Paris: where we stayed and ate

For many years now we use a small hotel “Hotel Chopin” in the Passage Jouffroy. I can’t remember how we found it but once found we keep returning to it. Those of you who are used to 5* might not find it to your liking but it suits us well. It is well situated in a convenient area.

hotel chopin

There are some wonderful specialist shops in the passage where it is situated. The wax museum, Musée Grévin, is at the entrance to the passage and when returning late at night one is greeted by this grinning man in the wax museum.

The 9º arrondissement and its surrounding areas are full of places to eat. If Irish pubs are your thing you have O’Sullivans and Corcorans.

We chose to eat in a typical Parisian brasserie, Gallopin. With its sparkling white linen and courteous waiters, it was well up to brasserie standards. The food was good but not spectacular. I chose fish in a “vin jaune” sauce. I chose this because just the previous day I had had a conversation with a friend about “vin jaune”. I had never heard of it and she was waxing lyrical about it. She is a frequent visitor to the Jura region from where “vin jaune” emanates. It is apparently quite expensive but there is a cooking version on sale. She also told me that if you don’t use the whole bottle on one ‘cook up’ you can just stopper the bottle and it keeps for up to a year…. My complaint, with my meal, was that the sauce lacked either punch or delicacy. But the Pouilly Fumé which accompanied the dish went down like velvet.

Sunday night in Paris is tricky enough to find somewhere to eat. Wandering around we came across two Sicilian restaurants, one tiny and the other bigger and a bit fussy looking. We chose the smaller and were not disappointed. If it’s “haute cuisine” you are after then pass by but if you are interested in a small eating establishment with character then this is your spot. It’s called Trattoria L’Oca Nera, 35, rue Bergère, and does not support a web site. The wife of the bigger establishment runs this one assisted by Eric Giddings! His father was British although he has almost lost his father’s language. The food was simple and plentiful or as plentiful as you wished. The wine was not memorable but the company was.

 

Trattoria l’Oca Nera

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