Our flight to Paris left LAX at 9:45 pm (about half an hour behind schedule). We arrived a little over 10 hours later at 5:00 pm Paris time (9 hours ahead of the West Coast). I was extremely thankful that I had “splurged” and used more miles to obtain business class seats – that 180 degree “bed” and the extra, extra space makes a world of difference and actually allowed us to catch a little sleep (plus, this trip is a birthday present for my Mom and she deserves a little luxury in her life).
After picking up our bags, we procured a taxi and headed to the apartment that we would call home for the next 10 days. Did I mention that is was 86 degrees when we landed? Our 40 min taxi ride took 2 hours – 2 really hot and sticky hours with no AC – due to la circulation (traffic). We arrived at our apartment in the 6th arrondissement, hot, tired and hungry but excited to be in Paris.
After locating the fans in the apartment and getting them going (like Seattle, most people don’t have AC in Paris because it is largely unnecessary), we quickly showered, changed and headed to my favorite Italian restaurant in the area. Yes, I said Italian.
Italian may seem an odd choice for the first night of a Parisian vacation, but I knew from my trip with Jim in 2008 that the food was good, the service was friendly, and the restaurant, which is at the corner of Rue de St. Sulpice and Rue de Conde is mere blocks from the apartment. When travel weary, a guaranteed good meal is a must.
Unlike when Jim and I visited in January, at nearly 9:00 pm in July, Marco Polo was jam-packed. We secured the last table, which fortunately was outside. Shortly, thereafter a line for tables started.
Being in Paris, we ordered a bottle of Valpolicello and un carafe d’eau to start our meal. Both were brought with a plate of bread and bread sticks.
We then got down to business with the entree du jour (appetizer of the day) – a braesolo domed above a mound of lightly dressed arugula and garnished with a lemon. The dish looked so good, that we dug in before I remembered to take a picture, which was a shame because the presentation was gorgeous.
We then moved onto the main course – otherwise known as a “plat.” I went with the server’s suggestion and ordered the Spaghetti Bartagga – a Sicilian dish of spaghetti flavored with parmesan and “fish” – I’m pretty sure the “fish” was sardines, and it was delicious.
Kate chose a simple ravioli with a sauce of fresh grape tomatoes, topped with parmesan. I stole a bite and it was basic at its best. Simple and flavorful so you could enjoy the savory taste of the pasta, the freshness and sweetness of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the cheese.
My mom went with an unpictured tagliatelle aux fromage, basically, quarto fromaggio. One word – yum. Okay two – cheese heaven. This dish was so universally appealing that Kate and I both stole several bites.
We ended our meal with a shared dessert of citron sorbetto – an icey treat very welcome on such a warm night.