Romantic Paris, Romantic Memories
We had a packed house yesterday afternoon on Valentine’s Day at Parler Paris Apès Midi to hear author and lecturer Thirza Vallois (thirzavallois.com) speak about “Romantic Paris.” She is an amazing ‘off the cuff’ speaker who can elaborate on just about any topic, particularly Paris which is her absolute passion and the Aveyron, another spot on France on which she wrote a tome.
Her talk started with the Aveyron and how at one time in Paris, all the cafés and brasseries were owned by the Aveyronnais who had come to Paris to earn a better living. The owners of La Pierre du Marais, the café in which we hold the meet-up, are of that ilk.
Then, much of the discussion centered around romantic restaurants, beginning with how so many are no longer there from when she first wrote her book, ending with how few there really are anymore at all considering we live in the most romantic city in the world. While the discussion ensued, I was reflecting on the most romantic dinner in Paris I ever had — which took place at “Au Vieux Paris,” a restaurant next to Notre Dame.
Coincidentally, that same evening, I met up with long time friend, Glenn Cooper, who lives in the same building as Au Vieux Paris on the Ile de la Cité. Our plan was to have a glass of wine and then head out to enjoy the Indian-Pakistani cuisine of “Le Partage” on rue Frédéric Sauton in the 5th (number 17) — a quasi-Valentine’s Day dinner between friends.
While having our “apero,” who should come to his door, but Georges de la Rochebrochard, the owner of Au Vieux Paris, who had a favor to ask of Glenn. I met Georges long ago when once dining with Thirza Vallois, who of course, was enamored with his restaurant of Aveyronnaise cuisine, a product of his Aveyronnaise wife and chef, Odette.
I couldn’t help but interrupt their encounter in Glenn’s doorway to tell Georges that his restaurant had hosted the most romantic dinner in Paris I could remember (not to mention many other great meals, one of which was a reception after a wedding). The restaurant has been there since 1995, at 24, rue Chanoinesse, in a building that dates back to 1582 in a house that was once for the Chanoine de Notre Dame de Paris (canon, clergyman). There are seven rooms and three cellars, lending themselves to be of old-world, warm and inviting…and clearly romantic.
Odette’s specialty is of the Aveyron, an area of France little-known by many tourists, but one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution and part of the Midi-Pyrénées region. Recipes from the region include such specialities as “tomaguiole à la tomme fraîche de Laguiole,” “petits farçous sauvages aux sept légumes verts,” “aubraccito (carpaccio de boeuf d’Aubrac),” “coufidou d’Aubrac au vin de Marcillac en marmite,” “cœur de filet de bœuf Aubrac et sauce aux morilles,” “pavé de canard gras de l’Aveyron sauce orange,” “magret de canard sauce orange,” “poule fermière confite,” “terrine aux cèpes, foie gras chaud poêlé, aligot”…and others (as described on the rungisinternational.com Web site).
To learn more about our afternoon with Thirza Vallois and see the photos, be sure to visit Parler Paris Apès Midi and then mark your calendar for March 13th when Bernadette Martin, of Visibility Branding, LLC, talks about “Fusing Personal Branding and Storytelling.”
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. Even more coincidentally, an apartment soon to become one of our bouquet of luxury rentals on Parler Paris Apartments, located just at the Saint-Paul Métro, is named “Au Vieux Paris” and is decorated by Martine di Mattéo in café style! It’s gorgeous, fun and romantic! So, stay tuned for more information coming soon or email [email protected] to learn more.