I have been asked many times if I enjoyed any good meals on my recent trip to Paris; my answer has been yes. Our first night and our last night in Paris we ate at a small, extremely popular restaurant called l'Epi Dupin on rue Dupin. I was first told of this restaurant on a trip in 2004, when I asked a Parisian woman I was speaking with if she could recommend a good place to eat. She told me we must to go to l'Epi Dupin -- it was where the "locals" ate. I had two marvelous meals there on this last trip, and I'm going to attempt recreating one of them for a dinner I'll be hosting next month. Preparing the meal shouldn't be that hard, but the Parisian ambiance... well, there are no cobbled streets outside of my dining room windows in St. Paul, Minnesota. I believe that part of the reason a meal tastes so good in Paris is... well... you're in Paris!
Another little restaurant my sister and I fell in love with and visited three times was La Bocca Della Verita at 2 rue du Sabot, in the St. Germain des Près neighborhood of Paris.
We walked by the restaurant one morning and vowed we'd return for lunch. My sister ordered Dolce Vita on our first visit -- ravioli with goat cheese, honey, and thyme. It was luscious. I had the Bufala salad -- Mozzarella di Bufala with Cherry Tomatoes and Mixed Greens. Every dish so simple, and yet incredibly good, the result of the chef using the best ingredients.
Dessert for me was Affogato -- vanilla ice cream drizzled with hot espresso.
On our second visit we had an early dinner in French terms -- 7 o'clock. My sister's meal was a dish of mixed grilled vegetables with a vegetable purée, artichokes, mozzarella di Bufala and cherry tomatoes, mixed salad and Proscuitto. I seriously considered eating the Bufala salad again, but fortunately, at the last minute I decided to try the Piccata, a veal cutlet with a light cream of Sorrento lemon -- an excellent choice. Dessert that night was two different Tiramisu that we shared, of course. One, the traditional, and the second, Red Fruit Tiramisu. All I can say is... man, were they good! We started this meal with a glass of the restaurant's Strawberry Prosecco on ice. It's difficult to get my sister to join me in a glass of wine with our meals; she just doesn't care for it. But when she saw someone else drinking the red Prosecco, she was totally on board. We each had one that night...
and then returned the following night for another glass of the Strawberry Prosecco which we enjoyed in front of the restaurant on two little stools by the window.
That's where we met these four chefs and a wizard on the narrow cobbled street.
only in Paris, right?
:: Mozzarella di Bufala with Cherry Tomatoes and Mixed Greens
• Mixed salad greens
• Cherry tomatoes, organic and heirloom if possible
• 8-ounce ball of fresh Mozzarella di Bufala (buffalo mozzarella)
• Balsamic vinegar
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
This salad is all about using the absolute best ingredients you can. Place the salad greens on a large plate; surround the greens with a ring of halved cherry tomatoes. Position the Mozzarella di Bufala in the center of the greens. There is no substitution for this. A regular "fresh mozzarella" won't have the flavor the Bufala does. It is worth every cent! Drizzle the salad with the balsamic and the olive oil. Serve with a tasty baguette, a glass of wine, and enjoy!
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