Last night was the second-to-last night of the chocolate tour, and we spent it on Mort’s boat, which is anchored in the Seine, just off the place de la Concorde.
Like so many things, the evening began with the best of intentions.
On the next boat over, la mère and le père went away for the holiday weekend, leaving the teenage son alone to have a party. In an odd twist, the (French) neighbor’s dining table was stocked with jugs of Coke, bags of le chips, pre-fabricated chicken wings (sold in foil pouches), and their host was grilling off some hot dogs. He also knocked over the grill of burning-hot coals—twice—on the deck, forcing a mad dash to hose it down.
We Americans started with cold Sancerre, bowls of Lucques olives, crisp Iranian pistachios, jambon de Bayonne, before peeling cold shrimp, with a big platter of cheese before we ended with dessert: fresh mint ice cream and chocolates. In between there was also pâté and terrine Gascogne and wild asparagus.
As I type these words—ouch!—I now accept that it’s probably not a good idea to drink white wine, red wine, rosé, Champagne, absinthe, and water with all that. (Ok, I was just kidding about the water…) but I did get an invited to join the party next door, when the music started and I passed the bottle of absinthe in their direction. Hey, after all the damage done to int’l relations over the past few years, someone’s gotta repair the damage, right?
I don’t recall too much, and most of my photos are fuzzy, for some bizarre reason. I do recall that the evening began by me losing my skivvies but I did find them before heading out. (That’s the kind of week it’s been.) Apart from Mort dropping his cell phone into the surging waters of the Seine and me making a new group of friends, we were fortunate to have Michael Recchiuti crash the party, ensuring that there was plenty of chocolate.
I’d hope to post some better shots of yesterday, but had to rely on one of North African pastries from earlier in the week. And this morning I’m nursing a tepid café au lait, slipping on a fresh pair of unmentionables along with a neatly-pressed shirt, and heading to a chocolate-tasting with the experts at La Maison du Chocolat.
And if that’s not worthy of a spanking-clean, fresh pair of undershorts, I don’t know what is.