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by Marisa Olsen

A week in Italy feasting daily on pasta, pizza, and gelato daily didn't prepare me for the richness of France's cuisine. I've been to France a few times so it wasn’t like I was a novice. Perhaps it was a race to the finish since it was the end of the honeymoon? 

Within three days, we consumed foie gras, pâté, and head cheese--and that's only the offal department. Additionally we devoured steak, duck, lamb, and pastries (a cardiologist's nightmare). Lucky for me, Paris was a walking city so I didn’t gain 10 kilos. But I digress . . . and am by no means complaining. Our trip was a gastronomic orgasm. Here are a few of my favorite meals:

We arrived in Paris and went to a hip bistro called La Regalade. They had a 35E three-course prix fixe. Instead of the traditional bread and butter on tables, La Regalade gives each table a terrine of pâté, a jar of cornichons, and fresh baked bread. Other nice dishes were the squid ink risotto with calamari, and filet of veal with snap peas and rigatoni. Their desserts were also delicious. We loved the mason jar of rice pudding and the praline souffle.
While in Paris, we had the pleasure of dining with our French uncles, Claude and Dominique for a Sunday lunch. Our meal included foie gras, head cheese, monkfish in a blanquette sauce, braised mushrooms and leeks, a cheese course, and sorbet from the famous Berthillon. Each course was paired with excellent French wines. Did I mention this was lunch?

One of our last meals was at Chez Fernand, a darling restaurant in the 6th arrondisement. We feasted on French onion soup, escargot, and braised lamb shank served with legumes. We shared a bottle of Bordeaux that paired excellently with the rich local fare.

I cannot express in writing and photos what an amazing trip our honeymoon was. I hope I inspired you to take a trip to Italy and France. I cannot recommend it enough!

Review: Blue Apron, Christmas for a Chef

Our Honeymoon Part I: Italian Culinary Highlights of Rome, Alghero, and Positano