jeudi 2 avril 2009

Playing tourist for an hour

Normally, I don’t look forward to going to the bank but as I had to go to my agence which is beautifully located at the Place Dauphine, it gave me the perfect opportunity to play tourist for an hour. The fact that today truly felt like spring made it even better. I walked across the Pont Neuf, struck afresh by how beautiful this city really is till I reached the Quai de l’Horloge. It wasn’t long before I reached the Place, which itself is just behind the Palais de Justice. I’d been here once before but had forgotten all about it. It’s a charming little place, and quiet, with just a few people lingering in the sun. It had quite an importance in the past as it was one of Henri IV’s most important urban projects. Construction was begun in 1607 and was finally completed in 1616. Funnily enough, Baron Haussman had planned to demolish the Place in order to construct an altogether different Place. Fortunately for us, such plans didn’t materialize.

There are a few restaurants in this Place and as it is literally next door to the Maison du Barreau and the Palais de Justice, its safe to say that the three restaurants were chock full of lawyers. After a bit of a gander, I chose La Rose de France on the eastern end of the Place. It had a charming look, with the interior windows slid open to let the sunlight in to those who had to dine inside. Needless to say their little terrase was full. Suited men lunched with impeccably dressed women (some with ginormous jewelry) and I in my jeans and sneakers, though golden in turn, must have stuck out slightly. Nonetheless I was welcomed warmly and given a nice table, not at all near the toilets!
The menu was surprisingly impressive for such a tiny place. Entrees included foie gras and smoked salmon, while the mains included gambas, steak, lamb and duck. Oh, and they also had escargot as a main dish! And if you’re not feeling quite like meat or fish, they also have giant salads plates that looked tempting and succulent. After a bit of a struggle, I decided on the plat du jour which was a nice roasted side of chicken served on a bed of tagliatelle noodles. It proved to be a delicious choice! The chicken baked just right, the meat retaining its juiciness without being undercooked. I couldn’t resist having dessert because as I walked in, I was immediately struck by the luscious looking fondant au chocolate decorated with slices of orange that the couple next to me were having. It proved to live up to its promise. The fondant had the perfect gooey center that melted as your fork cut into the cake. And they served it with thick orange based syrup on the side which complemented the chocolate in just the right way, the sauce making the dessert sweet yet tangy at the same time. The only quibble that I have for this place is its price. It’s not exactly a budget lunch. Entrees were 13 euros while main dishes were at 19. Their formule menu is 27 or 36 depending on whether you are having a two course or three course meal. Salads were a little more reasonable. Oh well. I guess the prices are pretty much within the price range of its regular habitués. Nonetheless, I can’t regret my lunch there. Good food, the sun shining brightly and a great view to enjoy. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Practical details

La Rose de France
24, Place Dauphine
75001 Paris
01 43 54 10 12

The beautiful Pont Neuf with La Samaritaine in the background...

Did you know that this little square just below the Pont Neuf was the original level of the Ile-de la Cite?.....

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

oh great, very great ! (Philippe Loisirslesbonsplans)

Pink Princess a dit…

Thank you Philippe!