So, I’ve been gone for quite some time due to an extensive (and expensive) trip to Europe. My goal in life-after discovering my inner-foodie-was to make the trip to Europe and literally taste my way through some of my favorite countries—that is exactly what I did and I’d like to share some of my favorite experiences with you. It was a cold day in the states when my partner and I made our way to Chicago O’Hare airport with a destination to Amsterdam in sight.
Upon landing in Amsterdam, we immediately ran through the airport and onto a high-speed train to Paris. It was on this 2 hour train ride that I was introduced to my first true taste of Europe. I want to go on the record and say that one should never discount the Europeans and their ability to serve excellent food almost anywhere—even on a train. My meal of choice was a wild mushroom crepe sided with a fresh mesclun green salad and an amazing tri-citrus salad that was bathed in a mint syrup. After finishing this most amazing and complex meal; I immediately peered out the train car window to hopefully see the Eiffel Tower in sight. Although it wasn’t visible, we soon pulled into our final destination, Paris.
We had a mission and we chose to accept it! We headed straight to the hotel, freshened up, and immediately immersed ourselves into the surrounding culture. Even though we had just eaten, the first thought on my mind was: “What’s for dinner?” Our first true meal in Paris was at an idyllic little establishment named “Au Petit Sud Ouest”. This restaurant was nestled in a narrow, residential street and the duck fat aroma that was billowing from it literally perfumed the streets. We both decided to get their duck confit with sautéed mushrooms and pillow potatoes. For those of you that don’t know what pillow potatoes are, it’s essentially potatoes that are cut into thin pieces and fried at different temperatures and in batches to create air within the potato. The end result is a crispy air pocketed potato that helps cut through the richness of the duck confit. The entire meal was everything I could have hoped for and more. Our table was quaint and surrounded by cans of duck and goose fat and I loved every minute of it. In Europe, you never just end your meal with dinner—dessert is a must. So we ordered their signature dish which was an apple tart that was perfumed with Armagnac. At that point, I had died and gone to heaven; however, the true treat at the end or our meal was to walk out and see the Eiffel Tower glowing in its bronze ambiance. It was at that point that I knew I was going to have a life-changing experience. Stay tuned for my next blog post and come along with me on my trip through Europe. I can’t wait to teach you all that I’ve learned and reiterate some of the recipes that will forever inspire me.