"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pain et Chocolate ~ un petie dejeuner special

Pain et Chocolate

"If you want this as a job, start work at 9 a.m.
If you want this as a life, you start at 4 a.m."
 - Kathy Micheli

What first caught my eye were the plush blankets draped across the backs of the outside bistro chairs (that's Dorothy, sitting to the right). I have not been in a Parisan salon de the in years. Why? Salon de Thes traditionally only serve petit dejeuner (breakfast), dejeuner leger (light lunch), patisseries (pastries, scones, sweet breads, etc.), tea, coffee, hot chocolate, wine, beer and champagne, and sandwiches et des collations (sandwiches and snacks) - all things that I either prepare or have on hand at the apartment.

But we'd been walking all afternoon, it was starting to get chilly, and everyone was famished. Just as everyone was starting to melt down, we came across this charming place and decided to give it a try - if only to rest our feet and wrap ourselves in those glorious blankets! Besides, a salon de the menu is very kid friendly. It turned out to be a great choice...

My family (Never's sleeping in the stroller, bundled up warm, snug and tight)

As we were settling in, a gentleman came out and helped us get settled and comfortable. After giving us a few minutes to look over the menu, he returned to take our order: 

*The kids had Coke and pasta (hot cocoa later)
*Mom had a pot of tres yummy Earl Grey tea and three slices of amazing fruit cake
*Peter had the  Plat du Jour: Paleron ole Boeuf (Beef Chuck with stewed vegetables - you could cut the tender meat with a spoon!) and a large stein of beer
*I had the Soups de Legumes (a delicious creamy and soul-warming vegetable soup) and a half bottle of white wine (no I didn't drink it alone, mom and I shared it ;-} 

Every dish was beautiful and tasted even better than they looked - super fresh food, delicate flavors, excellently prepared. Sorry no pictures, we ate everything too fast!

We had such a lovely time that mom and I returned a few days later for a ladies lunch al fresco...

Mom and I had the Assiette Brunch (scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, toast, butter, lemon and mixed salad) with a half bottle of champagne - delicious! Again, no pictures - too good! As mom and I were sitting there, I took in everything and I loved everything about the place: fantastic food, wonderful ambiance, elegant and simple, a great location (lots of prime people watching). By the time Pete and the kids arrived to walk us home, I decided to see if the owners would let me interview them for the Romantic Homes article I was working on. The owner - Kathy - said yes! So we arranged for me to return at breakfast the next morning...

Equal to the incredible food is the welcome given to all (regulars and newcommers alike). But like the decor and food, that's no accident. After 23 years in the restaurant business, Kathy and Claude Micheli decided to retire to the south of France. They never made it - they just could not give up what made them most happy. Two years ago they bought the building at #16 avenue La Motte Piquet and completely gutted it and embarked on a complete reno, acting as their own interior designers, with Kathy in the lead - I think that she's quite talented:

The Micheli's built their apartment in the back and what they did in the front is a mix of old world romance and contemporary chic: a stone floor with dark wood chairs upholstered in a brown and white cowhide pattern, small dark wood tables, antique lamps, vases of fresh flowers and potted plants; a glass case that doubles as a counter, and a gorgeous chandelier over it all. 

Madame Micheli cooks and bakes everything from scratch. It's a good thing that they live behind their salon because every morning she gets to work at 4 a.m. and begins the day's baking. Monsuir Micheli runs the floor, though Madame often works the room - they're both gracious, kind people.

Claude and Kathy Micheli

I just loved this place and I can't wait to return. When you're next in Paris, stop by and while away an afternoon. Please tell the Micheli's that I said bonjour ;-)

Pain et Chocolate, 16 ave. La Motte Piquet

Vivre! Rire! Amier!


Me @ Pain et Chocolat

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