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Monday, January 9, 2017

Dinner cruise aboard Les Bateaux Mouches

     When it’s Saturday night in Paris the possibilities are endless.  One can go to the theatre, the movies, dancing, the Opera… and also take a breathtaking dinner cruise on the Seine.  This can also be done during the day time, but the city is magical at night, and this experience is simply a MUST for every visitor, at least once in their lifetime.

     I am in total agreement with the notion that Paris, as a city, cannot possibly take a bad picture.  At night, this concept gets emphasized tenfold.  Notre-Dame illuminated, the Eiffel Tower scintillating during the first five minutes of every hour, the ghosts of the ancient Pont Neuf, the Louvre pyramid… one cannot stop oohing and ahhing all the way through dinner. 

     There are a few companies that provide this sort of entertainment.  I chose the Bateaux Mouches following the recommendations of some local friends.  The company was created at the end of WWII by Jean Bruel, who at the time devised a new glass boat for visitors to the city to view it in all its glory whilst crusing the Seine.  It is an experience I shall cherished for the rest of my life.  You should book your table quite in advance (at least 90 days or so), especially if you will be travelling during high season, like the summer or during the Christmas holidays like I did.  

     There are two sets of menus to choose from, one higher end than the other.  I chose the more modest one, called Prestige.  It seemed quite delicious and not overtly expensive.

     You will eat on this boat.  A lot, so I suggest going with an empty stomach.  It’s a 3-course menu, plus appetizer and cheese, and 2 types of wine.  I had a whole table for myself, by the huge glass window-pane.  I sat down and allowed myself to enjoy the feast. 

     First came the appetizer, along with the house champagne called Castel Mouche, not too dry, not too sweet.  Quite good actually.  I could have drank several glasses, but I didn’t, as I knew there was more coming.  The nibbles were s couple of courgettes amuse-bouches and some grissini with a dipping sauce.  We were still docked at this time.

     For when started moving, I chose the Vol-au-vent for my starter, filled with a mixture of escargot, garlic and parsley.  It didn’t look like a Vol-au-vent should, but the taste was what mattered and it was truly tasty, although not well-presented.  This was my favorite dish of the whole meal.

   For the main course I chose the Filet of sea bream seasoned with basil, broccoli puree and parmesan cream.  A simple, yet quite tasty dish.  Very tender fish, which matched perfectly with the puree and the sharper cream.  It was paired with a Chablis.

     As we were around the Institut du Monde Arabe, the cheese course arrived.  A slice of Reblochon and a Camembert.

   At this point, I was fully stuffed.  I could barely finish the cheese, but dessert was coming!  I chose the Coffee mousse dome, served with a crème anglaise and some coffee - espresso.

     I was glad I had to walk back about half hour to the place where I was staying.  I needed it!  The cost of the dinner was 99€.  Certainly not extremely expensive for a memory that will last a lifetime.  Overall, the dinner could have been better, but it wasn’t bad, just too simplistic at time for my taste.  Highly recommended.