Le Temps des Cerises – that’s where Richard and I had lunch the other day – a small medieval house turned bistro in 1830 on the corner of rue de la Cerisaie and the long quiet street, le Petit Musc, where, it’s rumored, Victor Hugo could be seen scrurrying along after secretly leaving his house (and wife) in Place des Vosges to visit his incredibly faithful actress mistress Juliette Drouet on the Left Bank.
But enough gossip.
Lunch was superb. For 13 euros we had a most filling and delicious formule: an entrée and plat. The entrée was a light green vegetable velouté that afterwards had me scouring every Mona Lisait book store for a little jewel devoted to these thick, rich French soups. Someday, I will find that little book; in the meantime, I know that once you have the ingredients just right you mix them with a long electric tool called a “pied,” which I do own and which whirls everything to just the right velvety consistency. What a delight the taste is.
Following the velouté, Richard and I both chose the cabillaud, a marvelous cod in pesto sauce, served over roasted zucchini and green beans. Ahhhh!! And the serving was so generous I couldn’t finish it all.
Richard knows I am not a fan of fruit (yes, that does mean fruit in general – one of only three people perhaps in the entire universe who rejects raspberries and kiwi and bananas, etc., outright) and since Richard didn’t want to eat the pear crumble all alone, he abstained, but oh, it did look scrumptious, even to “fruit rejecter” me.
As we were having our coffee, in came two California friends, Jerry and Daniel, who visit Paris three months every year and who eat at least once a week at Le Temps des Cerises. Jerry said he is amazed that in all the time they have been eating there they have almost never seen the same special twice, and what they have had has always invariably been good. Furthermore, Sylvie the waitress is always as nice as possible. High praise.
And you may even fall in love there, but beware of a broken heart, as the song foretells:
Quand vous en serez au temps des cerises
Si vous avez peur des chagrins d'amour
Évitez les belles !
Moi qui ne crains pas les peines cruelles
Je ne vivrai pas sans souffrir un jour...
Quand vous en serez au temps des cerises
Vous aurez aussi des chagrins (peines) d'amour !
When it’s cherry season time
If you’re afraid of a broken heart
Avoid attractive people!
Since I’m not afraid of cruel hurt
I will inevitably suffer one day…
And when it’s cherry season time for you
You too will have a broken heart!
(“Le Temps des Cerises” written in 1866 by Jean-Baptiste Clément and often associated with the 1870 Paris Commune. Hugo would have heard the song when he returned from exile on the Isle of Guernsey in 1870).
In addition to my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, we now offer Eye Prefer New York Tours, 3-hour walking tours of New Yorkís best neighborhoods including Soho, Meatpacking/West Village & Tribeca. Tours cost $195 for up to 3 people and $65 for each additional person.Come take a bit of the Big Apple on an Eye Prefer New York Tour!
Come experience my blog ìliveî with my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I lead. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris. www.eyepreferparistours.com
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotteís professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.