Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Market Brunch in Lyon and Parisian Memories













The most memorable meal I ate in the last week was not one I made. The specialty salad at an all night restaurant in Paris, La Poule au Pot, is a simple, yet ravishing bowl of spinach leaves and chicken livers in a savory vinaigrette, and my even more ravishing dining partner, a Frenchman, originally from the south, was the one to introduce it to me. “Ça me plait”, he said, when explaining that this meal is the one he orders regularly when dining here, and now I know why. Elegant and hearty, the acid of the dressing balances the rich livers, and writing about it now makes me want to hop a flight back to Paris to experience the evening again from the start.

Little did I know that this salad had a history among my friends. Returning to New York, I recounted my French adventures to my dancer friend Daniel, who knows the restaurant. “Did you have the spinach salad with the livers?” was his first question when I told him about dining at La Poule au Pot. “Tom claims that salad is responsible for a performance of a lifetime,” said my friend. “Tom said he felt invincible after eating that salad.”

La Poule au Pot is a restaurant frequented by performers from the nearby theaters. When in Paris, and during my time dancing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, we generally stayed near Les Halles, the neighborhood of the restaurant, and within walking distance to Théâtre de la Ville, where we had two week seasons. By the time the evenings’ shows were finished, the more conventional nearby restaurants had long closed, and La Poule au Pot came to the rescue for many of us, Tom and Daniel included, but I don’t think I’d ever actually eaten there before now.

I don’t know about feeling invincible, but that salad certainly contributed to my not wanting to leave Paris. The lovely evening at La Poule au Pot, visiting my best friend Cheryl, spending time over rich meals in Lyon exchanging ideas with my good friend Cédric, working with the incredible dancers of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon, enjoying champagne-filled evenings with said friends, and unexpected and spontaneous moments creating new ones. Only one week in France and I’m already nostalgic. I’ll be back, Paris, and La Poule au Pot, and with some pretty great memories.


9 comments:

Beatnheart said...

sorry, I don’t think I could eat the Liver...I don’t even like typing the word...but I think your blog if fun and some of the food looks divine and are things I would try.. the fact that your a real professional dancer puts the icing on the cake. Thank you, cynthia

Tau-Mu said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your stories and video of your trip to France; it really looks like a lot of fun! I can't wait for your next trip!

Anonymous said...

I feel so nostalgic reading your post. I can feel the presence of the waiters at Chicken in the Pot who have helped me eat my way through their menu from the last decade to this. It is one of two places in Paris I take my family, friends, and loves. Did Daniel also tell you about getting the beef marrow? Even more exciting than invincibility: mortality!
xxh

Chrissy said...

Ok, I am envious!. I loved how that bowl was cleaned up w/the bread! lol.. The farmer's market was great all that bread!.

A Facade Of Niceness said...

i'm visiting paris this weekend (for my birthday no less) so i'll be sure to go!!

Fritz Bogott said...

Love the video!

Have you successfully reverse-engineered the salad yet?

Mary said...

What a lovely post. The salad does indeed sound wonderful and I'm glad you enjoyed it. This is my first visit to your blog. I found you by chance and had intended to say hello and quickly move on. I was lured by your earlier posts and ended up staying far longer than I planned. I really enjoyed my visit and will be back as often as is possible. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Megan said...

Nice post!

natural selection said...

Food beautiful and the atmosphere electric! I look forward to your next vids!
Time to pull out my french cookbooks!
Enjoy the Heat!

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