Cafe Constant – Paris

Another take on the ile flottante and gazpacho; this time together in one meal. A Parisian restaurant next to the Eiffel Tower, Cafe Constant is on the Michelin Guide and is owned by French chef Christian Constant. If you have read my previous blog posts, you might already know by now that I love this red soup and that sweet softness. The former was cool and refreshing, while the latter was good but not one of the best I have had; the salted was better than the caramel in this case. However, I really loved the batter-fried vegetables. They made vegetables more exciting for me (although granted, less healthy); I was surprised that it even made them stand out among the other dishes which are among my favorites.

Alta Taberna Paco Meralgo – Barcelona

I enjoy tapas because it is somehow like a set menu in the fact that you try several courses; the anticipation of what the next platter holds is exciting. When we arrived, we were told that since we had no reservation we had to sit at the bar instead of a regular table. It turns out that the bar seating was closer to the source; where all the action happens. I ordered a gazpacho as my drink and it was really flavorful. Embracing the red fruit, commonly known as a vegetable, we then ate the famous simple traditional Spanish dish: tomato bread. One of the tapas had all eyes on me, literally. I loved the breaded shrimps but this was one shrimp tapa I could not bear to maintain eye contact with. Finally, the Crema Catalana was the something sweet I decided to eat; pardon the rhyming. Unfortunately, the sweetness was masked by a sort of mixture of gasoline-like and something burnt taste. This is most probably due to the blow torch used to caramelize the sugar, except that the result was more burnt than caramel; Salted Caramel doesn’t appreciate being burnt.

Les Papilles – Paris

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A French bistro on the Michelin Guide, a cozy restaurant lined with wine bottles, Les Papilles left a lasting impression. For dinner, the chef prepares a single set menu – take it or leave it. We decided to take it. It was as if we willfully succumbed to the chef’s desires. I loved the fact that this was it; no choices, yet all unexpected goodness. The first surprise was a gazpacho and I have mentioned before that I am fond of a flavorful gazpacho. The main item on the menu was next;a succulent duck breast with roasted vegetables and potatoes. The sauce was more like a glaze and in my opinion that was the real star of the dish. Then came a slice of tangy cheese that was perfectly complemented by the jam reduction. As a finale, we had the panna cotta which successfully completed the whole meal. I was so satisfied with this hearty meal that on the way back from the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of the kitchen. I was lucky that the door was open in that instance and when I saw the chef I could not stop myself from complementing him on his skills. I won’t forget this restaurant that “forces” you to eat what they want for dinner, in a good way of course.