We awoke on our first full day back in Paris ready to go. We had the remnants of our previous evening's shopping and then headed off. The Missus wanted to visit Pere Lachaise Cemetery, mainly because She had read about it in various guidebooks. I knew of the cemetery because of one specific gravesite. I thought this would be kind of neat, so I was all for it. We caught the metro and got off at the Pere Lachaise stop.
Walking the winding paths, we were taken in and overwhelmed. It was at the same time haunting and yet beautiful. Each grave and tomb told a different story.
And while I had a mental list of all the famous laid to rest here; Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Edith Piaf, we were so taken in by "la cite des morts" (the city of the dead), that in the end, I really only tried to find the final resting place of one American.
I sent a text to one of the folks whom I knew would understand, CC.
And still there were a few interesting resting....and perhaps "non-resting" (for now) that caught our attention.
I noticed this grave had metro tickets lying on it.
So I felt compelled to add mine to the pile.
The Missus looked at me and said; "why are you doing this, you have no idea who this person is." To which I replied "this is Gilbert Morard former head of SNCF, the official train company of France!". Google to the rescue again!
We found this tomb to be kind of freaky.
A camera stares back at you........ When we got back to the states I found that the person this is meant for, André Chabot is still alive. This space is reserved for André Chabot a photographer who specializes in "funeral art". Go figure....
That's not to say there aren't any tombs that aren't plain creepy and scary.
We decided to walk back to the 7th (of course), taking the long way.
We soon passed the flagship store of Galeries Lafayette and the Missus was totally entranced by the Christmas displays. From the huge Christmas Tree several stories high, with balloons slowly rising up and down as the tree slowly spins. We linked to several videos we took in our Christmas post.
If that doesn't stir the inner child in you; the window displays along Boulevard Haussman will.
It's mesmerizing and so wonderful. And less you think there's no rhyme or reason to it....well, every year, the display tells a story. On this Christmas season, it was a love story, of a pigeon named Pierre and a dove named Coco. They run into each other in Fairground and the window displays tell that story.....
Who doesn't love a Christmas romance? We ended up stopping by Galeries Lafayette several times. And without fail, the Missus just had to go in and view the trees and spend about 20-30 minutes staring at the window scenes.
As we got close to our apartment, we stopped at the Rue Saint-Dominique location of Sadaharu Aoki.
Sadaharu Aoki is well known for blending Japanese flavors into traditional French desserts.
103 Rue Saint-Dominique
75007 Paris, France
We wanted a place that was casual and low stress for dinner. The Missus had enjoyed our dinner at Christian Constant's Les Cocottes on our previous visit to Paris. So why not complete the set and visit his no reservation, open all day, Café Constant.
Man, this place was packed.......a combination of Parisians and tourists.
The service was quite genial and while it didn't look like there was room for us....they made some....under the stairwell. Which we got a kick out of.....
To tell you how laid back this place is....well, the couple next to us had their Lab under their table. He'd poke his head out once in a while hoping for a hand-out!
We decided to just go for the 36 Euro 3 course meal....something easy, not much thinking involved.
The Missus started with the Tartare de saumon, huîtres et bar au gingembre - Tartare of oysters, seabass and salmon seasoned with ginger and lemon, which was surprisingly good and refreshing.
Not too heavy handed on the ginger; very tender salmon and seabass, this was much better than I expected.
I had really enjoyed the rustic Country-style Pate at Les Cocottes and they had the same one here on the menu.
Nice earthy flavors, not overly rich, just as I remembered.
As Her main the Missus had the Parmentier de cuisse de canard croisé au vin rouge, pommes gaufrettes - Potato Parmentier with duck in red wine sauce and potato gaufrettes.
Again, done by the book and done well. Nice potatoes; the sauce wasn't overly salty or winey, the duck toothsome, but not tough, with a nice earthy-gamy flavor.
I had the Stewed Beef Cheeks - Joues de boeuf.
The beef cheeks were very beefy, tender, and the potatoes and carrots were nicely stewed; not mushy, not hard. The stew itself needed a bit of help with some salt and pepper though. The texture of the stew was good as it nicely coated one's tongue.
The Missus got Her first Rum Baba, which She immediately took to.
Too sweet for me....but She loved it.
I had a forgettable cheese plate......
In the end, the service was good, the food, while not amazing was comforting, the price not bad....for Paris. Like Les Cocottes...no muss, no fuss, no complaints.
Sometimes you want a by-the-book dependable meal and this did the trick......
139 rue Saint-Dominique
75007 Paris, France
It was time to get some rest......tomorrow was going to be a shopping day for the Missus!