Paris 2015 (EuroTour Leg 2)

We took a taxi from Charles de Gaulle airport to our AirBnB.  Which was nice and in a great location. Check in went very smoothly and after changing clothes we were out the door to site see the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower etc.11807733_10153563176729190_4788113633193727604_o 11807321_10153563169679190_2758840853483044888_o

 

We grabbed lunch and tried to get tickets for a dinner show, but the two shows we had interest in seeing were sold out for that night.

Although it was something we discussed doing weeks in advance we hadn’t actually purchased the tickets. (Lesson Learned: Book ahead, next time).

11822392_10153563167269190_3817035091518645833_nAfter site seeing, we returned to the apartment to figure out our next move.  This took awhile but eventually found a place to have a really nice dinner.  Santa Carne, an Argentinean steakhouse.

Our party of four had an amazing time at Santa Carne. 3 of us ordered the L’assiette du chef (Chef’s choice) which is essentially 3 different types of steak with potatoes and salad. The couple at the table next to us had gotten the same dish and it looked amazing. He also said he had ordered it medium well which is normally how I take my steak, but it was a bit too red for me so when I ordered mine I got it well done and was more than satisfied.

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The fourth person in our party ordered the La Brochette (steak skewer) and she also was happy but for only 10 Euro more why not get the Chef’s choice? We also ordered a rose wine which was okay.

The service was amazing! Our Argentinean server, Ariel was a bit shy about speaking English to us and communication was a small challenge but he gladly grabbed a chef from the kitchen, Lara/Laura to interpret for us all and she was awesome as well. It was a great time and made my second time in Paris a thousand times better than my first trip to Paris.11813429_10153563168969190_6516908020220582999_n

We had a mini photo shoot while waiting outside to be seated for dinner…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was wearing a silver and custom made center pearl ring on my left ring finger.  A 28-year old Ariel grabbed my left hand and noted the ring. I quickly switched the ring to my middle finger to indicate that I was not indeed engaged or married, as he continued to flirt.  We all had a laugh about that.



After dinner we stopped for me to get my favorite European treat, a crepe!  It was a delicious Nutella and banana crepe.
Magic in the making
Magic in the making
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Someone wanted to be in the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why The Cheesecake Factory Should Banish the White Bread from their Tables.

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The Cheesecake Factory should probably just ban the white dinner bread from their restaurant. I mean seriously the wheat bread is what everyone at the table always reaches for.

I must admit that I was prejudice against the brown bread for years until that was all that was left on the table and I tried it. This probably stems from being a kid and going to grandma’s house where they only had the healthiest, i.e. the nastiest brown wheat bread. So i was conditioned to dislike any bread brown in color and not chocked full of bananas and nuts

I was so upset with myself that I had gone so long neglecting this seemingly hidden gem.  But you know what they say… “Once you go brown”… you never frown?

Who knows what they say I just know they should just never bring me the white bread again.

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Must Dine at Marmalade!

After doing research for my Puerto Rico trip, I had already decided that I needed to eat at Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar. I had the concierge make 6:30 PM reservations for me on Saturday. When I arrived, I was promptly seated and was amazed at the decor that looked nothing like I imagined based on the restaurant’s outside entrance.  The ambiance and decor was beautiful  I would definitely recommend this place for a romantic date night, but there were groups and other singletons dining or waiting for their party at the bar.

My waitress, Rachel, or Ray for short as she prided, was very fast talking, but attentive all night. She knew the menu well and was patient with me as I decided between doing the 4 or 5 course tasting options, and my individual menu options. She was awesome!

Ultimately I decided on the 5 course option, with the paired wine.

Lucky for me, the options I chose were paired with white wine, except for my main dish.  I’m normally not that indecisive with food, since I know what I like, but because I had read several reviews it made it a bit more difficult to decide.  All of the reviews raved about the white bean soup. But since I loathe beans (any kind) I was rather reluctant to choose that as one of my courses. But Ray was so awesome that she brought me a shot-size serving of the soup, which was good.   Just not what I had expected given the many rave reviews I read online. She also served me the wine it was paired with. WINNING!

Here is what I ordered:

“Popcorn Shrimp”
cilantro & garlic grilled shrimp lacquered with anejo tequila
rest atop pablano guacamole and ancho-chili spiced popcorn 
 
Paella
“sushi esque” bite size pieces of crispy andalusian style paella
filled with smoked chicken, peas & peppers flavored
with a saffron- garlic espuma & a chorizo-tomato sauce
 
Spaghetti Squash
poached in coconut water scented with ginger, orange peel and cilantro
alongside spiced cashews resting beneath an espuma of yellow curry
 
Queen Red Snapper
poached in a Thai style curry & coconut broth
served over a bed of jasmine rice & finished
with a spiced steamed shrimp sesame dumpling
 
Warm Banana & Butterscotch Bread Pudding
brazilian nut & aged rum ice cream
 
My favorite course was the Popcorn Shrimp, anything that has cilantro on it, is a winner for me. I love that stuff!  The Paella came in second and the Spaghetti Squash, last.  I cooked spaghetti squash a few weeks prior and was looking for additional recipes. But this missed the bus and was only slightly enjoyable because of the cashews. 
 
I enjoyed the Bread Pudding but opted for regular vanilla ice cream instead of the rum ice cream.
 
I have photos of the wines that were paired but after a few glasses, I can’t quite remember which wine was paired with which dish. What I do know is that my favorite wine of the night was the Chateau Montfort Vouvray. I wonder if I can find it my local wine store.
 
Although I had only 5 courses, I had almost 7 glasses (half glasses) of wine. I was full and in a “great place” by the time I left Marmalade.  I will definitely be back on my next trip to Puerto Rico.  
 
Marmalade was a great experience, but it was not cheap.  My bill was over $100 bucks and with 20% tip the total was $150. But because I did my research beforehand I budgeted accordingly.
 
 
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