Monday, June 26, 2017

Saturday, June 10th: Shiso burger, Giverny, more prawn ravioli and out

The Air France office not too far from my hotel let me check in for the following day's flight, only never informed me that the printout they gave me was indeed my boarding pass. There are always new things to learn.
A restaurant near my hotel was named Shiso Burger. It would be difficult to overstate my love of shiso. On a burger? Why not. I discovered that they opened at 11:30 and was waiting outside as the minutes ticked by and the place didn't seem to open. Finally, I inquired and was told they were open, just hadn't turned their sign around. The shiso burger is a tuna burger with a bunch of shiso leaves on a soft bun. It is exquisite. The best burger I've ever had, I tell the server.

One thing I had most looked forward to on this trip was the voyage to Monet's house and garden. It would be like walking into one of his paintings, I might have thought. The tour assembled at Les Pyramides. I was able to find water for sale nearby, but far from frigid. Our tour guide entertained throughout the trip. I learned the population of greater Paris, the fact that Normandy is much bigger geographically but has more cows than people, and assorted information about Monet as we cruised in air conditioned comfort to his town. We get there and park. We are supposed to remember our bus number. The guide takes us over Monet's famous bridge, but can't go into his house with us. Says he'll meet us at the cafe outside. We wait in line for a while in the serious heat, then enter. Monet sure loved Japanese prints. I have a certain affection for them myself, but this is ridiculous. I thought I'd encountered a lot of Japanese people in Paris and MSM but there were even more on Monet's walls. Plus a few copies of his own and his friends' works. Lots of people crowding about. Nice gardens, if you're into such things. I saw several flowers that are growing in our gardens back home, Not once did I feel any great sense of connection to Monet. No greater appreciation of his already most appreciated paintings. Like MSM and even Arpege the previous day, these were items to cross off a bucket list instead of the kind of inspiration I thought they'd be. 

 
Back in Paris, I had made a reservation for Les Bouquenistes for my last meal. The prawn ravioli. Was a perfect beginning to a trip with some fine meals in it. Would the shrimp still shine as bright? Uh, no. Not even close.

Not nearly as good as the shiso burger I had for lunch. Not as good as many things I've had on this trip. But if I went back to shiso burger again, would it taste as good? The asparagus/hazelnut thing at JV?
Knowing that X doesn't taste as good as it first did doesn't make Y liable to the same diminution. Each event has its context. The first ravioli dish came when I was in a totally different state, having been awake for a vast number of hours and quite hungry. Today's was different. Tomorrow, I will return to Canada. Nothing in Paris could be as welcome as that.

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