November 15, 2023

The French triangle day 6: Champagne on the island

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It's time to bid farewell to Strasbourg, but not before one last breakfast! I went back to Boulangerie Woerlé for more goodies and brought them back to the apartment to enjoy with this view one last time.

I started with a bretzel lardon fromage.

And how could I leave Alsace without having a kouglof?! This was a mini kouglof sucré with a few raisins inside a some almond flakes on top.

I leave Strasbourg with a tinge of sadness this morning, as I'm leaving behind my beloved suede and patent leather boots. I bought them 13 years ago, and they've been with me on all my travels to French vineyards since I first got them - having traveled to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, and Alsace with me. Stuck in the treads at their bottom are soil from DRC’s La Tâche, soil from Le Montrachet - both Leflaive and Marquis de Laguiche, and dirt from the cellars of Henri Bonneau, among others. I brought them along this time to visit vineyards on what would turn out to be their last trip, with the feel of Yquem’s soil and gravel beneath them followed by the damp cellars at Trimbach. The rubber soles decided to give out yesterday, and after agonizing over whether to bring them back home to have them fixed, I decided it would be better that Strasbourg be their final resting place.

I locked up behind me and dragged my big suitcase to the nearest tram station, and 3 stops later I'm at Gare de Strasbourg. It's frustratingly annoying that it's been rainy and gray over the last 3 days but now that I'm leaving the city, the skies are finally blue... and the only picture I've taken with a blue sky are the ones at the station.

I arrived at Gare de l'Est around 2 hours later, and checked into the Holiday Inn Gare de Lyon Bastille. Unlike my table mate at Château d'Yquem, I'm poor and cheap, and generally don't pay up for hotels when I travel alone. Since both of my dinners in Paris are in this area, this was where I chose to stay. Somehow I missed the fact that there is a sex shop right next door...

Lunch is in order, and the Great One had recommended À la Biche au Bois, which was just 140 meters away from the hotel. The restaurant was very full but they managed to find me a seat.

Not having had much green vegetables during my 3 days of Alsatian diet, I decided to ask for a salade verte. The stinging acidity from the vinaigrette was strangely satisfying.

L'Andouillette AAAAA, sauce moutarde, frites maison - MON DIEU! They have andouillette, one of my favorite things to eat in France! There was absolutely no way I was gonna pass this up. I don't care if my neighbors literally one away from me find the smell offensive.

Cutting this open released more of the "aromatics" into the air surrounding me. I was so, soooo happy to once again taste this sausage. It's got a special place in my heart because it's intestines stuffed inside an intestine.

Also happy to have frites but I restrained myself.

Having taken care of lunch, it was time to set off on my mission. I'm looking for a particular Champagne that is nearly impossible to find, but I know of a few wine shops and wine bars that have recently gotten them in stock. I walk over to take the metro, but first I spend some time admiring the Colonne de Juillet at Place de la Bastille against the blue sky.

Not having acquired the goods from Liquiderie Cave, I head over to the islands to my second destination. After getting off the metro stop on Île de la Cité, I walk pass Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris to check how the old ladies is doing. There are still large amounts of scaffolding down the side and the rear, so it will be a while before the public can get in.

I walked into L'Etiquette on Île Saint-Louis and is greeted by Elaine. I see the Champagne I was looking for, and after consulting Hervé, I am told that per agreement with Romain Henin, I can only open and drink the bottle on the premises but not purchase to take it home.

Thankfully, help was on the way! I was invited to join the Mushroom Suppliers for lunch today, but I would have been very late in order to first drop off my luggage then trek all the way from the eastern to the western end of town. So we agreed to meet up here for a drink, and it worked out perfectly.

Romain Henin Le Gamin du Terroir, dégorgée en Juillet 2023 - very refreshing with crisp acidity, with was not too high. Floral notes along with small and fine bubbles. Very clean but slightly on the simple side. Needs aging to develop some complexity.

The three of us had a good time but Hervé remained a little grumpy and suspicious of me. Oh well. It was getting late, and I needed to go back and change for a special dinner tonight...

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