Grace goes back to Seoul one month from today. I can't believe it. I don't want her to go. She doesn't want to go. We still have so much more to do – so much more trouble to get into.
And we have The List. We were supposed to go out to an important place to eat – restaurant, café, salon du the, patisserie, whatever – once a week – for the last four months. But with her work schedule – as an image consultant – and mine, we haven't been able to do that.
We've made it to a few places – Robuchon, Le Violon d'Ingres, Paris-Brest, Café Constant, L'Os, La Cave a L'Os, Pierre Herme, Peltier, Jean-Paul Hevin, Maison Kayser – it's scary that Paris-Brest and Peltier are already gone.
And now we're down to four weeks. Four weeks to eat in the most important food in Paris – to experience food in France now.
And the top two contenders on my List? The Ali-Frasier fight of the Parisian gastronomic food world? Ducasse versus Gagnaire.
So how did we kick things off? Unintentional fasting food - fast fasting food.
Running around all day today. And then I met the new chef over at Spoon – M. Bellin. Really nice guy – young, frantic – really hit it off. Spoon itself – Ducasse's white to Robuchon's black – modern, minimalist, hip cantine – reminds me in vibe of coffeeshop at The Standard in LA and the breakfast room at the Bel Ami here in Paris – it is attached to the Sofitel – between Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysees. They’ve got a white Molteni in their kitchen upstairs – tiny compared to our huge red monster at ADPA – induction wok, cool – didn't see the kitchen downstairs – connected by a dumbwaiter. Chef said they only have about 8 cooks and do almost 200 covers a day – about a third of ADPA cooks and almost four times the covers. Can't wait to get in on the action.
Finally got home – after the cops released yet another blockade for President Hu. Avenue Montaigne shut down from Francois I to the river – choppers buzzing overhead, vanloads of cops prowling around – frail old French ladies telling them all off.
Later, Grace started running out the door – she needed salad dressing – chunky blue cheese salad dressing. I've offered to make it before – Roquefort, fromage blanc, etc. – but she wanted Wishbone – so we crossed Bosquet to The Real McCoy. The Real McCoy – a tiny walk-in closet sized shop that sells American food to ex-pats and French people who've developed bad habits from living in the States too long. Alfonso – Mexican-American guy who works there – who gives Karli bacon – says their best seller is Kraft Mac and Cheese – at 4 Euros a box. Grace's Wishbone blue-cheese salad dressing – 7 Euros. Bacon – Grace couldn't help it – she ordered a BLT – not bad at 4 Euros – good bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but the bread itself was like ciabatta – and a root beer – 1 Euro. I had an H&H toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with Philly cream cheese – 3.50 – that was no-brainer good.
Much later, we were hungry again. Even though it was starting to snow again, Grace wanted the Korean slushy noodles – spicy buckwheat noodles in a slushy ice broth. I wanted something warm – and made the mistake of having the Robuchon/Fleury Michon Parmentier au Canard frozen dinner that I've had sitting in my freezer for too long. While Grace was slurping on refreshing, spicy, icy noodles – with a soft-boiled egg for garnish – I felt like I'd eaten a bowl of glue. Robuchon or not – it made me not want to eat again – for a long time.
Will continue the fast tomorrow. Going to L'Atelier – Robuchon – again tomorrow night for dinner – with some serious gourmands.