I spent my first birthday in Paris eating in a National Monument!
Nicolas Flamel translated manuscripts and made his fortune as an alchemist turning lead to gold. Yes, literally. He also literally shared his wealth by building homeless shelters, and the last one still standing is L'Auberge de Nicolas Flamel.
The charm and history of the original building lends to the elegantly understated decor. The amuse bouche of the two cheese puffs were a savory welcome. The lunch menu includes either starter and main or starter, main and dessert, ether way you also get a drink (wine) and espresso, all for under 25€ ($33 US).
The next table was having the shrimp with zucchini cream and it looked so good that I chose that as my starter. It was a wonderfully creamy soup with delicately sautéed shrimp that was presented with an artistic flourish as the waiter poured the zucchini cream in three moves to fill the spaces in between the shrimp.
I chose the Dorade Royale, or gilt head sea bream, which is probably my favorite fish in Europe. If anyone believes they don't like fish, I would suggest they try this one. The dish was served with an assortment of fresh green vegetables and a purée of eggplant. The fish was remarkably tender and the green vegetables as fresh as they were pretty. I didn't care for the eggplant purée, mostly because it was bland.
I did not get the menu with dessert since I wanted to get my dessert elsewhere, but just as they welcomed me with an amuse bouche when I arrived, they also presented me with two pâte des fruits at the end of my meal that were just the right amount of sweetness and apricot fruit.
I may be a year older, but I'm not as old as the Auberge :)
I wanted chocolate for dessert, and since it's been awhile since I've had Pierre Marcolini, I headed over to one of their stores.
Every shop is slightly different, and this one on Rue Scribe offers not only his chocolates, but also his macarons.
This 34 piece box for 30€ ($40 US) was my introduction to this chocolatier and I discovered I loved his intense dark single origin chocolates, so I picked a few of my favorites as my birthday dessert.
The raspberry heart added just the right amount of bright flavor and color to my selection.
My birthday cake was Pain des Amis because my life is already sweet and filled with joy:)