It was a freezing cold night when I headed over to my friend’s apartment at 5 pm on Saturday. We were going to celebrate my recent acquisition of French citizenship with – what else? – a bottle of French champagne followed by a simple home-cooked meal.
France is currently under curfew and so, fearing that I’d turn into a pumpkin if I was to be found outdoors at the strike of 6 pm, I rushed across town and made it to his apartment just minutes before the fated hour. Here’s what a main Parisian boulevard looked like at 7 pm on a Saturday night: completely empty, shops and restaurants shuttered.
We started with shrimp-stuffed lemon and then roasted cod and tapenade. French cheese and bread followed. All accompanied with an Alsatian red wine. My friend had wanted to select a wine from a different region, but the wine merchant said – Oh, non, non, monsieur ! You cannot drink that with codfish.
For dessert we had a small chocolate confection from pastry chef, Cyril Lignac.
And gifts! In honor of my new French citizenship.
A perfumed candle from Diptyque and thin vanilla waffles from the Maison Méert, a Lille family institution dating from 1849. Delicious with coffee or afternoon tea. Miam ! Merci encore !