Paris earlier this year w/ H for just two days was a surprisingly low-key trip, involving some good coffee, a few meals and cocktails, taking a Velib for a spin, and a lot of walking around the city and looking and taking photos while skipping most of the major cultural sights.
The beef salad at casual cafe Le Rubis was good, the steak frites was just as expected, the bakeries and macaron shops were plentiful, the coffee at Telescope was some of the best I’ve ever had in Europe (unusually light roast, slightly lemony), the coffee at 10 Belles was decent and in a fun neighborhood to wander around on foot (Belleville), and dinner at Verjus was trying to be “modern” but deeply disappointing.
And a long leisurely lunch at Septime was a highlight:
It involved putting ourselves in the hands of the chef for several spare, ingredient-focused courses– a few tiny carrots fresh from a garden, dark chicken (a local french chicken, poulet) fried in chicken fat– rich and a little wild/gamey and with a drizzle of pureed andouille sausage, seared tuna with turnips and pickled rhubarb, real strawberries (as someone who grew up in a strawberry town I have high standards), and a few cheeses served warm.
Oh, and a local craft beer:
Another fine way to spend a few hours, in an airy, well-lighted farmhouse-like space, and not too formal (a group of friends in their 40s to 50s were having lunch over the course of the afternoon, arriving and leaving at various points through the meal, with one well-dressed gentleman even rolling a folding bike in to tuck behind the table).