Thing 1 and Thing 2 were off on their annual summer trip with the grandparents and it was time for mom and dad to play. So as they say, “Paris is always a good idea.”
So off we went. And because it’s Paris, there are great wines and fantastic experiences to be had everywhere all around the city. And I certainly did my part to drink from several regions around France.
I stared with Champagne from the lovely folks at Hotel Esprit Saint Germain. I sat right down and completed my check-in paperwork with a glass of bubbly. So we were instantly friends. They actually have a complimentary full bar available throughout your stay so you could pop in for wine or bubbly or whatever else anytime you wanted. Again, my kind of people.
And then I went to Bordeaux, Pauillac in particular. And then to Provence for a little Rosé. And then on to the Loire Valley for a bit of Sancerre.
I went back to Bordeaux, this time Saint-Emilion, for a carafe and some bread of course. And back to Provence – this time for red.
And I enjoyed every drop at every cafe in Paris I visited. But the wining and dining highlight was definitely at Le Jules Verne.
This is an Alain Ducasse, Michelin Star restaurant located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Do it! Just once! Do it! OK, but not if you have to miss a mortgage payment or something. We went for dinner which consists of either a five or six course “Experience Menu” with optional wine pairing.
Umm, yeah. Of course we had the wine pairings! And I loved the variety of the different French wines, some of which I’d never heard of. It really was a fantastic opportunity to try wines from all corners of the country. And be sure to book the earliest dinner time as it is a lengthy process.
Upon arrival, we were whisked up to the second floor and seated at our corner table with these stunning views.
We started with a glass of champagne, of course. This was a special Alain Ducasse Brut selection. A perfect start indeed. And did I mention the view?
We were also treated to a small bowl of biscuits and I behaved and restrained myself from licking my fingers or the bowl.
We were then severed an amuse-bouche of Marinated Sea Bream with Sorrel. The Husband was not a fan (he can be weird about fish) but I thought it was perfect for my champagne.
It was also during this time that they started with the bread foolishness. So.Damn.Good. And they kept coming by with the darn basket!
So after all of that, it was time for our first official course which was a Preserved Duck Foie Gras with a Red Currant Gelée. So good and I’m not really into foie gras.
The wine pairing was a 2014 Domaine Vallet Condrieu Rouelle-Midi. That’s Viognier from the Northern Rhone to you. Very aromatic on the nose and very rich and creamy on the palate.
The second course consisted of Warm White Asparagus served with a Maltaise Sauce. My first experience with white asparagus and I found it to be much milder than its green cousin. Of course, I got home and saw white asparagus on several menus. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention? And yeah, this sorta reminded me of a jellyfish.
The wine pairing was a 2015 Domaine Weinbach Cuvée Colette Riesling from Alsace. Another quite aromatic wine.
The third course was a Seared Large Langoustine (fancy prawn also known as a Norway Lobster) served with Griolle Mushrooms and Fresh Almonds all in a divine Lemon Cooking Jus. Our waiter kept talking about a prawn and I kept searching the menu and never saw it. So I’ve since Googled it and now I know what a langoustine is. The Husband is not a huge fan of shellfish but he loved this.
The wine (which was my favorite of the three whites) was a 2009 Château Génot-Boulanger Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru. That’s Chardonnay from Burgundy if that helps.
The fourth course was a Roasted Pigeon with White and Green Swiss Chard. As much as I liked the prawns, I think I may have liked this a little bit more. And I think The Husband agreed as he proceeded to pick up his bones and clean them. When I gave him the “side eye” he reminded me that this was costing us a mint and he was going to eat every bit. Yeah, couldn’t argue with that.
The wine pairing for the pigeon was our only red wine, a 2013 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou ‘La Croix’ Saint-Julien. In basic terms, this was a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Fantastic.
I was still hanging tough when the first of the two desserts came. Sautéed apricot and verbena ice cream.
The wine pairing was a 2008 Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes, a dessert wine. I would NEVER have put this together, but wow!
The second dessert and final course was the Chocolate Crispy “Nut Tower.” A photo cannot do this chocolate yumminess justice. It was about this time that the light show started and we were front and center to see the tower light up.
The wine pairing for the chocolate was a 2014 Mas Mudigliza Maury. This was a Grenache based dessert wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
And as if they were trying to put me in a diabetic coma, they also brought hazelnut ice cream, chocolates, marshmallows, and various flavored macarons and tarts, one of which was topped with gold leaf.
While we had the option of going out to the deck and looking out from the Eiffel Tower, we called it a night. But we were still treated to this view as we headed out of the restaurant.
A magical experience indeed.