In part one, I mentioned the orgy of great food I had. Here is proof of the deliciousness to be found in Paris and Chalon-sur-Saone, and nary a Michelin star in sight (or the accompanying heart-stopping bill).
Endive salad, and roasted whole fish:
French onion soup and Coq au Vin:
Salmon in a cream broth with potato purée topped with pesto, and brownies with pistachio crumbles and sauce:
The dining room at the Musee D’Orsay where I ate the aforementioned salmon and brownies:
Endive salad with raw white mushrooms, sautéed onions with sweet red peppers, sprinkled with crumbled egg yolk, grilled pork with a pumpkin casserole topped with a cream sauce and gruyere cheese, and the wildest eclair you’ve ever seen:
The above was from the dining room at the Hotel St. Georges in Chalon-sur-Saone, the birthplace of photography (thus my reason for going there). I can highly recommend the St. Georges hotel and their restaurant- the rooms were brand new, sparkling clean, the service was friendly and impeccable, and the dining room was one of the best restaurants I ate at on the entire trip.
The dining room:
Lunch at the take-away counter at Versailles. A ham sandwich and an eclair:
Steak with potatoes and greens:
Bananas with creme anglaise and powdered cocoa:
Green salad and grilled lamb chops with pumpkin purée:
The only quibble I have with the French is that they seem to have no idea whatever of what to do with pasta. The noodles in the boeuf Bourguinon were way past al dente and somewhere between soft and dissolved. I grabbed a veal Milanese for lunch which was perfectly cooked and delicious, but the pasta side that came with was bare of sauce (a very small cup of marinara was provided to dip the cutlet in) or even butter! It was like, “we know there’s supposed to be pasta with Italian food, but we don’t know what to do with it, so we’ll just stick it over there and hope nobody notices”.
And last but not least, the humble hot dog. The French manage to elevate one of the most humble of foods into gourmet territory by putting it in a baguette slathered with Dijon mustard and topping it with melted cheese.