joe and I haven’t had Mexican food since September so we thought we’d give it a shot. So here we are, Americans in Monaco eating TexMex, our waitress was Romanian who spoke perfect English and French, and the menu had the regular spanish names for the dishes but with French descriptions.

Category:Mexican food, Restaurants, Sophia, Travel: Europe | Comments (2) | Autor: Erica