Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Last Supper

The Last Supper alone, that is!
Tomorrow, both the birds and my beloved Dick are to meet me at our apartment.
Frankly, today has been a full day of trying not to think about my poor sweeties. Both birds had to spend the night in Chicago, they missed their flight because of delays. I worried about them, they don't know what is going on. They must be so frightened. In theory, they are winging their way to me now. They should be at my door in the morning sometime after 8. Hopefully, Custom's will have no surprises for them. The company that we have engaged to handle all this has done it a million times, so Dick says, there is no need to worry.
One bird has been with us for 20 years, the other around 6. I raised the 6 year old from infancy. I
know people think animals are beneath them but when you have been with them as long as we have, you think of them as family. They are like perpetual toddlers with long memories.

So, today, I did my last bit of apartment shopping, figuring I would save Dick a chore. I stopped at the Conran Shop and bought a groovy dust pan and brush, a desk set, to put the pens and stamps and post-its in, that sort of thing. then I went over to the glorious Bon Ma
rche and bought a modish hardened glass cutting board that looks like a target. I forced myself to leave before looking at anything to wear!
As I debated what to do about dinner, it was a little early for the French, but the timing was perfect for me, there it was. The Lutetia. Sonia Rykiel's hotel with its brasserie. I had avoided it many times thinking it had to be the biggest tourist spot in Paris. It had to be fashionista central. I was still wearing my workout clothes, I had just jumped o
ut of the gym and into a taxi, so I could get everything done. But, I decided to go for it.
The exterior of the hotel is beautiful, it faces the corner at an angle and looks like the bow of a ship, its brasse
rie faces the corner and you can see the ladies having drinks in the window. It was exquisitely Parisian.
Before I left the apartment this morning, there had been a program on the BBC about a contemporary crew following the steps of Captain Cook. The ship had come upon an island and Cook had written that it was "a temptation not to be left untaken" or something like that. And, here was the Lutecia, her bow tempting me and I fell right into her.
It was my last night alone
and everything was perfect. I was ready, she was ready, the rest is history.
It was perfect, all chrome,silver, mirrors, with elegant cherry high chairs around the bar in the center of the room The chairs had backs reminiscent of corseted women with long, long legs.

The waiter was perfection in his long
black apron, he asked me if I wanted an english or french menu. I asked for both. Its my new approach. That way I can learn what is what. I have also found that when they translate classic french dishes you recognise for the english menu, it can be like reading a chinese menu. the dish is unrecognizable because they put it in plain english. Like a croque monsieur is a cheese sandwich or creme brulee is vanilla custard.
But, back to the
subject at hand, I ordered a kir and settled on 2 starters, called entrees in french. This will tell you how perfect this restaurant was for us girls! First, a romaine and crab salad with mango, followed by french onion soup, finished with fresh strawberries with a touch of strawberry sorbet.

It was glorious, more than I could eat, but best of all was the dessert. It was just fresh strawberries, no sugar, no cornstarchy muck, no cream, chantilly, nothing, just beautiful fresh strawberries with a small bit of sorbet. It was spring in a bowl. Nakedly tangy and sweet. The waiter did leave a small cup of whipped cream but I wasn't even tempted.

The whole experience was so marvelous that I know I will have to bring Dick. Here it is like a big open secret. The quintescential Parisian experience, I had avoided it for so long thinking it could not possibly be good or it would be outrageously expensive. It was not. Of course, I didn't have a huge meal and I think I was early for dinner, so I amy have still beeen eating off the lunch menu, but it was a grand last meal. Tomorrow, I wll have my little family, maybe we will eat at home.

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