Thursday, June 16, 2011

Da Rosa, Paris, France

After checking into our hotel, showering and changing, we make our way out to visit the one monument that we've been dying to see up close on our very first day in Paris. Yup, the Eiffel Tower.

We decide to walk up the stairs because it's cheaper and there is no line whatsoever. The lines for the elevators were ridiculous and we're still young and fit and need to justify eating that kugelhopf. Besides, we were planning on eating a huge dinner at Da Rosa so we huff and puff all the way up to the first level, then to the second level before realizing the crowd gathered to go to the very top is only growing so we call it a day and spend the rest of the afternoon waiting for the sun to set on Paris. And, it never did.

Apparently the sun sets closer to 11pm in Paris. It completely messed with my internal clock but who's to complain for more sunshine? Perhaps this is the reason why people in Paris, who eat way more saturated fat than Americans and smoke much more, live longer and are thinner. More daytime hours in the summer = more active lifestyle.

By the time we were done romping around and frolicking in the city of love, we were ravenous and made our way to Da Rosa.

Da Rosa came recommended by two people whose opinion I respect for all things food. David Lebovitz and my food-loving, world traveling cousin in law.

Da Rosa is in the 6th arrondissement (Quartier Latin), which was close enough for us to find rather easily, and we didn't have reservations but they took us immediately over the group of people waiting in front of us (more 2 ppl tables here). But, most importantly, it was right across the street from Grom gelato.

We looked at the menu and ordered a bunch of small dishes and a bottle of wine to start the night off.

bottle of rioja red wine (around 20)

This bottle of wine is around $20 Euros (we don't know for sure because the bill charged us way less by mistake and we won't complain!) It's delicious and potent and goes well with all the food we ordered.

The sweet garlic aka ail doux (1.50)

On the menu, it says something like how it's good for those who like sweet things. They bring out sweet pickled garlic, much to my surprise. This is a classic example of Americans ordering things in France not knowing what it is until it gets there. It's definitely good, and tastes kind of like these pickled garlic I can get at the Korean supermarket in LA. I probably won't order it again though, knowing what it is.

pan con tomate (6)

When these arrive, I'm shocked at the sheer size of it. I wish I took a picture of this dish next to my hand. Each piece of bread is about the size of my palm and the tomato topping is about half an inch thick. Very good bread, simple flavors, hits the spot. When you go to Spain and have pan con tomate, it's literally bread with olive oil and a tiny rub of tomato. If a Spaniard saw this picture, they'd think this pan con tomate is on crack.

Gaspacho autrement Da Rosa : just émultionné à l'huile d'olive et oeuf mamoulex (8)

A hearty bowl of gaspacho arrives, complete with olive-oil flavoring and an egg inside. I never had gazpacho like this before! It's interesting and strange at the same time. Possibly a little too expensive for gazpacho but the portion is hearty.

ESPAGNE Jambon Ibérico "bellota" unico version 100% Ibérique, race pure ibérique (28€)
but we got the tapas version (13€)

This plate of Jamon is no joke. We must have been starving from all that walking around, climbing up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, getting lost, being pedestrian in the city of love... le sigh... we clean our plates, especially the hefty portion of jamon iberico which I remembered paying double for half as much in Jaleo (in both the DC and LV locations) since it's hard to come by in the U.S.

Risotto da rosa ibérico Bellota,au riz carnaroli,jambon ibérique bellota et parmesan (18€)

This looks like a standard risotto with some awesome jamon iberico shaved on top but it is seriously comforting. The jamon flavor meshed with the cheesiness of the risotto brings back memories of eating ham and cheese sandwiches from my dad's supermarket circa 1989 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It doesn't remind me of ham and cheese sandwiches I make back at home, or ham and cheese croissants I used to eat on my way to school but a ham and cheese sandwich made from mennonite cheese and ham my dad used to shave himself for his supermarket. How can food trigger such intense and specific memories?

Da Rosa Spread

After dinner, the last thing on our mind is dessert but we are right across the street from Grom and they are about to close. I need my Grom pistachio fix. The last time I had Grom gelato was in NYC when my hubz' cousin introduced me to the deep, dense, beautifully nutty and creamy pistachio gelato. Ever since then, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

The best news yet is that there is a Grom location in Malibu, CA.

Da Rosa

Address : 62, rue de Seine
Zip code : 75006
City : Paris - France
Opening hours : 10am-11pm
Prices : Less than 25 € for the menu and from 25 to 50 € à la carte.

Closest subway: Odéon

Quartier Latin

33 (0)1 45 21 41 30

33 (0)1 45 21 40 38


Their Menu

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vandermeersch Boulangerie: Paris, France

For our honeymoon, my husband and I decided on an active trip to Europe instead of lounging on the beach in the Caribbeans. Adventure, sightseeing, photo sessions galore, with a foodie journey itinerized from Paris, France to San Sebastian, Spain, to Barcelona, Spain is what I call a honeymoon!

We arrive at 7 in the morning, way too early for check-in but I knew that we would be okay in killing time because the famed Boulangerie across the street, Vandermeersch, would be selling their kugelhopfs (kougloff), which they only sell from Fridays-Sundays.

We leave our bags at Hôtel de la Porte Dorée located in the 12th arrondisement (far from the center of the city, I know) and fast pass across the street. We enter the bakery, manage to form words in our mouth that sound something like bonjour, and point hungrily at the individual sized kugelhopf, which looks sort of like a souffle'd bundt cake. deux, merci!

We know it's rude to eat in public so we walk around with this bag filled with the buttery sweet smell of this still warm kugelhopf, looking for a place to "picnic" because it's not that rude if you're sitting down and looking like you're picnicking, right? We finally find a bench and wait until the coast is clear. We see Parisians walking around, stuffing their faces with croissants. WTF! So rude. Walking and eating at the same time. Who do they think they are? Americans?!

Pshh. At least we were sitting on a bench, picnicking.

Taking the cue from our rude surroundings that it was okay to eat pastries in public, we open our bag and take this out.

We had no utensils so like a barbarian, I tore into the demure kugelhopf and to my surprise, it was not dense like a bundt cake. Rather, it was a contrasting experience from beginning to the end. The outside was crispy, almost flaky while the inside was soft and slightly stretchy, like it wanted to be a croissant. The rum raisins throughout the dough and the toasted nuts in the middle of the hole were a surprise but the best part was the syrup on the bottom of the kugelhopf, which gave it even more juiciness just when you thought it was getting a little dry.

I later found out that the syrup wasn't just syrup, but it had orange blossom water mixed into it. Thanks
David Lebovitz, for the info!
We will have eaten this every day in varying sizes while we stayed in Paris. The individual sized one, which my hubz likes the best because it has the highest sweetness ratio, is nothing compared to the mid ranged one, which I like the best because there is more of the saltier stretchy inside and everyone knows I'm a salt whore. LOVE.

If you're ever in Paris, or in Austria (where apparently the kugelhopf originates) you must get the kugelhopf. It will blow your mind because it's something you never quite had. I'm sure people have dreamt about it, mixing different things they like in a pastry, a cake, and bread, and put it all together in their heads, but not like this.

Vandermeersch is also known for their amazing MilleFeuille (aka Napoleans). Check out how deep it is and how much custard there is between the layers. So Good. Hard to eat with your fingers but we managed!

And last but not least, I love the kugelhopf so much I made a little video with compiled images of all the kugelhopf we ate in Paris. Enjoy!

Vandermeersch Boulangerie
278 Avenue Daumesnil,
Paris, France
Metro: Port
+33 (1) 43472166