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A Crepe and A View - Paris

Author: Vanille (More Trip Reviews by Vanille)
Date of Trip: December 2004

It was our last full evening in Paris. We had passed La Fourmi Ailée several times on our way to other destinations and finally decided to try it. Non-smokers are ushered to an upstairs room, which resembles an old artist's garret from the late 19th century, something out of La Bohéme. A set of oblong skylight windows hung gloriously above us, lending light to an otherwise dark alcove.

There were several vegetarian items on the menu. I ordered the vegetarian lasagna, which is made with tofu instead of an overload of cheese, a common mistake made by people who don't truly understand the vegetarian diet. A pureed marinara sauce, thick with chunks of Roma tomatoes, was intertwined with four ample lasagna noodles. Mozzarella shreds blended with the tofu were just the right touch to this already mouthwatering dish.

My carnivore husband requested the demi-canard en croute sel, or salty duck. The duck arrived in a darkly roasted bread crust, which we were told should not be eaten, as it is made with large amounts of salt. The crust seals in the juices of the duck as it bakes. A pile of vegetables are served on the side, augmented by the Hollandaise sauce, a pitcher of which is provided for every table. Dirk ordered a house white wine, which turned out to be a reasonably drinkable Sauvignon Blanc.

Lingering over our meal, we decided to order dessert. I opted for pear sorbet, which arrived with an appropriately tart, if somewhat predictable, blackberry sauce drizzled over it. Dirk went for the more adventurous apple strudel with mushrooms. I can vouch for the fact that the gently cooked, nutmeg-infused apples and the thinly-sliced cremini mushrooms were a perfect marriage within the flaky strudel crust.

Every trip to Paris is a culinary delight. I always find something new to love. We could not recommend our little studio apartment, with its yawning abyss toilet and barely there water pressure, in its present state. However, if the bathroom is upgraded, we will try the apartment again. Not until then, though. I still feel a little seasick.

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