Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Belleville, Bercy, Basque and BBQ

The sun decided to tease us this week, and what a wonderful tease it was, yes, was, as the rain did join us again today.

It turned into a week of B's, with the first B being dinner at Le Basilic, a Basque restaurant in the 7th.  It had a nice atmosphere with art deco light fixtures and bright walls with Spanish bulfighting pictures on them.

It was a great little find tucked down a quiet street near Invalides, serving great lamb, and wonderful ravioli.

After Le Basilic, we went to a Boat along the Quai for an Internationals party.  The problem with the boat was that the party was on the floor below the deck, and therefore there weren't a lot of water views, but was still a nice crowd to mingle with.

I was back in Belleville this week-end for their bi-annual Portes Ouvertes.

I went to this same event last fall, where the many artists in the area open their homes and studios to the public to see their work.

It's enjoyable for the two-fer aspect of seeing interesting art, sculptures, photos, and then also being able to peak into people's homes and see their creative use of space like this one, which makes my apartment now feel like a mansion.

I had the pleasure of dining with one of my oldest friends (ok, she's not old, but our friendship is) from Los Angeles.  She was in town for a Paris visit and we got to catch up at a fun, trendy new restaurant in the Marais called Pamela Popo.

It was a quirky spot with bright colors, comfortable chairs, and good food.  The prefect trifecta! 
Full review on Girls' Guide to Paris here.

Sunday I was back to the B's with a visit to Bercy Village.  I had been wanting to see what this little shopping area was all about.  It used to have warehouses to hold wine coming into Paris.

Now it just holds wine in many outdoor restaurants and cafes that line the small village.

There's a few stores to peruse, and we also wandered through a furniture show happening at the same time.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a leisurely walk along the water and through yet another event, called the D'Oh festival.  I'm hoping it was a play on on the word for water, "d'eau," and didn't have anything to do with the Simpson's. 

We walked along the huge Bercy park, filled with sun worshippers, ready to throw their umbrellas away.


We wandered past the beautiful Gare de Lyon with a clock so beautiful that I wanted to find out how to make it into a watch.


And then, finally, it was time for the first glass of rosé.  Nothing says warm weather quite like a nice, cool, glass or rosé wine.

The thirst then turned to hunger and I remembered a place I had passed a few weeks back and I crossed my fingers and dragged my friend Lisette along in hopes I could find it and it was open.  Voila it was, and we were in for our first taste of BBQ in Paris.

We spoke to the owner who is in fact from Texas like Lisette, so we were quite anxious for what was ahead.

We sampled the beef brisket, the ribs, and the sausage (we shared, ok). All were smoked in the first smoker ever to hit Paris, and slathered in a special, homemade sauce of tomatoes and spices.  I will admit to some of the meat being a little dry, but covered with enough sauce, it was all good.

We had sides of delicious corn bread, mac and cheese, cole slaw and ice cold, Grolsch on tap.  They did also have Bud in a bottle, but there was no way we were going to drink wine with BBQ.  We did have to cap the meal off with some homemade peach cobbler.

Unfortunately this place is too close to my house and they do take out, so I'll be sampling the pulled pork sandwich sooner than I should.

This may have been a week of B's, but it is May, and M is for....norMandy.  Well, N is at least very close to M, and I'm off to Normandy with a few friends to see the D-Day beaches, Mont St. Michel, and many other places soon to be discovered!

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