jeudi, mai 24, 2007

Carla&Friends Day 6: Terra Nera and La Gueuze

Well, today's post will be pretty succinct, methinks. Essentially, my work day was a work day like any other work day. I had to stay late for reasons that I can only fuzzily recall, and then I headed home and changed for dinner.

I met the rest of the team in front of the Pantheon around 21h00 and we headed over to my current favourite Italian place in Paris, Terra Nera.

After being greeted by the couple that runs the restaurant, we sat down and I started translating the menu. After a great deal of debate over who was ordering what, whether it was okay to order the same thing as someone else, whether it was okay to share plates, and whether it was permissible to ask for doggie bags (answer: NO), we finally made our order. Among the four of us we shared an order of beef carpaccio, a warm salad of spinach and goat cheese, and a fricassée of oyster mushrooms. All of them were delicious, although I was particularly impressed by the mushroom fricassée. They were tender but firm, with a simple butter-garlic-parsely sauce that realy complemented the mushroom's flavor. God, I love mushrooms.

For main dishes, Carla ordered the piccata (braised pork cutlet) in lemon sauce. She said that she couldn't eat the pasta (which she can't...damn anti-inflammatory medication), and the waitress actually brought her a double-portion of the meat instead. Far too kind. I had a poached whole seabass with olive oil and lemon juice. Very lovely, although the poaching made the flesh a bit over-soft. Our other companions had the truffle-cream ravioli and the house special linguine terra nera, which included tasty shrimp and lardons and cherry tomatoes. Although it goes without saying, everyone was impressed with their food (although we had a hard time finishing everything).

For dessert, Carla and I shared a parfait café, which was less what we would consider a parfait in North America, and more a ball of chocolate ice cream with some sort of coffee-flavoured center. The other two shared a chocolate fondant cake, which seems to be a sure-fire winner in Paris.

After paying our bill and finishing our wine (mostly my doing, since the other 3 aren't big wine drinkers), we headed over to La Gueuze for some delicious, delicious Belgian beer. The other three girls aren't big beer drinkers either, so I got them to try some of the sweet and fruit-flavoured beers that those crafty Belgians make. I got the gueuze, which is that sweet-sour lambic beer that I like so much. Carla got the faro, which is essentially a sort of gueuze that has been sweetened with rock candy. One of the others got a bottle of the raspberry beer (which was wonderfully sweet and tart and barely tasted like beer at all), and the fourth among us drank schweppes tonic water...and hated it. Can't please everyone, I suppose.

Anyway, I finished my beer way before anyone else, so I ordered a Kriek (lambic beer mixed with sour cherries), then helped everyone else finish their beers. By this point, everyone was feeling a bit tipsy, so we all staggered our way back to the RER and headed home.

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