Sunday, June 12, 2005

Jules Verne

One really, really nice way to celebrate a birthday would be to have lunch at Jules Verne. On Friday, after making a reservation two months ago in April, my girlfriend and I took the special elevator entrance up to one of the best restaurants in Paris.

The yellow awning announces Jules Verne to the lucky entrants with the correct name and reservation.

We took the private elevator up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower to the restaurant. Every moment that passes by is screaming privileged to me. You feel special just being there. You walk out of the elevator and there are so many service staff waiting to seat you, help with your wine choice, cheese choice or whatever else you may want. The setting itself is elegant. The decor, basically geometric in design, fits perfectly with the Tower as the backdrop.

We were the first to arrive and be seated with our 12:15pm reservation. My French sister had called last week to see if we could have a window seat and was told "everyone wants a window seat Madame!" But it must have worked. I had one of the best seats in the restaurant.

View from my chair. Amazing, huh?

I am kicking myself that I forgot to take a picture of the menu. It would have made describing this wonderful meal so much easier, so bear with me. We started with a kir (cassis and dry white wine). Although I've grown to love champagne while living in France, I really enjoy a kir (as opposed to a kir royal with champagne) for an aperitif. Homemade bread sticks with nuts were brought to the table to enjoy with our drinks. Then we were brought our amuse bouche, in a ramekin, that was comprised of duck hash with little pieces of celery and carrots topped with a celery mousse. It was light and flavorful.

We both ordered the menu and started with the foie gras surrounded by the same duck hash. I am sure that I never ever thought to order foie gras in the US, but like champagne, I have really grown to appreciate a good piece of foie gras. It was creamy and rich and tasted heavenly. To go along with the foie gras was an onion concoction that was tangy and sweet and a wonderful complement.

For the main course, I ordered the grilled tuna with a red pepper sauce. Amazing. Really tender (au point) and the grilled flavor with the tuna worked so well together. My friend had a bite and it was the first thing she noticed too. Along with the tuna came a zucchini fondue, although the waiter described it as a gratin when he gave it to me. It was probably somewhere in between. There was a light crust on the top and it was creamy in the middle. The "fondue" was good, but not spectacular. My friend ordered the chicken in a cream sauce. It was tasty, but looked and tasted like something we could make at home. We choose a bourgogne aligote, a white wine, to drink with the dinner.

Finally, the dessert... my friend ordered the tapioca pudding so I felt obliged to order the chocolate macaroon with a side of cherries (the waiter said it was his favorite). Lots of different chocolate consistencies all mingled together. The cherries, topped with a thick cream were a good balance to all the chocolate. A delicious combination.

Needless to say, the truffles, offered to us, were divine.

The "menu" for lunch is 55 euro. The dinner "menu" is 125 euro. Prices include service, but no drinks. I'd heard that the Jules Verne wasn't as good as it used to be. But I thought the meal was terrific and the ambiance incomparable. If you ever have the opportunity to have a meal at the Jules Verne, do it! It was absolutely one of the best experiences I've had in France.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
8:25 AM



since I will be there on my b-day, July 6 - you have inspired me to make a reservation . . . .
hope it works!!!
Merci, Auntie!

# posted by Em : 11:32 AM  

I so enjoyed reading about your visit to Jules Verne. My husband and I had dinner there while visiting Paris on our honeymoon. Your post brought back fond memories. Thanks!

# posted by Paula in Michigan : 3:52 PM  

What a wonderful treat! Love the pictures, too :-)

# posted by Janet : 4:24 PM  

Lucky you! Actually, lucky me because this post and your pictures made me feel as if I was also there. Thank you!

# posted by Michele : 4:33 PM  

That had to have been a memorable birthday meal. That view was worth half the price of that meal, I think (and I think explains half the price of that meal! I'm glad you had such a great birthday Auntie!

# posted by Joe : 7:54 PM  

lucky you ..It sounds wonderful ..Everything looked so yummy :) Thanks for sharing ...

Here via Michele

# posted by PresentStorm : 8:00 PM  

Those are some great photos, especially the aerial one.

I'm here via Michele :)

# posted by FTS : 8:28 PM  

hey fellow gemini, happy birthday.. i just stumbled upon this site and quite enjoyed it. I too am an American expatriot, and wish there were more outlets like this. The transition is an amazing one that should be documented for all to see...I would love to read more about the intricacies of assimilation, as I have been here only a few months and would love the advice!

# posted by michele : 8:43 PM  

Thanks for coming to lunch. Glad I got there on time! Great company, view, meal and memories to take with me. Onto next week!

# posted by Anonymous : 10:27 PM  

My parents visited this resturant back in 2001 for dinner. I know it was one of their highlights on their trip. The food looks yummy...

# posted by Melody : 5:36 AM  

That was just breathtaking!

# posted by BohemianMama : 5:40 AM  

Well Happy Birthday from even another Gemini American Expat in Paris! Your post on the JV was great! My niece whose coming to visit for the summer will no doubt want to go there which may not be so great for my wallet! What the heck, she's worth it!

# posted by Michael : 6:37 AM  

Hello Michele !

Please forgive the seeming pedantry, but, just to clear up a term: an expatriot is not necessarily an expatriate. (smile)

The noun expatriate means one who has taken up residence in a foreign country, while the adjective signifies residing in a foreign country.

An entry in Wikipedia yields An expatriate (in abbreviated form expat) is someone temporarily or permanently in a country and culture other than that of their upbringing and/or legal residence. The word comes for the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country), and is sometimes misspelt as ex-patriot, owing to mispronunciation.

The word expatriate has absolutely nothing to do with patriotism, naturally, and nowadays the word is generally applied to someone who has simply established her/his legal residence in a foreign country.

Unfortunately the word expatriot (which frequently is not even held by some to be a real word) is generally considered to mean one who is no longer patriotic or even a traitor.

After many decades abroad, Amerloque can state with absolute certainty that one should be quite conversant with the definitions and be ready to explain them instantly and with a smile at, say, cocktail parties and business luncheons. (smile) The definitions are even more crucial when speaking with customs officers, law enforcement authorities, and other officials in the USA when they notice that one lives overseas permanently. Often they understand expatriate to be expatriot and feel that one is unpatriotic or traitorous because one lives overseas.

Living permanently outside one's country has absolutely nothing to do with one's patriotism, of course, and in no way suggests that one is a traitor. As a matter of fact, many expats I know are more patriotic for having lived overseas, but that's an issue to be dealt with at another time. (smile)


# posted by L'Amerloque : 9:09 AM  

That food reminds me of modern art.

# posted by Sammy : 11:37 AM  

ahem, just a technical question.. Sorry to ask that, but did you stand on the table when you took the pictures ? :-D

# posted by negrito : 12:06 PM  

My tongue is hanging out!

# posted by Anji : 1:42 PM  

Happy Birthday Auntie M! I just got back from a visit with family in Canada (Ontario) and Milwaukee, WI. I'm a bit hazy with jetlag, so I'll catch up on your posts when I'm more alert. I hope you had a great birthday!

# posted by Oz : 3:55 PM  

Happy Birhday Auntie M ! Next time, if never done before, try the "Cardinal" or "Communard" depending on where you are ordering it. It looks like a Kir, but is prepared with red wine !

# posted by Maurice : 4:38 PM  

Happy Birthday Auntie M! What a fabulous way to celebrate! Perchance to dream :>

# posted by Anya : 5:01 PM  

Happy Belated Bday Auntie M !

# posted by Magillicuddy : 5:05 PM  

Happy belated birthday! Dessert looks fabulous...

# posted by Crystal : 8:14 PM  

It sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

# posted by Christine : 9:48 PM  

Happy Birthday!! What an amazing post!

# posted by Becca : 4:19 AM  

I especially love that first picture you posted, its wonderful!. Glad you shared this great experience, I know I'll never see this in person so I'm enjoying your interesting post.

# posted by Maggie Ann : 6:56 AM  

hello lady! long time, no comment!

as many reservations as i've made for people at this restaurant, i've never gotten to see how absolutely gorgeous things look on the inside looking out.

you're so lucky!

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