04.13.07: marathon eat-fest in paris i

18 04 2007

after a morning running through and up and down notre-dame, we jumped on the subway. got off the metro at forum les halles. we made our way down rue montorgueil turned left on rue aboukir toward place des victoires and down rue feuillade to the gallerie vivienne.

we had lunch at the bistrot vivienne in the gallerie vivienne. simple, hearty bistro fare paired with lovely glasses of bordeaux. eileen had the blanquette and i had the veal tartare. the blanquette is veal stewed in a sauce of cream and eggs. i was pleasantly surpised when my veal tartare arrived lightly grilled — two tell-tale marks from the broiler lined the top of the patty. we gorged on our lunches, had a couple of coffees and we were ready to explore the gallery.

the gallerie viviene is located via a small passageway off of rue des petits champs feuillade. the gallery is lined with small shops selling everything from clothes to antique books and prints and galleries displaying art. of course, the first shop i gravitated to was legrand filles & fils.

we were full from lunch, but we had to go in once we saw the wine bar in the middle of legrand. the bar wasn’t very large. there was a couple with a friend to my left and two british guys to my right.

we ordered something to drink: a glass of the haut medoc cru classé 2003 from chateau la lagune and a glass of beaune champ priorat 2003 from domaine jacques prieure. as i sipped my wine, i noticed a sour, pungent note in the air. on the counter behind the bar, there was a large covered plate of cheese. 5 minutes later, i had a plate of epoisses, camembert, and a blue. woweee!!!

you’ll see from the pic that we absolutely hated the cheese.

the blue was creamy in texture — the last few blues that i’ve had from murray’s were peppery, with a tang that you felt on your tongue. this one was slightly sweet. not as sweet as a gorgonzola dolce, but there was enough sweetness to balance the salt. the camembert was tangy, mushroomy with a viscous center. it was clearly the smell of the epoisses that had clued me into the cheese on the bar. impossible to find in its raw milk form here in the u.s., the epoisses had a musky, slightly ashy orange rind. the cheese was deliciously oozy.

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