Paris – The Welge Report

 

 

Hello Fellow Travelers:

Welcome to our world of adventure, good eating and fine wines.  This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Paris”. 

Please share it with your friends, customers and associates.  You can also access more than 100 cities on our website plus lots of other helpful travel tips at:  thewelgereport.com

Recognition:  We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides.  In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.

 

Paris, France

 

Birding Opps:  Info for our birding friends.  In and near Paris you can see these species: Black-headed Gull, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Magpie, Great Cormorant and the Song Thrush.

Flocking Somewhere (flockingsomewhere.com/birdwatching-in-paris/) is a wonderful site with interesting information on birding in Paris.

This site provides a fun birding report from The Urban Birder (theurbanbirder.com/urban-birding/paris/) in Paris.

There are Birding Pals in Paris at (birdingpal.org/France.htm)

Grape Experience The Welge Report has wine bars listed in this Mini-Guide and also in our 20 Wine Bars blog.

Shopping:  Paris is one of the ultimate shopping destinations in the world.  Famous designers, boutiques and department stores abound in every arrondissement.  The flea markets even have cachet.

Convention Center – Entertainment -Shopping:  The Palais des Congress – Paris, 2 place Porte Maillot, 1 40 68 22 22

Cousins Peter & Audrey recommend Le Carre des Ternes - B,L,D: Daily, 84 Avenue des Ternes, 01 73 20 22 00 as good place for a business meeting.  It’s close to the Palais de Congress.  It’s a casual, neighborhood brasserie.  Their favorite dish is the Sole Meuniere or the pate.

 

Day One:   After dropping off our rental car Dee and I got a taxi and gave the driver the  address of the owner of our next apartment rental.

Our driver stopped on our street and while  trying to figure out which building was # 15, a gentleman asked if we were the Welge’s.  It was our landlord Michel.  Our new apartment was in a high rise in the 3rd Arr.

It is modern and has good light, a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.  Michel  was in a hurry to catch a plane to Biarritz, but was careful to explain things to us.

He mentioned that we might be interested in using wecab.com to get to CDG when we were departing for the U.S.

We did and it was a significant savings.  Michel also gave us a suggestion on where to dine close by.  We unpacked and had a glass of wine.

Then we walked a few blocks to Marcel’s restaurant recommendationCafé le bouledogue Brasserie” or the Bulldog Café.

It was 7:30 and the restaurant was empty, but most of the tables that we asked for were reserved.

Because of the long inactive day of driving to Paris, we decided just to have the steak/frites. It came with an excellent salad.

Our wine was a Carignane that was quite good.  Everything about the restaurant was tasty, and we felt that we would probably go back.

On our return to the apartment we stopped at the market next door for fruit juice, tonic and wine.  We then entered the first set of doors to our building, but we could not get into the second set and the lobby.

Finally a cute young lady came to our rescue and got us into the lobby and took us to the 2nd floor, but then we could not open the door to the apartment.  Fortunately, I had Michel’s cell phone # and we were able to call him to help get us in his apartment.

We began the following day with juice, coffee, a biscuit and a walk to the Place des Vosges.

The Place des Vosges is as charming as ever. Lots of eye candy and interesting art.  Several bicycle tours were lined up getting instructions.  The day was a beauty – cool with plenty of sun.

After leisurely checking out the boutiques we descended into the Paris Metro for a 2 stop ride to Le Bistro Paul Bert - L & D: Daily, 18, rue Paul Bert, 01 43 72 24 01, for lunch.

Chef Tracy had eaten here several times, and it is on just about everybody’s list for places to dine.

Dee had the prix fixe that started with grilled crayfish, followed by rabbit with a tarragon sauce and pasta.  I had the duck with mushrooms.

We shared a demi-litre of Samur blanc.

I was telling Dee a story about my first broken tooth caused by a duck dish in Copenhagen and biting into the buckshot that was lodged in the duck.

Guess what ? I found another piece of buckshot in this duck, but thank god, no broken tooth.  The baguette served here was the best we had in Paris.  We shared a very large framboise macaroon.

After lunch we headed for the Picasso Musuem – Daily: 9:30-5:30, Hotel Sale, 5 rue de Thorigny, 4e Arr.

Housed in the Hotel Sale, this collection was begun as payment for his death taxes in France when he died in 1973.

The collection contains paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics etc, displayed in chronological order. Plus, works of other artists that Picasso collected.

Our Cousin Jacques suggested that we  visit the Pompidou Art Center –  W-M: 11-9 PM, rue du Reyard, 4 e Arr, 33 01 44 78 12 33.

As you approach the center there are street performers, jugglers, musicians, etc.

Five floors contain temporary exhibitions, modern art from 1905 to present, a public library, a restaurant and a movie theater. Great fun and mind expanding!

We decided to visit the wine bar Verjus - D: M-F, Palais Royal, 33 1 42 97 54 40,  for supper.  We took a taxi and the driver was an aficionado of USA country and rock and roll.  The melodies started when he described an Elvis concert that he had attended in Houston.

Dee and the driver relived most of the 50’s tunes starting with Elvis and ending with the Everly Brothers.

Beware tunes can be costly!  We used taxis 4 times to and from this area and this ride was 50% more.

Verjus has a upscale restaurant that we entered, and we were politely informed that unless we had reservations they didn’t have a table for us.

We replied that we were looking for the wine bar, and descended a very narrow winding stairway to the cellar where there were about 15 seats.

Luck held and we got 2 seats at the bar (6 were there).  Dee started with a glass of white burgundy and I had a Pinot/Gamay blend.

Dee had the ricotta ravioli with brown butter, black trumpet mushrooms and parmesan.  I had the buttermilk fried chicken with napa cabbage, red chilis and micro greens.

Our next wine was the Raipoupou.  We shared the duck meatballs with Asian spices.

With this we shared a glass of Cotes de Nuit Pinot Noir.  It was really great fun.  Most of the clientele was English speaking.  Highly recommended.

The next day we joined lots of other tourists at Deux Magots  – 6 place Saint Germain-des-Pres, 6th Arr, 01 45 48 55 25.

Need I say more. Oui – great people watching.

While having breakfast we did a little research on lunch spots near the Musee d’Orsay which was our first destination.

It had been something like 25 or 30 years since we first visited the Musee d’Orsay. Then it was opening for the first time, and there was quite a stir about the transformation from a train station to an art museum.

The transformation of the station into a museum was accomplished by ACT architecture group.

Specific exhibition spaces and different facilities are distributed throughout the three levels: the Pavilion Amont, the glass walkway of the former station’s western pinion, the museum restaurant (installed in the dining hall of the former hotel), the Café des Hauteurs, the bookshop and the auditorium.

Since then they have had a major upgrade.  The art is beautifully displayed, the background information for each area is in three languages, the brochures and maps are well designed and the signage is very clear.

The museums holdings include paintings by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Millet, Seurat, Manet and others, plus sculpture and art deco furniture.

Don’t miss this museum.

After ogling the Musee d’Orsay’s offerings we took a taxi to Le Comptoir - B,L,D: Daily, 9, Carrefour de l’Odeon, 331 40 26 26 66 for lunch.  It’s just off the Blvd St. Germain.

We each had the salad that was composed of lettuce, artichoke, haricots verts and topped with a generous amount of fois gras served with their own baguette and a carafe of vin blanc.  This was the 2nd best baguette in Paris.

Our next stop was the  Marmottan Monet Museum  – Tu-Su: 9:30-6, Sa,Su: till 8, 2, rue Louis Boilly, 16 e Arr, 01 44 96 50 33.

Michel Monet, second son of the painter, bequeathed in 1966 works from his property in Giverny to the Musée Marmottan.  These paintings are enormous and a special area was designed and built to house them.

More recently, the museum has enriched its collections of prestigious works by Berthe Morisot, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir and Henri Rouart.

Lots of church’s claim to have great windows.  We know some of the best are at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., some of which were done by our friend C.Z. Lawrence.

There are also some very good ones here in Paris at the Le Sainte Chapelle - Mar-Oct: 9:30-6, Nov-Feb: 9-5, 4, boulevard du Palais, Ile de Cite.

A jewel of gothic architecture, the Sainte Chapelle was built at Saint-Louis’ request during the 13th century to house Christ’s crown of thorns.

The tall chapel with its 600 sq m of stained-glass windows (2/3 being original) represents one of the most complete examples of the stained-glass window art of that time.  Check out their concert schedule.

Finally it’s wine time and we are suggesting La Cremerie – Daily: 10:30-10, 9 Rue Quarte Vents, 6 e Arr, 01 43 54 99 30.

We liked the smoked trout terrine and/or the plate of sausages with the ’10 Domaine des Faverelles Bourgogne Vezeley.

Another nostalgic moment for us concerns where we suggest having dinner.  Years ago while driving from Nice to Paris we made a pilgrimage to Valence to spend the night and have dinner at Pic.

They only had three guest rooms and the entrance was through the dining room.  They literally had to move a dining table for us to get upstairs to our room.

The room was elegant and the dinner even more so.  Annie Pic, their daughter, took over the family restaurant and returned it to glory. (Annie is the only woman to garner 3 Michelin rosettes)

She has opened a restaurant in Paris to great acclaim.

La Dame de Pic – L & D: Daily, 20, rue du Louvre -  1er Arr., 01 42 60 40 40.

Start with the goat cheese, black truffles and mint, next is the redfish with saffron, truffle and Blue Mountain coffee.

Finally, is the lightly smoked Bresse chicken fine farce with black truffles and foie gras.  There are other menus in case you aren’t in love with truffles.

For your wine, perhaps the Chambolle Musigny 1er cru Charmes, Barthod  2009.

After this great meal it’s time for some fun at Moulin Rouge  – 2 shows Nightly, 82, boulevard de Clichy, 18e Arr, 33 01 53 09 82 82.

World famous caberet playing to audiences since 1900, French Can Can, fabulous settings.

Breakfast today is at Claus – M-F: 8-5, Sa,Su: 9:30-5, 14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1e Arr,  01 42 33 55 10.

Each menu includes a hot drink, fresh fruit juice and a basket of pastries / bread with jam.

A popular choice is the Frühstücksteller (which is a plate of ham, county, cheese, salad and egg.

Another possibility is Muesli with yogurt and fresh fruit.  No matter what you choose I think you will be prepared for the morning.

Our plan for the day began with a lengthy ride on the Metro to the Fondation  Louis Vuitton - M,W,Th: 12-7, F: till 11, Sa,Su: 11-8

The building was designed by Frank Gehry, and it is located in the Bois de Boulogne.

The permanent collection includes artists: Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, ThomasSchutte, Betrand Lavier, Christian Boltanski and Pierre Huyghe.  They have a very active program for performing arts.

Back on the Metro for a ride to Les Halles area for lunch at Pirouette – L & D: M-Sa, 5, rue Mondetour, 33 0 1 40 26 47 81.

We had the prixe fixe that began with soup poured over a composed salad of smoked fish, croutons and a curry sauce – fabulous.

The next course was sous vide tuna with medallions of red carrots, wilted scallion, cilantro and a red wine au jus.

Dee had a glass of St. Veran Chardonnay and I had a Cabernet-Syrah from the Medoc.

Then we walked on to Les Halles viewing some old haunts such as: the Departure of Fruit and Vegetables from the heart of Paris sculpture by Raymond Mason,

Au Pied du Cochon restaurant, St. Eustache Church and their lovely windows by Antoine Soulignac that were created in 1632.

Our trail led us to E. Dehillerin– M-Sa: 9-12:30, 2-6, 18-20 Rue Coquillière, 33 1 42 36 53 13.

This is a chef’s nirvana.  We have left a lot of money here and we did not get away unscathed this trip.  25 years later Frankie was still there to take care of us.

Next we visited the Musee du Louvre – W-Su: 9-6, M,W: till 10:45, Cour Napoleon, A.P. 36 quai du Louvre, 1e Arr, 40 20 53 17.

The collection began in the 12th century.   Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci (Mona Lisa), Frans Halls, Anton van Dyck, sculpture by Voltaire, Venus de Milo and much more.

Dinner was at Juveniles – L & D: Tu-Sa, 47 rue de Richelieu, 01 42 97 46 49.  Below is the chef-owner and his partner who runs the front of the house.

It has about 15 seats and a great wine list with favorable prices.

We started with a coupe of Champagne and the fois gras.  Then Dee had the poulet with polenta, thyme and pickled mushrooms.

I had the pork with pureed butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.

Our dinner wine was a ’10 Rioja Vinas Jovenes by Miguel Merino.

 

Until next time, best wishes and Bon Voyage,

Dick & Dee Welge

© 2015 R.E. Welge All Rights Reserved. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Web Site Rules and Regulations of thewelgereport.com.  Any business use without permission forfeits your right to “macaroons”.

 

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