Every country, or even a city, has its own unique traditions and culture, and one of the most exciting things about travelling is meeting local people who form their character from their local culture these traditions. Following in that tradition, and as this blog is primarily about inspiring stopovers, places and people; getting to know somebody or something admirable – there is a guy in Paris I would say has a true enthusiasm for gastronomy and is quite a unique character.
L’auberge des Deux Ponts on Île Saint-Louis, one of the islands on the river Seine, is run by a guy named Claude; a multi-skilled French restaurateur in his culinary heaven with a couple of curiosities you need to know. The most special aspect is that the restaurant isn’t open daily. Sometimes during the year, when we went there it wasn’t. Why? Well because we ware super curious ourselves we asked Claude in person. Firstly, his restaurant is not a typical business with shift workers and set hours.
Claude said that his place is unique because every time he opens the restaurant it is stuffed with patrons. Obviously, this means that you have to be lucky to get a table, however when it happens it’s an honest gourmet experience guaranteed. The restaurant doesn’t accommodate many customers…maybe 20 maximum.
The ground floor is open for public and downstairs is a room Claude only opens for special occasions and private celebrations. Secondly, Claude does everything all by himself. He runs the restaurant, greets guests, takes orders, serves drinks, cooks and serves dishes, bills each order and cleans everything afterwards.
I remember as if it was yesterday when I and my husband had dinner at L’auberge des Deux Ponts where we witnessed his extraordinary talent. Due to my love of anything sweet, the speciality Crème Brûlée à L’ancienne on the menu was a number one choice.
Along with my dessert, Claude brought a special tool with him – a fiery hot flat round iron with which he touched the raw-sugar atop of the crème brûlée – In a second a bit of magic happened as smoke rose up in the air, forming a crispy sugary layer and my dessert was ready for eating.
The creation of my dessert was truly a highlight of the evening and we will certainly be coming back to experience it again.