Foot-long baguettes, daily gelato and wine frequented the menu of our food-lovin' dreams. So then a big—and might I add, delicious—dream of ours came true last September when we went to Europe.
Many of the places we dined at were lucky happenstances or some food spots I’d seen a Bon Appétit writer visit earlier last year. To be honest, we didn’t extensively research where we’d be eating, but our appetites led us to some unforgettably delicious spots.
Here’s part one of our Europe trip.
D a y 1
Our first two days in Europe were in Paris, when the days were more grey, the leaves were beginning to bid farewell to its branches, and I didn’t bring climate-appropriate clothing. But that’s beside the point. We were in Paris, after all, and we were ready to dive in, tastebuds first.
After grabbing a couple bottles of wine at a nearby market and taking them to the rooftop terrace of our hotel, where we could overlook the city and Eiffel Tower, we decided it was probably wise to get something in our stomachs. Just a short walk from our hotel in the Montmartre neighborhood, known for its elevated views and street artists, was Buvette, which is a sister location to its New York City spot.
To start, we ordered a steamed artichoke with their homemade mayo. Goodness, I can still taste the buttery, whipped, velvety, lighter-than-air, yet robust, golden spread enveloped in garlic that was that mayo. It was similar to a thicker, smoother hollandaise meant more for dipping and less for dousing. To put this into perspective, this was the first time we’d ever fought over mayo.
Next was the cheese and charcuterie plate, which was the beginning of one of many instances we had this for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch and dinner. Several cornichons and olives accompanied by tangy blue cheese wedges, thick-cut salami pieces, prosciutto ribbons, whole-grain mustard and a soft cheese later, it’s safe to say we devoured our weight in fancy fromages and charcuterie. 'Twas simple in thought, yet impeccable in flavor.
Once my sweet tooth began to ache, Cody reassured me that there were gelato scoops that I did not want to miss.
A whole baguette and a few scoops of gelato later, we walked up the many stairs of Montmartre, up to the Sacred Heart Church, where we overlooked the city in its glistening glory. ‘Twas a night well spent in Paris.
D a y 2
Hoping we’d get an early start the next morning, we woke up to look at the time: 11:45 a.m., or 15 minutes before we needed to check out. All of our luggage was sprawled on the floor . . . in every direction. Fun.
Thankfully our hotel allowed us to leave our bags there for the day, and we scurried off to a cute café, Marlette, in the 9th Arrondissement.
Sidenote: Many have asked us whether or not we spoke great French before going to France. The answer is an easy, “In no way shape or form.” Luckily, for us, a guy traveling on our plane to Paris taught us a simple phrase, which he wrote on a scrap piece of paper then titled it “Basic French for honeymooners.”
The phrase translated to “I don’t speak much French, do you speak English?” This phrase alone was enough to get us by in France, partially because we were trying to speak French and, we assume, mainly because they felt sorry for us.
Now, back to Marlette. We both ordered cappuccinos and toast with smoked salmon and avocado. The salmon almost tasted like sashimi, fresh and supple with each succulent bite. We spent some time people-watching before we began our route to the Louvre, which took triple the time because we kept stopping at all of the cheese and cured meat shops (more on this below).
Once we arrived at the Louvre, we realized it was actually open every other day of the week except for that day, Tuesday. We reassured ourselves that we’d be returning to Paris at the end of our trip, so we snapped a few photos in the courtyard, set up our Bluetooth speaker to play Beirut's "Cherbourg" and picnicked in the Carrousel Gardens, adjacent to the Tuileries Garden.
After our fill of meat and cheese, we picked up our rental car and headed to the Champagne region.
Stay tuned for our next installment of "Eating Our Way Through Europe."