Come feast with me! Get high on the “Bohemian” the “historic” the “artsy” Paris. Here, on the “Rive Gauche” the left bank, centuries of history still breathe in the old brasseries and Literary cafés where the legendary artists and poets dined.
“A bite of history” takes on a whole new meaning in Paris. Here, on the left bank, I eat at the cafes where Jean Paul Sartre, Hemingway to Lenin and Trotsky were regulars.(played chess). These world famous literary cafes are immortalised in paintings by Picasso, and are the setting of many a novel Hollywood movie too.
It is here, on the left bank, too, that Hotel Lutetia, the first grand hotel of the Parisian Rive gauche opened in 1910. I had no idea that “Lutetia” is the Romans’ name for Paris. Did you know that the motto for Paris was – “fluctuat nec mergitur”, or “she is tossed by the waves but doesn’t sink” – like a ship proudly moored on the riverbank is reborn. The heartbeat was restored to the most Rive gauche of grand hotels.And the historic grand Lutetia with it’s magnificent maritime themed exterior and interiors is proud symbol of Paris herself.
The idea here is to evoke the atmosphere aboard grand yachts of old with the varnished wood along all the the columns throughout the space.
Here, there is a choice of the finest of gastronomy in the restaurants. From the classic and reinterpreted dishes to the triple Michelin starred chef Passadet’s Brasserie Lutetia.
OF EDIBLE MONSIEURS, MADAMS AND MADEMOSEILLES
It is the charming view of historic Paris that is visible from Lutetia’s rooftop (please see photograph) and the brilliant chef Benjamin Brial interprets the spirit of Paris, the classic and beloved simplest of dishes, be it “Croque Monsieur” or “ Croque Madame.
It’s a double feast … of the heartstoppingly beautiful city view and of the brilliant chef Benjamin Brial s reinterpretation of Classic Parisian dishes served way back in 1910 in Parisian bistros and cafes. And even mentioned in many a literary masterpiece. Evocatively named Croque Monsieur (French for Mister Crunch) and Croque Madam (Madam Crunch). While, the Croque Monsieur is made of bread, cheese, ham and sometimes sauce, the Madam has an egg topped on it too.
Having eaten my way through Paris researching the worlds first vegetarian guide to Paris (published by The Times of India), I sniffed out the vegetarian version of Croque Madame…and aptly enough its called Croque Mademoiselle
It’s a lighter delightful version: made of the same bread, but with melting cheese.Begin with thick, slices of white sandwich bread. Stuff it with slices of zucchini. Grill slices of Zuchini, add herbs and cheese. You can drizzle some mustard, add more cheese. Bake it. Add a dash of nutmeg. Your delicate Croque Mademoiselle is ready to eat..
The spirit of the literary and artistic quarter of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is in the air once again at the famed, historic Brasserie Lutetia!The brilliant third generation, triple Michelin starred chef Gérald Passedat is re-establishing Brasserie Lutetia’s old-world charm. The most unique, maritime-inspired Mediterranean dishes dazzle. I get high on the three Michelin starred Mediterranean dishes.
Under the spacious double height ceiling in a relaxed space done up Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the most delicious, hearty, vibrant authentic brasserie fare is served up.
The signature Provençal seafood dishes are capture the briny sea’s rapture. I cant stop eating the unique lusciously marinated jaffa avocado in erotic union with mango, citrus and caviar.
Chef Pasadet’s traditional bouillabaisse, spiked with saffron, is afloat with the freshest of seafood. There is drama on our table as the whole stuffed sea bream is flambéed with pastis at our table. Plenty of the freshest of hand picked oysters, Pistou soup, redrice. The sweet finale of the traditional mille-feuilles and traditional cakes is an experience that comforts and dazzles too!