I am going to try not to cry as I write this blog.
I’m going to try really hard.
But it’s going to be so difficult not to break down into pathetic sobs as I am sitting here sipping lukewarm diet Coke and reminisce over this lovely Parisian lunch.
Angelina has been a staple on the ritzy Rue de Rivoli since its opening in 1903. It is a salon in the truest sense of the word – it’s long, sunlit room has beautiful turn of the century decor with a crystal chandelier, pastoral murals, and servers actually wearing French maid outfits. It hasn’t changed much since it opened – the menu is filled traditional, light food and the specialties are desserts. Pastries, cookies, cakes, ice creams, and anything sugary that you might crave around teatime. However you might, as we did, grow hungry and not want to make 2 stops for lunch. I am delighted to say that you won’t be sorry if you take your main course here. Steak Tartare
Some of my favorite in Paris. The meat is hand-cut, so it retains its toothsome, steak like texture. The meat is so rich and iron-y that it barely needs the luscious, creamy egg yolk – but don’t worry, I ate it anyway. The sharp onions, fresh parsley, and restrained seasonings compliment the meat’s natural flavor. I added a touch of Tabasco, but that’s just because I’m a glutton for punishment. This didn’t need a thing…
Except, perhaps, for some textbook-perfect frites(not these frites of course, but nothing is). Impossibly creamy inside its thin, shatteringly crisp crust. The salad served alongside is fresh and well dressed, but really…how can it stand up to raw meat and fried potatoes? Gazpacho
All those who think that gazpacho is a watery diet food, prepare to be turned on your ear. This decadent version of the dish is absolutely amazing. Juicy, earthy, full of garlic strewn with a verdant pesto. Best of all – it is mixed with cream. It’s served with a lump of rich creme fraiche in the middle that makes the dish incredibly thick and rich without being heavy. The creme fraiche complements the tomatoes much the way that mozzarella does in Caprese salads. It’s served with a sliver of crunchy fried chorizo on top. It’s rich but light and totally perfect for lunch. I am surprised by how great it was – who woulda thunk it? The French really can cook anything perfectly.
The main event. The best hot chocolate in the world. No questions. Whatsoever.
Don’t get the chocolat chaud - get the chocolat africain. This one is darker, creamier, and incredibly better. It’s literally like a Cadbury bar melted and mixed with just enough super heavy cream to clot your arteries instantly. I, of course, think one can always use a little whipped cream atop chocolate liquid cream, don’t you?
It’s honestly the best hot chocolate on earth.
The service is, indeed, Parisian and the prices are on the high side, but for a chance to dine in a gorgeous salon and have the world’s best gazpacho and hot chocolate, it is so worth it.
What I wouldn’t give for just one sip of that hot chocolate now.
Ok, now I’m crying.