September 25, 2008

Perfect Paris - Day 2

Day two dawned sunny and cold. Luckily I had packed a couple of sweaters and scarves.

We set out about 10:30 in search of another cheese shop that had been recommended by our friends at dinner the previous evening. It was another straw-filled, stinky little gem in the 17th arrondissement.
Pascal Beillevaire is a fromager/affineur based in the Loire with a chain of cheese shops around France. This branch is a welcoming little shop run by a black beret-wearing young man who is passionate about his cheeses. We sat and listened as he helped a woman create an extensive, sublime sounding cheese platter for her dinner party that evening (in what I can only imagine by how smartly she was dressed and accessorized, was a huge apartment in the "right" neighborhood).
He was patient with my questions and helped me choose two cheeses to taste; a goat's cheese from Brittany and one of their specialties, Machecoulais, an unpasteurized cow's milk cheese. (look for it next week at La Fête du Fromage)

Toward lunchtime my friend and I parted ways and I headed down to the 15th to meet David L. for lunch at a Korean resto. We hadn't seen each other since last autumn at Camp Cassoulet and I was curious to see if he'd survived the massive tide of Parisians returning from their holidays for la rentrée unscathed.
The task of ordering lunch was left up to David, as I'm a Korean food newbie. Lunch was great. Catching up was even better. And having a friend in Paris who will lead you around and introduce you some of his favorite Boulangeries, Fromageries and Chocolateries was priceless.

Seeded, rustic bread from Eric Kayser, gorgeously creamy, mini chocolate pavés from Michel Chaudun and la Taupinière cheese from Fromagerie Cler. Sheer heaven!

We said goodbye and I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering aimlessly. And wearing out my already too tired shoes.

I stopped into an enormous Zara and and even bigger H&M and found a treasure trove of a paper store on a little street where I struggled not to buy yet another beautiful blank book. I did, however, buy a new coat. A brightly colored, cold-winter-weather-defying pink one. My neighbors are going to think I'm mad!

We spent the evening in, eating cheese, ham, paté, three different varieties of bread and drinking wine. At 11:30 I tucked myself into bed and fell asleep to the sounds of Parisian traffic swirling in the streets outside.

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