Luxembourg – Jardin et Café

Today was a very cool, mostly cloudy day. There was light rain from time to time. There was sunshine in small pieces. It was not a good day for outside cafés or glace (ice cream) vendors. But, it meant I could wear my light jacket and take a longer walk without getting too hot.

I walked from St Louis, by Notre Dame on Cite, across the Seine, and down Boulevard Saint-Michel towards Le Jardin du Luxembourg. It is printemps (Spring), but the garden would have shown itself much better with sunshine.

I sat on a bench reading until another rain shower came and forced me to move at least under the trees. I read some more, but was getting droplets on the screen of my Kindle. That forced me to move on.

On my way out, I took the above picture which shows a much prettier view of part of the gardens. There are flowers blooming.

Immediately outside of the garden, I was at the corner with Café Luxembourg. The chef du cuisine of Il Casale in Lexington, Daniele Baliani, recommended Café Luxembourg for its tarte tatin. (Madge, Jan, and I went to a great Italian wine dinner at Il Casale and met Daniele that evening.) Since my reading had been canceled, I went in for lunch, dessert, and coffee.

I sat inside, but had a nice view of the busy Boulevard Saint-Michel. One of the “today’s suggestions” was boeuf carpaccio avec frites et salade. I ordered it and an espresso. A very nice lunch – even got my greenery for the day. And, reflecting back, those were my first frites in Paris. I was asked if I wanted anything more and I asked for the tarte tatin, with another espresso.

This tarte tatin was different from others I have had. Many are like the picture below.

These are all quite good, but, as I say, this one was different. The closest picture I found is the one below.

It was an individual serving made in a small (about 10 cm) round dish that was modestly (about 4 cm) deep. The dish had been filled with the peeled apples and seasonings, then covered with a cake or pastry topping, then baked. It was served by unmolding it into a larger bowl with some caramel and a very light dusting of powdered sugar, sided with a small container of very thickened cream. It was worth getting its recommendation from Daniele.

If Jan and I visit, we could both get the tarte tatin and I, since Jan does not like cream, could get both creams!

On walking back to St Louis, I wandered a number of small side streets just south of the Seine. That is prime tourist area as it is just across the Notre Dame. It is also a prime Greek ethnic area. Now I know where to go if I want to try a gyro in Paris.

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