Monday, November 19, 2012

Autumn in Paris


While it can be easy to let the day after day gray Parisian weather get you down, the silver lining is that the change of seasons brings a burst of color against the neutral slate.


Bright yellow leaves are making a big showing right now.  The color pops right off the dark tree trunks.


The banks of the Seine are framed with remnats of the once large trees that shaded many a picnic in the brief summer weather we had this year.


With the gray, also comes rain showers, but then the leaves glisten, and the parks turn peacefully quiet.


There's only a few traces of red.  The stand out note is a canary yellow that makes me gasp every time I see a new cluster.


If it's going to be cold, we might as well bring on Christmas too.  The first of the Christmas markets was set-up this week-end along the Champs Elysee.  I checked them out with a French friend who had actually never been to this one.


We drank vin chaud, the official drink of the markets.  It's a warm mulled wine with spices and always feel as nice in your hands, as it does to drink.


There are many stands selling scarves, soap, toys, jewelry, and of course French foods in beautifully outfitted chalets.


The ferris wheel also goes up on Place de la Concorde this time of year, and when I arrived the Eifflel Tower was sparkling in the distance beside it for quite a lovely sight of lights.


And there's nothing like a good bistro meal to warm the soul. 


We had a ladies dinner at Chatomat this week-end, a restaurant in the 20th that I've been trying to get to for some time.  It was well worth the wait.

 

It's a small menu with just 3 choices for starters, and 3 for mains, but we didn't go wrong with any of them.  We received a lovely warm mashed potato amuse bouche with brussels sprout leaves in a buttery foam.


I continued with a warm winter soup with bright notes of colorful lime sliced on top, while the others had the freshest smoked salmon on a raw vegetable salad with blinis served on the side.

 

I wish I had taken pictures of the amazing mains of pork and steak, but then there was this.

 

...which led to a lot of this...


...and yes, there was a good amount of this as well.  In fact, we drank them out of the Grignolino d'Asti.

 

I regained composure to enjoy a wonderful dessert of a warm mix of cooked pears, topped with ice cream and toasted walnuts.

 

While the temperature drops, Paris still offers many ways to stay warm.  I'm soaking in all the warm moments I can before I ship off for a different warmth that includes palm trees and hugs.

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