Another day of walking in Paris….and Ellsworth for dinner

After all these years I have never visited Marche D’Aligre.  The market is open every day except for Monday.  A street filled with fresh products surrounded by many food stores, a flea market, and an indoor market, Marche Beauveau.  I couldn’t help but think about other markets such as Union Square Greenmarket that would be comparable in NYC and then Campo De Fiori in Rome that used to be like this over a decade ago and has become completely inauthentic and just a tourist destination.  I want to experience what life is like if I lived here.  Marche D’Aligre is just that.  Bear with me on this post….it was a long day!

We started out for the most amazing croissant and chocolate croissant at Ble Sucre.  Fabrice Le Bourdat, the former pastry chef at Le Bristol, the three-star Michelin restaurant, opened up his own shop a few years ago to just focus on the pastries.  The smell is intoxicating.  The shop is small with some outdoor seating across the street from a local park.  Great way to start the morning.

Fabrice Le Bourdat, the former pastry chef at Le Bristol, the three-star Michelin restaurant, opened up his own shop a few years ago to have his own shop.  The smell is intoxicating.  The shop is small with some outdoor seating across the street from a local park.  Great way to start the morning.

Coffee is not as easy.  I am not as much of a coffee snob as Fred who limits himself to one perfect cup a day.  I emphasize the word perfect.  Cafe Aouba is on Rue d’Aligre behind the stands.  They roast their own beans and there is a counter where you stand and toss back your coffee.  Might be one of the best cups he has had in Paris.

Then the market.  White asparagus is just French.

Green figs.

Mushrooms.

Delicate Raspberries.

I love how beautiful these stands are.

Herb stand

Turkish breads in a small store behind the farm stands.

Artichokes of both sizes.

Always the rotisserie chicken.  Nothing else like it.  I always think about buying one of these, perhaps at the beach and people can just come by and buy a chicken and the potatoes that have been roasted in chicken fat.

French radishes.

The flea market is a bunch of junk although you never know.  The Marche Beauveau is another gem.  Charcuterie.

Meat.

Always Cheese.

Oysters.

Pates etc.

Sabah stands at the very beginning of the market.  Reminds me of Kalustyan’s in the city and Sahadi’s in Brooklyn.

Feta cheeses.

Olives and every spice imaginable.

We took it all in and started to walk and walk and walk.  Through Bastille towards the Marais stopping in a few stores en route.  Tom Greyhound is one where we did a bit of damage.

Then we hit some of our favorite galleries.  These are from James Brown.

Mirrors with gold chains spelling out words at another gallery.

Lunch was calling.  We walked over to Broken Arm for lunch.  The store/restaurant sits on a beautiful park.  The weather is magnificent.  The playground is a kid haven.

People were hanging out.

Such a beautiful spot.

I had a roasted red pepper stuffed with sausage and roasted veggies on the side.  Really delicious.

Hit up Merci afterward.  I like the concept more than the store although the linens in there are off the charts.

We were shattered.  Honestly my legs were pounding.  We went back to rest a bit, do some work (gasp) before heading out to dinner.  Dinner was at Ellsworth.  Ellsworth has been open about two years, the same owners as Verjus where we went many years ago.  Never loved Verjus but was game to try Ellsworth.  I screwed up the reservation.  I thought the dinner was at 830 but it was 730.  The hospitality here is not what it should be and all it takes is a smile to make you feel ok but that was not the case.  The good news is that there were two seats at the bar so we sat ourselves down.

The menu is small.  The concept is small plates to be shared.  There are 7 small plates and then 3 larger plates.  We just ordered the ones that looked interesting to us and they all happened to be from the smaller plates.  Each delicious.  A large oyster cut into slices and then tossed with cucumbers, red currants and nasturtium (greens).

Heirloom tomato salad with chunks of watermelon and ricotta.  Very summer.

This is a brilliant presentation and also delicious.  An egg yolk ravioli, white asparagus, parmesan and summer truffles.  When you cut into this the egg just seeps out.  It is surprisingly light.

Fried chicken is a signature dish.  Juicy pieces of chicken with a crispy skin and a hint of spice served with a buttermilk dressing and a few pickles.  Excellent.

Dessert was a must.  Strawberry shortcake with whipped ricotta and elderflowers.  Look at those beautiful flowers.

The woman behind the bar could not have been nicer.  Yet after dinner, we were told to go and pay for the meal vs them coming to us.  The guy running the place knew I screwed up the resy but he never once came over to say I hope this worked out and were we enjoying the meal.  In all honesty, we had the same kind of attitude the second time we went back to Le CouCou in the city.  Someone should be reading up on hospitality….it would be a worthwhile education regardless of the delicious food we had at Ellsworth.  Maybe Moliere across the street can help them out.