Paris Journal 2013 – Barbara Joy Cooley                  Home:

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The three of us sat at the curve in the zinc bar in Le Petit Cardinal and talked for a couple hours.  Roniece told about the possibilities in her upcoming plans, and Tom and I talked a bit about the kinds of things that will keep us busy in the next nine months.


Roniece looked lovely in a royal blue dress and silver earrings. The deference and respect the bartender showed toward her acknowledged her status as a treasured guest.


We admire her gumption – she’s creating a new and fun life for herself, and doing it so very well, in a foreign land.  We’ll miss her, but nine months will go by quickly, we know.  We count on seeing her next summer, and staying in touch in the meantime.


Facebook is great for that – for remaining in touch with friends who are far away.


In addition to Carolyn’s visit this week, we know there are other Sanibelians in Paris – Danny and Amy, and George and Susan, for example.  But there’s so little time here, and so much back on the Island, that I’m sure we won’t see them until this next month, back home.  Still, I just like knowing that other islanders have escaped the heat and humidity, and are enjoying this nice weather in this glorious, big, old city.


We walked home down the rue des Écoles last night, and thoroughly enjoyed the gentle, cool breeze.  I remembered a restaurant that where we’d dined a couple years ago on that street.  It was about 8:30PM, the absolute busiest time for dinner, but sure enough, that restaurant, La Petite Perigourdine at 39 rue des Écoles, had one little table left for us.  We were fortunate to be seated, without a reservation.


The boss at this resto is a former rugby player from the Auvergne, Jean-Luc Martin.  His wife handles the administrative aspect of managing the place, and her brother also helps.  This family affair is going well.  They also have Les Fontaines, a restaurant on rue Soufflot.  Our placemats last night were from that other resto.


The dinner was delicious, and the prices were very reasonable.  We were very hungry, not having eaten hardly anything all day.  So we ordered the country terrine, and the frenzied server brought it right away.  He didn’t bother to slice it and put it on a plate.  He just brought the oval ceramic dish in which it had been cooked, and two empty plates for us to use.  About a third of the loaf was in this pan, and that’s the way he served it.  We were grateful for the terrine’s rapid arrival on our table, and we had no complaints.  We didn’t even mind that he didn’t bring the gerkins that were probably supposed to come with it.  The terrine was very good.


(I should mention that back at Le Petit Cardinal, the bartender brought us a little gift of a plate with a few small toast slices covered with fish paté.  If he hadn’t, I think we might have fainted from hunger.)


At the Perigourdine, Tom had an excellent pork tenderloin and puréed potatoes, and I had a rich and smooth risotto with a flavorful sauce and a few nicely grilled shrimp.


We didn’t need dessert.  In fact, I couldn’t finish the risotto.  But on the way home, Tom wanted to stop in the late-night Monoprix on the boulevard Saint Michel to buy fruit preserves for the morning.  He also bought some Swiss chocolates, and that ended up being our dessert a little later.


Always the one to remember the healthy things, I went back for orange juice while Tom waited in line at the Monoprix.  It was a strange Monoprix; the grocery store part of it was in the basement, and the basement was laid out in a sort of warped L-shape.


One of the signs by the Monoprix’s front door indicated that it was open until 11:30PM.  Another one claimed that it was open 24 hours a day.  I wonder which is correct?  Maybe the grocery part is open 24 hours, and the clothing, housewares, etc., part is open until 11:30? 


That Monoprix isn’t on our usual routes and isn’t that close to the apartment, but still, it is nice to know that there is a place to buy groceries late in the evening.


That reminds me about Carolyn’s and Celeste’s day on Wednesday, when they ate lunch so late that many places weren’t serving.  They landed at Le Mondrian (corner of the boulevard Saint Germain and the rue de Seine), just exactly where I would have advised them to go.  Not only does Le Mondrian have continuous service through the day, but it is also open 24 hours a day.  That’s rare, for a restaurant in Paris.  You can even order breakfast as late as 1PM or so (and you can always order an omelette) at Le Mondrian.


No, you’ll never go hungry in Paris.


That makes me think of Roniece, who is serving lunch to the needy right now at the American Church in the 7th arrondissement.  Other Parisian churches do this, too, on other days of the week.  (Thanks for ALL you do, Roniece!)


No, you’ll never go hungry in Paris.


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Friday, September 27, 2013


In bouillon tradition, La Petite Perigourdine still has labeled cubbyholes with regular client’s serviettes (napkins).


La Petite Perigourdine at 39 rue des Ecoles.  Its awning advertises that the resto won the “Coupe du Meilleur Pot 2011.”



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