trip report: paris day 2
Click here for day one.
Day two started with complimentary breakfast at Alain Ducasse (!) in the hotel lobby. It's safe to say that my sausage and eggs will never taste as good as they did here. Look at the size of those chandeliers!
Before they even bring out your menu, you're served with this thing of great beauty: the prettiest pastry basket there ever was. There are so many items, it comes with its own guidebook (top right of the photo).
This day was my actual birthday, so we decided to start off by hitting one of my favorite museums on the planet, Musee d'Orsay.
It's housed inside an old train station and has one of the best Impressionist collections around.
Now, on to lunch! We knew we wanted to do one fancy meal while we were here and I was particularly interested in Restaurant Arpege. Chef Alain Passard has gained a reputation for doing magical things to vegetables in the past few years. And once we saw that lunch was about a tenth of the price as dinner, we figured that was the way to go.
The outside of the restaurant. Spot the chefs!
I think we ate for about three hours. It's a marathon meal. Every course ended up being vegetarian, but we didn't miss the meat or fish at all. Above is the first amuse-bouche we were served; each one had a different pureed fruit or vegetable inside. Chef Passard is truly gifted: with every course that came out we kept saying (or probably closer to moaning), "These are the best mashed potatoes/tomato/ravioli we will ever eat." A chef that can do so much with such simple ingredients is the definition of a master, in my opinion.
That night, we met up with some of our favorite people, Hanna and Brian, who happened to be in Paris the same weekend.
And, in an added twist! My parents were there waiting at the restaurant! My dad had a business trip to Monaco, so he and my mom arranged to be in Paris the night of my birthday. It was an incredible way to ring in a very special year. I feel very, very loved.