A Dog’s Life

After New Year’s Eve in Venice and a tromp through Milan (good spaghetti!) it’s great to be back home in Paris and to snuggy down into the covers, avoiding the cold out there.  There’s newspaper carefully laid out on the parquet in the hall, for those of us who are perfectly paper-trained, but every now and then it’s worth venturing out – like for dinner.  Last night we hopped on to the #84 bus, which goes directly from our door to the Place Concorde and the front door of the Hotel de Crillon.  There it was time for the vrai New Year’s Eve—even if we were a week or two late.  Since the Crillon does not allow dogs in Les Ambassadeurs restaurant, we settled into the cozy little L’Oblesik, where Chef created a special menu to honor four people and one canine.  That’s me, la chienne parisienne. L’Oblesik has long been known as a place for the ladies who lunch— located, as it is, tucked into a back corner of the Crillon’s lobby and smack dab in the heart of the fancy shopping district, just one block from Hermès.  There is a fixed-price menu and the place is fancy without being too-too.  For dinner it gets a mostly French crowd of couples and some family parties.  They like dogs.  I was immediately served water in a silver bowl. The woman at the table next to me was somewhat rude— she had a chocolate bar in her handbag on the ground next to me and she didn’t think to share.  I knew it was there, I could smell it a mile away, and I stood patiently next to her skinny legs packed into tight, tight black leather pants and tried to pant, also— to no avail. Thankfully, the soup course soon arrived and I was given fresh bread dipped into a creamy chestnut soup. Not too hot, not too cold, juuuuust right.  Then one of the people at the table said the soup would be better with fleur de sel, which arrived and was pinched in.  I had liked the sweet tang of the soup before the addition of more salt, but you know, they were right—it made the soup sing. The fish course was next.  People think that dogs don’t like fish, but when the fish is made like this—mmmm, mmmmm, good.  I had a few nibbles of a steamed filet of sea bass, served over fresh steamed tomatoes and artichokes and encircled with a lemon-caper sauce…creatively tangy and tasty and light as a, uh, a fish. Enfin , we got to the meat course—perfectly sliced pie sized pieces of roast lamb, smothered in a fresh garlic sauce that I feared would leave green specks between my teeth or give me a really tacky odour under my fur.  This was so sensational that I licked the plate and nuzzled knees under the table to insure I’d be given seconds.  In exchange for more, I gave up on the soufflé for dessert. And that’s my tale from Paris for this week. Bonjour Paris is pleased to have Suzy Gershman as a contributor.
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