Beef · Chicken and Poultry · Main Dishes · Seafood · Side Dishes · Sweet Treats

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Eating Down the New Year Parisian Style

Lauberge de montparnasseOh yes, that’s right ladies and gents.  The New Year was spent in Paris.  And it was lovely.  Quite lovely at that.  Being an American in Paris is already special, but being an American in Paris on New Year’s Eve is spectacular!  Especially when you get to spend the last day of the calendar year feasting on fabulous French cuisine.  No doubt there is nothing but good eats in the City of Light, and lucky for us, we found them.  This  meal was even better because Duo was chosen to be part of Foodbuzz.com’s December 24 ,24, 24 extravaganza–24 meals from 24 bloggers in 24 hours around the world.  Chouette!

Now when you’re in the States, you plan ahead by making your New Year’s details early.  It goes without saying that when you’re heading overseas, it helps to do the same.  That’s why we feverishly set about the search for a quiet, intimate location that wouldn’t send us to the bank to pull out a loan.  Dining in Paris is notoriously pricey, and with the American dollar steadily plunging, it was looking pretty scary as we calculated multi-course meals at 150, 195, 200 euros.   Of course we want to be young and fabulous in Paris, but that’s rough when you’re what we like to call broke.  We finally came across L’Auberge de Montparnasse, appropriately named for its location in Paris’s 14th district.  It looked quiet and intimate, the menu of grilled fare made our mouths water and the cost was perfect.   All set.

The New Year’s Eve evening proved to be everything we were promised.   Whipping winds.  Freezing cold temperatures.  Couples holding hands.  And so we were bundled tightly in coats and scarves, gripping arms through les boulevards de Montparnasse.  The thought of candlelight and wine kept trudging along.  Well, mostly the wine.  The restaurant was only seated with one family upon our arrival.  Clearly Americans as it was only 7:30 and most true francais do not dine that early.   The resto was quiet, homey and bordering on understated chic at the same time.  We were greeted at the door by the friendliest folks we’d encountered all week.  Surely, they could tell we were hungry Americans.

The evening’s menu was quite varied for a prix fixe affair (including an apéritif and a bottle of wine for 3-oh la la).  Our level of French was enough to decipher the basics, but of course we didn’t know what every word on that menu said, but sometimes a surprise can make the meal even better.  Our choices from the menu included the list below.  (Note what we had in italics.)

LES ENTRÉES
– Assiette de foie gras Maison
– Carpaccio de boeuf au parmesan et à l’huile d’olive
– Carpaccio de saumon et basilic

– Poêlée de calamars et sa salade de roquette
– Roquette et copeaux de Parmesan

– Os à moelle
Lauberge beef Lauberge salmon

LES BILLOTS, à déguster à 2
– Côte à l’os 900g
– Brochettes de boeuf
– Gambas
– Billot de la Mer

LES VIANDES, comme vous les aimez
– Côte à l’os 450g
– Entrecôte
– Faux-filet
– Filet de boeuf
– Pavé de rumsteak
– Escalope de volaille

LES POISSONS, délicatement grillés
– Daurade
– Trio de poissons
– Dos de cabillaud
– Pavé de saumon
– Espadon
– Gambas

Lauberge rumsteak Lauberge salmon Lauberge entrecote

LES DOUCEURS MAISON
– Mille-feuilles de meringue
– Mousse au chocolat à l’orange
– Tarte au chocolat
– Profiteroles Maison
– Tarte Tatin et sa vanille
– Crème brûlée
– Salade de fruits frais
– Fromage blanc au coulis de fruits rouges
– Les griottes et leur vanille
– Coupe de l’Auberge Glace café arrosée d’un café.
– Nougat glacé
– Glaces et sorbets 3 boules au choix: Vanille, Café, Chocolat, Fraise, Mangue, Caramel au beurre salé, Noix de pécan, Noix de coco, Citron vert, Litchi, Framboise, Pistache et Réglisse

Lauberge tarte tatin Lauberge profiterole Lauberge chocolate tart

Lauberge Cocktails

What were we missing?  The wine!  Trust us, it was ordered in abundance.  It is France of course.   The lovely Les Chapelle we were served paired nicely with our plats principals. The country’s red wines had proved to be the winner during our time here.  Nothing could beat a heavy Bordeaux on a chilly evening, and we noticed it was also the bottle of choice if we were invited over for a drink at a friend’s home.

As the meal proceeded, the impending excitement for the New Year built.   The second we arrived, the winding streets were full of bouncing energy, merchants were enthusiastically hawking their wares  and every ounce of the city’s being screamed “Let’s get this party started!”  It’s interesting to celebrate an American holiday overseas.  We imagine Thanksgiving in Singapore or Fourth of July in Santiago to be completely unique and interesting experiences as those are 100% American holidays spent on foreign soil.  But the coming of  New Year happens all around the world, and no one wants to miss that party.

When we walked out onto the chilly street with full bellies, we knew the evening had really just begun.  Our counterparts on the other side of the world were much farther away from ushering in 2009, we had only a couple more hours to wait.  The trek to the Eiffel Tower was beyond a spectacle.  Thousands of other people heading in throngs to the city’s monumental icon for the countdown.  The metro was packed past capacity, tables sold 10 euro bottles of champagne and everyone was huddled together to share a toast.

Of all the New Years to go down in the books, this one was the winner of the gastronomical gamut.  Great food, good company and glasses of vin.  It was truly magnifique. Bonne année!

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18 thoughts on “Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Eating Down the New Year Parisian Style

  1. Looks like you had an amazing evening filled with great food. I wish I was in Paris for New Years 🙂

  2. This sounds like it was amazing 🙂 What a wonderful way to spend New Years! I’m actually heading to Paris later this year and would love to hear if you have any additional restaurant recommendations.

  3. Thanks for visiting my Foodbuzz 24,24,24 post. Wow, dinner in Paris sounds lovely, very romantic and fun – a great way to ring in the new year!

  4. Congrats on the 24,24,24! C’est magnifique! You have made me really want to return to Paris! I’m craving wine like it’s Friday night, not Wednesday! Thanks for the tip about the flaked salt on the brownies, I will do that next time. Served up with some creamy coconut ice cream, it will be divine. Cheers.

  5. WOW what an experience!! And to be able to have foodbuzz help sponsor it!! It looks like you had a fabulous time! Delicious! And i’m so happy you liked my sushi adventure for 24 24 24, we had a great time! 🙂

  6. …and this southern girl thought NY’s Eve at the Rainbow Room, NYC 1998, was the highlight of my life for this kind of celebration…sounds like you had a grand evening…and the food looks interesting and yummy!

  7. How romantic and delicious. I am so jealous. I agree that sometimes it’s better to not know what you are eating because you leave your preconceived notions behind. The same can even be true in English. I’m not sure my boyfriend would have ever tried sweetbreads if he knew what they were, but he absolutely loved them.

  8. Oh sure, rub it in that you spent the New Year’s in Paris!! Gads, you’re making us all crazy with envy. But hey, if we couldn’t manage it, we’re glad that you did. I hope you had a glass of bubbly there for all of us.

  9. what!?!?! first of all, congrats on the 24, 24, 24! that is so awesome that you spent new years in paris–it is my all time favorite city. Next time you go you need to check out Le Petit Chatelet. Its this adorable little restaurant right by Notre Dame so you think it would be touristy but it isnt at all. It is amazing food at a totally reasonable price. I am so jealous!!!!!

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