Wednesday, August 24, 2005
of the Petit-Palais
will be done by 1006. I’m looking
forward to seeing the finished product.
Palais, above, and below, a statue on the outside of the Grand Palais.
There is a new
restaurant in our neighborhood. It is
called simply Lucas. While it is quite
“a la mode,” it also serves delicious, savory food at good prices. Tom said he thought this might be one of a handful
of restaurants owned by a chef named Lucas who used to work for someone like
Alain Ducasse. The other Lucas restos
would be in other big cities, like
Here is a web page that
describes Lucas. Please forgive
their awkward English. The food is
definitely French, but quite nouvelle, not traditional. It is going to become the kind of place
where reservations will be essential, but we were there for the “debut,”
according to our server, a bubbly woman of about 40 years old. My entrée was a “tarte fine de lisette,”
with a fine flaky bottom crust, topped by slices of plump marinated sardines
(the fresh kind, not the salty ones), and wonderful finely chopped/sliced
vegetables in a perfect vinaigrette with thin swirls of green and black olive
tapenade mixed with the best olive oil.
Yumm. (A “lisette,” by the way,
is a little known French word that you will only find in certain dictionnaires. It means either a long vest, or a small
knife that doesn’t cut much, such as the kind you would give to a child. My tarte was probably named for the long
vest, because it had a long rectangular shape.)
For my main
course, I had a “grenadin de veau,” which turned out to be two tender chunks
of roasted veal stuffed with a little garlic, served on top of long macaronis
in a cheese sauce (!) with swirls of a nice brown sauce and a smattering of
wild mushrooms. Tom had excellent
“noisettes d’agneau,” which are thick medallions of lamb, covered with herbs,
accompanied by vegetables including peas.
Tom had the
fondant du chocolat for dessert. It
came with a scoop of tasty ginger sorbet.
The chocolate was warm and rich, as it should be.
Lucas, 1 Place Etienne Pernet, 15th arrondissement, Telephone
01-48-28-06-06. Modern French cuisine
before, we went back to Le Bourbon and had another very good dinner. We ate outdoors on the terasse because we
like the view of the Place du Palais Bourbon and the Palais itself (the
National Assembly’s meeting place).
Unfortunately, in front of us sat a group of three young people, two
good-looking guys and a gal, who were probably in their mid-20s, that age
when they think they are invincible and will live forever. They consumed three pitchers of wine and
didn’t eat one bite of food. They also
smoked at least 22 cigarettes – Marlboros, of course. One of these days, this behavior will catch
up with them and they will not look so good or feel so invincible
anymore. It is so sad.
At least a
third of the French people smoke, according to the French newspapers. Now that the Parisians are coming back from
vacation, we are having to put up with more of their smoke and their poorly
tended lit cigarettes. Watch out for
Parisian pedestrians carrying lit cigarettes at their sides! And we are having to put up with more of
their dog shit on the sidewalk. My
observation is that about one in four French people have very unsavory habits
and a disregard for how their slovenly behavior affects others. The other three out of four are extremely
courteous and meticulous. I love those
three out of four. I try to love the
remaining one, but that is difficult.
You can’t say
there isn’t still too much dog shit on French sidewalks. You can’t say that French smokers don’t
toss their cigarette butts hither and yon.
You can’t say that no French man spits on a sidewalk in public. You can’t say that a French smoker will
never burn you with his/her cigarette because they are so careless.
All I can add
to this is that it is a VERY good thing that
There is a
group of politicians who are going to try, by the end of this year, to pass
legislation that will ban smoking in all public places. I wish them the very best of luck and I am
grateful to them for their efforts.
I also wish the
police in each arrondissement the best of luck with catching and fining the
people who do not clean up after their dogs.
The fines are very high, especially for recidivists. (The fine for the first offense is 183
euros, or about $220.) Judging from
the amount of dog shit on the sidewalks, this could be a great source of
income for the government. And the
government here needs desperately to find more sources of revenue.
smoking. The City of