"This was my first proper French home-style meal I had after moving to Paris. When the barkeep offered me a glass of wine while waiting for a table, I was so scared because of all those horror stories I’d heard about a stranger offering me a drink in Europe, so I just said "no merci". Shortly after, the manager offered me a seat at the bar (making room for me by pushing one of their regulars to the side) and gave me a glass of wine with house-cured olives. That was when I realized they were simply being nice to me because despite my broken French, I still tried to speak to them, and unlike other Parisians, I gave them a smile while speaking.
The food was so comforting and delicious, and I couldn’t help but let my guard down as I realized I should relax a bit and be open to the people I was going to spend the next couple years of my life with. The waiter guided me to start with the Moules gratinees a la provencale (Provence style mussels au gratin), followed by magret de canard au romarin (duck breast cooked with rosemary) with Risotto d'épeautre aux St Jacques (risotto with scallops). While I was struggling to finish all the food I had ordered, he brought me a gigantic bowl of chocolate mousse and offered me some for dessert. I usually say "no I'm too full" or "I don't like sweets" when offered dessert, but because of the wine incident earlier, I dared to answer "Oui, s'il vous plait!" and OH DEAR, it was the best form of chocolate I've ever had.
This place was "Bienvenue en France" to me, and also to many of my friends whom I've taken here during their trips to Paris."
Do you have a special place in your heart that warmly welcomed you to a new city? Find must-try dishes and places in Mamakoo on your next trip.
𝙈𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙤𝙤 - 𝙋𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙨
Contributed by @soy._.milkk, Co-founder at Mamakoo
Edited by @yasmomeni
Photo 📷 @chezjanou