Just a couple of weeks ago Ciro's Italian restaurant opened just a few steps from our apartment in the 16th on Rue de Siam and Rue de la Pompe. They have been an instant hit and have been packed almost every night. They renovated the interior from an old bar which had previously been there and the result is a sparkling Italian interior. The food is really good and inexpensive. As a result we have now eaten there several times.
I have been posting on the large gardens of Paris, so I thought I would present some of the smaller gardens as well. This is inside the Hôtel-Dieu complex, a working hospital, next to Notre Dame. The French believe that gardens help cure patients more quickly. This hospital has a full time gardener who keeps the gardens in good condition. The medicinal garden was a staple of gardening in medieval times, often mixed in with the kitchen garden. Also known as a herb garden or a garden of simples, specialized medicinal gardens have been made at least since the Middle Ages, though plants were grown for medical purposes long before. A “simple” is a herb used on its own in medical treatment. Many modern drugs are, of course, extracted from herbs and other plants.
According to legend in 1880 Napoleon III gave his wife the Empress Eugenie, this authentic Swiss chalet, which he had fully dismantled and reinstalled in the same way on an island in the Bois de Boulogne. At one time it was the location of a literary cafe frequented by Proust and Zola. The chalet has been burned and restored many times; the latest restoration took place in 2001 when the chalet was refurbished in French colonial style. It is located in the Bois de Bologne, on the largest lake in the park, Lac Inferieur. You get to the restaurant on a cute little boat that crosses the water.
I just got a new fisheye lens for the camera, so I decided to take a few shots of the interior of some of the shops in our little “village”. The picture above is one of the three local produce shops, Les Primeurs.
We were in the mood for something different and decided to try Oum el Banine near where we live. The restaurant is a small family place on Rue Dufrenoy, just off Boulevard Flanderin established in 1993. I happen to love Moroccan food since I have visited Morocco in the past and we have Moroccan restaurants in Las Vegas and LA. This food is nothing like American Moroccan food. Moroccan cuisine is extremely refined, thanks to Morocco's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. Moroccan cuisine has been subject to European, Berber, Moorish, and Arab influences. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Meknes, Marrakesh, Rabat and Tetouan refined it over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. The Treaty of Fez (signed in 1912) made Morocco a protectorate of France. In late 1955, Mohammed V successfully negotiated the gradual restoration of Moroccan independence within a framework of French-Moroccan interdependence. Morocco and France have a close relationship and there are a number of Moroccan restaurants in Paris.
As I have discussed in previous posts, the neoclassical Château Bagatelle was built in about two months in 1777 as a wager between Marie Antoinette and the Count d'Artois, Louis XVI's younger brother. The central building above is the Château, modified in 1835 by Lord Seymour, marchion of Hertford. Wanting a house wider than the existing building, he removed one floor, which transformed its proportions. It contained the largest part of his extensive collection of French paintings, sculptures, furniture and works of decorative art, most of which went to form the Wallace Collection in London. Bagatelle underwent five years of redecorating and extensions, and then Lord Hertford did not reside in it until 1848. He also built the “Trianon”, seen in the above picture to the left of the château, for his son Richard Wallace.
Tucked away, right around the corner from us, is the lovely little Chinese Restaurant Tang. We were walking home a different way than usual and just happened upon it. Tang is a one star Michelin restaurant with a lovely boutique setting one block from Rue de la Pompe. We decided to go for lunch.