I’m so freaking full right now. Like loosen your pants full. And although I have not used the phrase “yummy in my tummy” since perhaps, age 7, the meal I just had definitely qualifies as exactly that.
I was in the library, watching “Nosferatu,” as you know, and I saw Mary from my art history class there. We decided to go to dinner together, and she recommended a place that she and her roommate Clarice had been before. It’s called La Tour Maubourg (which is also the name of the subway stop it’s across from), and it’s pretty much on campus. It’s also right by Mary’s apartment, so we picked up Clarice on the way.
I ordered something called “Moules Marinières, frites,” primarily because it was 11€, and when I asked the waiter what “moules” are, he said “seafood,” which is good enough for me. He brought out our plates and my order was exactly two things: a huge bowl of mussels, and a huge plate of fries. I cannot explain how excited I was about this.
I was getting the mussels out with a fork, but the waiter showed me a much more efficient way to eat them, which is to use an empty mussel shell kind of like chopsticks to pinch out the edible part of the next mussel. I was also very excited about this.
Then I moved on to the fries. (I broke my law of always eating fries first, and I was punished for it, as they were cold.) They were (still) very good. I asked the waiter if the French do in fact in fries with mayonnaise (just in case it was some kind of strange urban legend created to laugh at tourists), which he verified. So I asked for mayonnaise so I could have the French french fry experience, and it’s actually quite good. If you don’t actively think about the fact that it’s mayonnaise and just focus on the flavors, it’s quite enjoyable.
Then we got the dessert menus, with a recommendation for the crème brûlée. I heeded this advice, and holy crap. Up until this point, my favorite non-chocolate dessert has been Mrs. Diaz’s flan. Crème brûlée is proving to be a huge challenge to that; not least because it shares a lot of the same flavors and texture. Like with Mrs. Diaz’s flan, I cannot describe how good this is. Plus, you use a torch to make it! So it’s not just gastronomically pleasing, it’s pyrotechnically engineered.
The one thing that struck me as extremely strange about the restaurant is that almost every patron surrounding us was American. We’re not that close to any tourist sight, although we are not out of walking distance from the Eiffel Tower or Les Invalides. This might also explain why the menu seemed to be particularly French, in a foreigner’s conception of the cuisine. The food was good though, and not ridiculously expensive, so I have no complaints. If they’re super-French, even if to a hyper-realistic extent, that’s fine by me.
I don’t have any pictures since I went right from the library and I don’t bring Candide to school, but I plan to be a weekly regular at this restaurant, so there will be other opportunities. In fact, I think I will take Graham and Ciara there next week, so Candide will be with us then.