This ‘Friday Tradition’ post comes a bit late because I’ve been banging on about green vegetables and pak choi, and for this I apologise but I promise, I didn’t have a choice!
On Friday the 6th (yup, I’m that far behind), my friend Hayley who you’ve heard about from such posts as ‘roasted broccoli‘, recommended that we go to Rue Montorgeuil for our weekly dinner. This bustling, long and cobbled street is famous for its restaurants, markets, florists and chocolatiers, an electronic music video featuring strutting, bare-skinned women with the lyrics of the track covering their modesty, hmfph. It is located in the very central 2nd arrondissement. I arrived about an hour and a half early, so I got off the metro two stops before Etienne Marcel, at Chatelet, and took myself off for a wander. At first I meandered right to the Pompidou Art Centre, which is both fun to say and to look at, before heading right through Les Halles.
Les Halles is brilliant, it has the beautiful Fontaine des Innocents, no named because it used to be a cemetery in the time of the Romans, there are Tudor-y houses sandwiched in-between more modern ones, its busy and the bars are varied and on the border between this area and Rue Montorgeuil is the surprisingly peaceful Jardin de Nelson Mandela. On its edge is the Syndicat Général de la Bourse de Commerce de Paris which also looks a bit like an observatory, and watching over the garden with a Gandalf-like eye, is the Eglise Saint Eustache, which is up there with one of the wisest churches I’ve seen.
Whenever I go out into the city, my brain gets out its dot-to-dot map of Paris and attempts to make sense of it. This evening proved to be more exciting than I had anticipated, because after walking to the end of Rue Montorgeuil, then up a bit, right a bit, I came to Port de Saint Denis and my brain quickly connected the dots from the 1st arrondissement, to the border of the 10th.
As you can imagine, after all my exploring I realised I was pretty peckish. Luckily, Loums got off the metro at precisely this moment and I walked him from Réaumur Sébastopol, down through an arcade I had found, but not before noticing a small mural of Chun-Li and Cammy White from ‘Street Fighter’ makin’ out above an incense shop. After walking up and down and around, I suggested we go to a restaurant which had caught my eye a little while before, and so to Denize we went.
Denize is a really great restaurant. Big heavy wooden farm door, beams everywhere, candles on the table, comfy chairs, light blue walls, its just laaaavely. The menu is great as you can chose to either have more picky food like olives, cheese board, dips etc. or you can go for their menu and helllooooooooo ridiculously good quality food! I had the carpaccio de betrave et son oeuf (the beetroot was delicious and the egg was perfectly cooked while the yolk was runny and all was seasoned beautifully, and refreshingly fresh starter) and for the main, I had the Poisson du jour et sa sublime ratatouille (Salmon was the fish of the day and the ratatouille was indeed sublime), and Loums had the Belle Entrecôte et ses frites which was very well seasoned and cooked. Also, I love how they referred to their accompaniments as ‘ses’, ‘son’ or ‘sa’, like they were brothers and sisters, cute.
It was a really lovely meal and I’m taking a couple of friends there next week as I know they’d love it. As it was such a nice evening, we decided to go for a walk back through Chatalet, across the river before stopping off a bar we like called ‘The Great Canadian Pub’ (I love that in this city, the only pubs you can find are Canadian, Irish, or Scottish, but never English!) and after a whiskey
or two it was time to head home. Well done Paris, and thank you for a lovely evening.