Yoony Eats Paris: Charcuterie, Cheese & Dining at Georges
Waking up pretty late from clubbing the night before and having had a lot to drink, we needed some nosh and more libation to get our evening going. A quick look into N's guidebook led us to Cafe de L'Industrie, which conveniently was just around the block. It was still pretty early and the place was empty and calm. Which was good because the seven of us were able to comfortably settle into a few tables in the back.
One bit of French dining that I love is starting off the meal with an aperitif. I do often start my dinners out with a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne but being presented with an aperitif menu upon arrival was nice. A drink to keep me company while I make food and wine choices. For my aperitif I ordered a glass of lillet, which I actually had once at Chez Panisse.
While sipping on the lillet I perused over the menus on the wall. I saw a "assiette de charcuterie" and I knew that was exactly what I needed. A nice plate of thinly sliced jambon, saucisson, pate and onion jam. My favorite was the saucisson, a dried-cured sausage ever so perfectly sliced into very thin pieces. The ham and pate were also delicious and I gobbled these up with the endless baskets of crusty baguette slices.
We also ordered the cheese plate which featured a blue, a fresh goat cheese, a creamy brie, and a semi-hard cow's milk cheese like gruyere. Maybe it was gruyere but I didn't ask! The likelihood of me asking a question leading to mass confusion was very high. All the cheese were delicious and each piece so fresh and in such generous proportions. The blue cheese was so creamy and had the perfect amount of pungency. It was choice pairing for my charcuterie and glass of red wine.
After our casual noshing and chatting at Cafe de L'Industrie, we headed back to our flat for a short rest for we had a dinner reseravation at Georges at the Centre Pompidou. The restaurant which sits atop the top of the museum was supposed to have a great view of Paris. Because we were not early birds we didn't get a chance to take a look at the Centre's exhibitions and instead went straight to our dinner.
The restaurant was super modern, diners were posh, and people who worked there all looked like models. It kind of felt like being back in LA. The view was great though from the top with the city being all lit up and stuff. However, we were seated right next to the entrance which didn't a view. :/ Instead, there were two sets of industrial heating vents that was blasting some hot ass air making the space really hot and stuffy. We ordered their supposedly famous mojito (although I don't know why a French restaurant would be good a making a proper mojito), and it was pretty bad. And we were shocked to find out it cost 15 euros!
And then it was time to wrestle the menu which had all sorts of cryptic names on it, like Crying Tiger which one would think was a spicy shrimp dish. But noo, it was steak marinated in cognac. We were all quite confused and bombarded N, the only one in our group fluent in French, with so many questions. Their menu was pretty international, covering French and also Southeast Asian flavors.
After much debate Boy and I ordered the King Crab in a Thai curry sauce for 39 euros. I was pretty skeptical of how the dish may turn out especially after having the very bad mojito but the dish was really good and the amount of crab was generous. I just wish I was having it at a restaurant in Thai Town for half the price. Anyhow, back to the delicious part - the crab meat was so tender and juicy and the curry sauce perfect for sopping up with a bowl of jasmine rice. And I got a few bites of E's steak dish, also an Asian twist, which came with nuoc cham for dipping. The steak was cooked so perfectly tender and juicy. The thought of it is making my mouth water now.
T ordered Escargot only to find that two of the shells were empty. After many unsuccessful attempts to pry out the elusive snails, T turned to demolition determined to get those snails out. There he is up there fighting with the escargots. This was the highlight of the dinner for me, the *smash*smash* part that is. When cracked open the shells were indeed empty and the kitchen graciously sent out four more for him.
Whew, we finally got through the very long dinner of menu translating, menu explaining, escaped escargots, and non-mojitos, we walked out into the refreshingly brisk air and got a the quick view again of beautiful Paris from atop Centre Pompidou. Then we quickly made our exit and started our night of club hopping.
Here is me tired at about 2 in the morning. The crepe cart parked right outside the club we were in line for was selling beer. How awesome is that! It was awesome until I really had to goto the bathroom. But here I am enjoying a crepe au fromage and a cold heine.