Of course, I’m thinking about Paris! How could I not?
Especially since it was not that long ago my wife, Trulee, and I wandered the beguiling streets of this luminous city — thrilled to be immersed again in its endless charm, beauty and sophistication.
But when those despicable, barbaric events of 11/13 so rudely shattered the Parisian night, randomly interrupting lives and shrouding this joyous city in fear, I was overcome with sadness. And anger.
One look at Facebook and I knew I wasn’t alone.
So would Paris be different now? I keep revisiting my experiences there in Setember of last year. As you might guess, the focus was food.
And did we enduldged ourselves — thanks to a well-researched list of the most interesting tables the city had to offer. Everything from three star kitchens like Astrance to creative, new bistros trying to make a culianry mark like Clamato. And those that already have like Frenchie.
Tucked away on Rue de Nil (actually an alley) in the 2nd arrondissement, Frenchie – now one of my favorite places to dine in Paris – is a captivating little space, seating only twenty-six people and serving creative, simply-prepared plates that linger in memory long after you’ve had that final espresso. The food is beautiful, delicious, and affordable.
Thinking back on my meal at Frenchie brings me considerable comfort after the recent unspeakable events. It even brings a smile to my face.
After some champagne, a starter of seared squid with black pudding and tomatoes. Then John Dory from St Jean de Luz with green beans, fresh nuts, kalamata olives and red lemon peel. And to finish, Wild blackberries sorbet, marigold, green lemon and caramelized brioche.
But it was much more than that. It was pure pleasure teased out of simple, pristine ingredients. It was an eloquent expression of the new bistro fare that has been redefining the French dining scene.
And Chef-Owner Gregory Marchand is the one who makes it happen.
A native of Nantes, France, Marchand opened Frenchie in 2009 — after working at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London and Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern in NYC. He’s just as charming as his food.
Yes, I’ve been thinking about Paris. But now, no more dark thoughts…
I want to think about dinner at Frenchie, my conversation with Marchand after that wonderful meal, afternoons bicycling along the Seine. Sidewalk cafes. Shakespeare & Company. Marias galleries. The Louvre. Brunch at Le Comptoire du Relais. Lunch at Septime.
So that’s what I’m doing. How about you?