Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pentecost Monday

Who knew the French take Pentecost so seriously?  With  population of 80ish% Catholic, maybe I should have known.  But France is also infamous for separation of church and state, so I did not really consider that everything would be closed Pentecost Monday.  Ee had some errands I wanted to get done so we could relax tomorrow, but everywhere we went we met a brick, or should I say stone wall.  After a Lemon tart and a cup of tea for me and a Coke Zero for JOdi  at Cafe Paul we headed toward the Chateau de Vincennes.  It dated back to before the 1300s and Charles V, St Louis, or Louis the IX spent some time here, but the real work of building the Donjon (the medieval keep) was done by Charles V.  He apparently was a pretty good king and enlarged his territory without much war!.  Imagine that!  Marie DeMedici spent some time here after Henri IV was murdered as did her son Louis the XIII, the predecessor to  Louis the XIV (AKA the  Sun King of Versailles fame).  After Versailles became vogue the grounds were used for a prison, an armory, a manufacturing plant, as headquarter for the Chief of staff of the Armed Forces, until the Germans marched in in 1940 and occupied castle.  They did considerable damage, including demolishing all but one of the 9 towers that were originally built as part of the defense.   The chapelle is lovely and empty, I wanted to break into song just to see how it sounded, but I was afraid Jodi would think I had lost it!  Not to mention the potential reaction of other people visiting the chapelle.   It was a blustery day and we were very lucky, it rained, while we were in the Donjon and we totally stayed dry!  We had looked and looked for downtown Paris while we were at the top of the Donjon, but we could not see a thing.  As we left we decided to get a drink across the street at a little cafe and as we were crossing the street, we could see the Eiffel Tower in all her glory!  I had a lemon drink what was so refreshing, I wish I could get it here!  

Dinner, I decided (Jodi let’s me do that) would be at VerjusVerjus ( it means the tart juice from freshly pressed grapes) is a restaurant and wine bar that the couple that formerly run the Hidden Kitchen that I enjoyed so much, opened up last fall.  It is very near the Palais Royale and Le Grand Vefour.  I had no illusions that Jodi would enjoy the tasting menu, so we opted for the wine bar, which I knew had a couple of very American things on the menu.  I started with celeriac dumplings with dan-dan sauce, chives & toasted peanuts. Jodi, the Joe’s shoestring fries with togarashi & ketchup , the togarashi, had her in a dither, but she was soon asking for extra!  Next was buttermilk fried chicken with napa cabbage slaw & micro greens and veal meatballs for me.  Followed by more Shoestring potatoes for Jodi!  For dessert there was a lemon and yogurt cake with macerated strawberries, and roasted rhubarb a dollpop of Buttermilk ( I think) ice cream.  The wine was good, the food excellent and the atmosphere charming.  Though I have to admit to a bit of longing for thr fun times I had at their apartment with 17 new friends!  On the was back I met my own French Ho and fell flat on my derriere.  It was a slo-mo  moment for me and I truly thought Jodi was going to save me, but no I went down with absolutely no grace!  Never fear though , I have enough padding hardly a bruise to corroborate my tenderness. 

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