My Paris, Week 19: NoGlu, Les Mauvais Garçons, and Friendsgiving
I’ve been thinking about how small the world is this week. I went out to meals with two lovely girls who reminded me that, no matter how far from home I feel sometimes, it’s often miraculously easy to find people with whom you have a connection, even on the other side of the world.
Julia and I first got acquainted in college. We lived on the same floor in the dorms during our first year at UCLA, but we didn’t really travel in the same circles so didn’t hang out much. Years later, we both found ourselves in Paris, connected through our respective significant others who work together. Bizarre coincidence, that. Julia is great fun to hang out with and has progressed much farther in her French studies than I have. Hearing her chatting away with the people we encounter when we go out inspires me to get a better grip on my motivation.
This week, we met up at NoGlu, a new gluten-free restaurant in the 2nd. As far as I’m aware, I believe it’s the only entirely gluten-free restaurant in Paris. It’s only been open two months or so, but there are so many people who are intolerant of gluten that it’s a miracle it’s taken this long to catch on. The food was hearty and comforting and the service warm. Without the hint of the traditional baguette slices on the table being supplanted by a warm, dense bread that might have been oatmeal-based, I would never have known the kitchen was working with such a limitation.
16 passage des Panoramas, 75002 (Richelieu – Drouot)
01 40 26 41 24
That evening, I got to meet up with Jackie, whose blog I’ve been jealously following for the last few weeks.
We met through the blogosphere, but we quickly discovered in another small-world coincidence, that we have friends in common from our old lives in California. Jackie went to college (at my alma mater’s rival school, USC, whom we trounced in football this weekend, ahem) with my friend Andy who works with the gentleman and with whom we went on our trip to Brussels and Bruges a while back. She’s also friends with my awesome friend Ariane, who graduated from the same business school she’s currently attending.
She suggested that we meet at a little restaurant in the Marais called Les Mauvais Garçons, and I’m so glad she did. My photography of the food here is was quite patchy, but rest assured the cooking was solid. Lovely classic French fare like oeufs en meurette, salade Lyonnaise, and saumon en papillote that’s just slathered in butter and all the better for it.
It’s at times like these that I’m so thankful for this little blog of mine. Despite having these mutual friends, I don’t think Jackie and I would ever have met if we hadn’t first connected on the internet. Dinner with her was like a breath of fresh air, one of those rare first meetings where the conversation meanders all over the place and never stumbles.
Les Mauvais Garçons
4 Rue des Mauvais Garcons, 75004 (Hôtel de Ville)
01 42 72 74 97
The gentleman and I had the good fortune to be invited to Julia and her husband Philipp’s apartment this weekend for possibly the most epic Friendsgiving spread I’ve ever seen, and to mix with an extremely varied group of people from a particle physicist to some native Parisians at their first Thanksgiving party.
Even here, it turned out there was someone I’d met before. One of the guests had visited my blog and was at the kale party at Verjus several weeks ago. I recommended the arancini to her that night!
I wasn’t sure I’d be having Thanksgiving this year, sure that most of my expat friends would be heading home for the holidays. I am so grateful that I was able to share in this, with old friends and new, sharing food and wine and warm company.