The Jules Verne

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The Jules Verne
I have had the pleasure and the privilege of dining at the Jules Verne twice during the past two weeks. Each time, I was very pleased not only with the cuisine, but also with the magnificent view of Paris from the second floor (123 meters up) of the Eiffel Tower.The first time I experienced La Jules Verne was last week, when my friend and his family invited me to join them for lunch. I was very happy to accept the invitation, as I was aware of the Jules Verne’s reputation for outstanding food and incredible view.I wasn’t disappointed. I ordered the three-course prix fixe menu (the three courses being supplemented with amusées). For an appetizer, I was served salmon tartare covered with a cucumber jelly. This was the first time I’d tasted this dish, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ordered the veal cannelloni smothered in red wine sauce for the entrée. Although I didn’t care for the sauce, the veal was very good. Unfortunately, my white shirt enjoyed the sauce as well.Because we were pressed for time, I didn’t order dessert. However, I do remember what was available: a fruit sorbet served with a macaroon. (I’ve developed an adoration of macaroons in Paris; to miss one is traumatic for me.)Many tourists lunch at La Jules Verne. Nonetheless, it’s a fine restaurant, and you should be fairly well dressed when dining here. A tie is not necessary for lunch, but I recommend wearing a sport coat. Although we are taught that you don’t want to be the best-dressed person in the room, this is not, in my opinion, the case in Jules Verne. There is nothing wrong with looking good, and I believe that how you’re dressed affects your service.The food is almost on a par with Les Terrasses de Lyon. I believe that the servers react to the diners’ behavior: if you act unruly or as if you do not understand the rules of the table, your service might very well be condescending, as ours was at lunch. On the other hand, if you respect the rules of dining in Europe (as best you can), then the servers will do their utmost to make your meal a memorable one.As good as La Jules Verne is for lunch, it is infinitely better for dinner. Although my sister’s birthday was earlier this month, my mother thought that it would be good to celebrate it with my grandparents (who arrived a few days ago). What a night it was. My mother had reserved a window seat so that we could see the city illuminate as night fell. Dinner was excellent. Everyone agreed to try the tasting menu. It had to be ordered before 9:30, and it consisted of eight courses. Among the food served was crawfish tartar in cucumber jelly, a snail-filled ravioli atop a piece of veal, a sesame seed roll filled with crab meat and floating in a shrimp bisque, and avocado sorbet drizzled with spices.As we gorged ourselves on the outstanding food (plus four other courses, as well as amusées), we watched the sun set over Paris. As the sun came closer to the horizon, the sky became redder and redder, until everything was bathed in a crimson glow. The "little" buildings below us appeared to be swimming in a sea of red, and the skyscrapers of La Défense looked like giant sticks of red lipstick. Then, when it was dark, the light show on the Eiffel Tower began. It occurson the hour, every hour after 9:00 p.m. and lasts for 10 minutes; it began to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2000. As I looked down on the Bateaux Mouches on the Seine, I saw the twinkling of camera flashes. These were accompanied by the flashes on the observation platform directly below Jules Verne. There were so many that they mirrored the incredible spectacle of the Tower itself.Riding in a taxi back to the apartment, I was stuffed and sleepy. I was looking forward to the next morning, because we would be going to Clignacourt. We all love to shop for antiques, and Clignacourt is one of the best (albeit expensive) collections of antique markets in Paris. Also, we would be attending a concert at La Sainte Chapelle the next evening. As I plopped in bed, I smiled. I knew that the next day would be great, but I knew that I wouldn’t eat as well as I had at La Jules Verne. Taylor Horton is a high school student who considers himself very fortunate to be writing for Bonjour Paris this summer.
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