Bonsoir! I write to you as our second night draws to a close. Sitting in the cafe (only WiFi space) of our hotel, the Holiday Inn Notre Dame, a surprisingly terrific hotel, not at all reminiscent of the bare bones Holiday Inns of my youthful memories. We are one block from Saint Michel metro station, but more importantly for the girls, 100 yards from a crêpe stand.

Despite our absolutely perfect dinner at Les Cocottes this evening, which included dessert, the girls were insistent about their need for a pre-sleep beurre sucre crêpe. I found it difficult – ok, impossible – to deny this “request”, for the second night in a row. I’ve also decided that crêpe batter must enter my stateside repertoire.

We ate at Cafe Constant last night, and tonight moved two doors down to Les Cocottes, another Constant establishment. (When I find myself in Paris with an adult companion, I will visit the third, Violon d’Ingres!)

The waiters were terrific, the vibe in the place great, and the food to die for! We sat at the counter, which runs the length of the restaurant, and all had soup to start, though Anna was a latecomer.  She was forced to order once we realized she intended to “sample” our soups to the bottom of the bowls. Greta had cream of pumpkin (creme de potimarron de chataignes) and A and I both had a velouté of celeriac, which included a small piece of turbot. The bowls were practically licked clean.

Next came the cocottes. This is the restaurant’s specialty – dishes served in those fabulous Staub cast-iron covered casseroles called “les cocottes”. The girls shared boeuf Bourguignon and, at the waitress’s recommendation, I had caramelized potatoes stuffed with pied de porc. And how was that? Suffice to say, I eventually had to engage in defensive maneuvers against Anna, who claims this is what she’ll be ordering the next time!

Dessert – chocolate mousse for G, a cream-topped gaufre with chocolate sauce for A, and Basque cheese with a cherry confiture pour moi.

Tomorrow, Versailles! Bonne nuit!

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