Thursday, October 20, 2011

l'Ami Louis

Last night PBer Karen from South Africa invited me to dinner at bistro L'Ami Louis. We'd never met but she says she feels like she knows me.

Karen makes divine Ooh La La Artisan Confectionary like calissons, nougat and toffees - I know they're divine because I ate FOUR nougats on the Metro going home last night.

Her two daughters, Saffron and Scarlett (why did my mother name me plain-Jane Carol) joined us. They're tres bonne eleve - they drew, played games quietly through the meal. Only at the end did Scarlett fall asleep on the table.
Everything at L'Ami Louis is huge portions.

While Saffron drew and munched, I noticed Helen Mirren at a table across the way.

She is just plain gorgeous.

The giant salade frisee was gorgeous too
As were the huge stack of frits

My caille/quail - when I finished they brought another!

Back to gorgeous Helen - Irresistable.

Sitting in the back of L'Ami Louis I thought I saw stunning actress Carole Bouquet.

Oui et non? What do you think?

Karen says non.
I was so blitzed by celebrity stalking I couldn't focus on our fruits rouge dessert

A Ha, another celebrity of sorts.
A red crocodile Birkin.
Remember Le Divorce (Leslie Caron was in it) with the famed red croc that fell off of the Eiffel Tower?

Time for zzzzzzzs
Salon du Chocolat is tomorrow.


  1. Omg, Carol, I love Helen Mirren. She looks beautiful. Fun! She's such a good actress, too. You're having fun star-gazing. Enjoy!

  2. Amazing dinner!! Love thr pics! beijos!!

  3. What a fun post. Clever spotting- love the crocodile birkin- I wonder if it was it Helen Mirren's! I have read quite a bit about the restaurant over the years. It was great to 'see' it

  4. Carol, i've been a faithful follower of your blog and also love all things French! I live in Cape Town and would love to know where I can buy Karen's confectionery. I trawl the local Saturday food markets and have not seen her produce, maybe I missed it. Thanks for your lovely painting - always a pleasure to read to your posts.

    1. Hi Noreen
      You can go to my website
      Send me your address and I will send you confectuionery!

  5. Just found you via Westendmum! Love this celebrity spotting dinner - HM is stunning, as always. What a wonderful evening, the food looks delicious. I shall definitely become a new follower.

  6. And that's how we all find out where that red Birkin bag landed! :-) Just imagine: going to your favorite restaurant, casually hanging your red Birkin .... on the wall. *giggles*

    Great post, and I love Helen!!!!
    I love you too, and Karen. xxx

  7. Wow. 2 celebrities in one day! And big time ones. I can't believe that L'ami Louis would serve the quail with the sauce splattered on the edge like that! That's some stack of frites too. I can't imagine Helen ate too many of hers! And Karen's confections look amazing. Well done you for only eating 4 on the way home!

  8. Carol, Thank you for today's post. i am laughing as I type this. I have always wanted to eat there. Maybe next trip!

  9. .. Carol, GREAT POST ... loved every word and picture ... first, I've always heard about the place but never been there ...

    and I know FOR SURE if a big star wanted privacy from pics, they wouldn't be going to L'Ami Louis .. those two comments are senseless ... don't fret one bit.

    It was charming to see some Paris nightlife ... most of us agree.

    Thanks ... as usual for bringing us a bit of Paris.

    (p.s. that woman is probably too young to be Carole)


  10. Oh, my god, that's incredible!
    Also, your last two photos - especially the last one - make me miss Paris all over again...

  11. you had me at those stacks of toast!!....looks fab!

  12. I would go to l'Ami Louis for the frites alone. They look delicious! If I see a woman with a cute bear at the Salon du Chocolat, I'll know that it's you. As for me, I'll be the one whose mouth is covered with chocolat and who has a deliriously happy look on her face. Have fun!

  13. Eyes on the food, Carol. Eyes on the food...

  14. Last time in Paris we had dinner at Josephine, Chez Dumonnet (sp?) and sat next to Gerard Departdieu, and yes, even took a picture or two!

  15. Carol~
    I love traveling vicariously to Paris with you. How fun to spot Ms. Mirren nearby and those daughters of Karen are so adorable! Have fun and keep up the great reporting. xx

  16. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Love this fun! Her daughters are adorable and the food and ambiance (sp?) look great. I'm so jealous of all the fun you are having.

  17. You are just having the time of your life in Paris this time. Pays to meet up with your blog friends. :))
    I thought seeing LC yesterday was awesome but Helen too is really fab. You must have a small camera and taking photos on the sly down to a science. Thank you for sharing with us. This has been your best trip yet. :))

  18. dommage i've never been to l'ami louis because it seems a bit viande intensif for my veggie husband but wow - looks like the place to go! karen's goodies look to die for and - HELEN MIRREN! you got great pics!

    et oui les petites filles tellement sages.

    i have a picture of Sir Paul Smith in Nopi but nowhere near as good! he turned away to admire his bottle of wine.......

    talk about peak life experiences!

  19. You've done it again. Helen Mirren? Fabulous sighting and trust you to notice the Birken. So lovely to meet Karen today - Oh-là-là! Fantastic to meet someone that makes wonderful nougats and Calissons in SA, all thanks to you, Carol. Another super day today. You are SO funny!

  20. Wow! I love her! Did you overhear any conversation? She is so gorgeous and I can only hope to be as beautiful as her when I get older!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  21. Oh Carol, Ms. Mirren is my favorite actress, and to see her so animated and Happy! She must be making a movie over there. yipee!

    What a fun post, the food gorgeous, i really could feel the atmosphere there

  22. Since no one has weighed in...while Carole B. looks fab, I don't think that was her.


  23. Carol I have been so loving your trip so far and now with your fabulous meal at Louis L'Ami I am swooning. The plate of toast had me alone. and oh, Karen's dear girls make me thankful for mine own who have had to sit through a few grown-up dinners and intently sit drawing, or unintrusively playing with there little dolls...sleeping at the table, cute little things. Then of course spotting the RADIANT Helen Mirren..what a treat. And I too agree that if anyones wants there privacy they would probably not be in the midst of such a bustling well known locale. Thank you for sharing your adventures.

  24. Cris, my camera is tiny and in the sidebar -a Canon S90 and infinitely discrete or I could never take ANY of the pictures I show on PB.

    As for invasion of privacy, I'm sure Ms. Mirren knew I was taking some pictures and didn't care a fig. She certainly looked up when the Carole Bouquet look-alike was the object of my tiny focus.
    As it happens Ms. Mirrens sister was sitting a seat away from her. But I cut her out of the post pictures, since that in my opinion would be invasion of privacy in my books. It was clear they were sisters but Helen is obviously the showbiz star in the famille.
    Mille: I'm fairly veggie myself, but sometimes you have to just forgetaboutit.
    As for getting GREAT PICTURES of Mirren, she is VERY photogenic, that's why she does what she does. Her face is infinitely interesting and catches the light nicely.
    Julie: L'Ami Louis REEKS of atmosphere - if only they could cut it up and sell it...
    THANK YOU Karen!

  25. Margaret in Atlanta12:36 PM

    You have made my morning! I love Helen Mirren and those Birkin bags. I do agree that the woman you thought was Carole Bouquet might be a bit too young. However, if you want a fun read, try Bringing Home the Birkin .

    Thanks for the Paris Breakfasts!


  26. L'Ami Louis food & ambiance looks wonderful! You have solved my menu plan for tonight. I believe I will thaw some quail!
    Where to get Karen's treats? I want some of that nougat! How fun to get to meet followers of PB! I know what she means that she felt she knew you. I imagine a lot of PBers feel that way! after all you share NY,Paris,London, your art,Bear & sometimes celebs! Thanks!

  27. Anonymous2:55 PM

    I LOVE THIS KELLY (its not berkin(bIrkin) birkin has different flap) this kelly is such an amazing piece... I wouldnt leave bag for around 10 000euro alone like this! Love love love it so much!

  28. OMG.....Beautiful pictures, you make me hungry!!!!!!:)

  29. Bob,
    Got kick sand in someone elses sandbox.

  30. What a beautiful series of photos!
    The opening shot is just perfect! And the available light interiors are gorgeous!
    I'm out of exclamation marks!

  31. I thought hanging it up on the wall was a rather clever way to keep an eye on it.
    Twice I left my camera today on a table at the Salon du Chocolat.
    Luckily others were kind to remind me. Keeping the head attached is another matter...

  32. Ana Fritz3:22 PM

    What a fun fun adventure you shared today! Food, fan sightings, and don't forget the handbag! Luv it!

  33. oops. Gerard and Carol split in 05.

  34. Just wanted to stop by and say "thanks" for all of the advice about the best way to visit the Salon du Chocolat. I had a wonderful time today. The dresses in the fashion show were amazing and the chocolate was divine. Who would have ever thought that I would get to the point of refusing chocolate samples by the end of the evening!

  35. WHO would leave a Birkin hanging with the coats????? Is there no French crime?

  36. Her daughters are beautiful..and I adore their names also..
    Belle Helen Mirren.I love her!

    Is it Carole Bouquet ..from the front I say..oui! The profile throws me..? Is it she? We watched a movie in the past year..she was in it..I cannot remember the name..I wish I could..only Isabelle Huppert movies are coming to my will come..

    What a sweet feast there..Love the resto..Lucky you!

    PS I have met blogger friends..and have loved the moments.

  37. Lovely evening - thanks for taking us along...and the hm pics - devine. bisous

  38. Hola Carol! Todo con encanto francés...y se ve mas que delicioso momento1 Un beso, Gloria.

  39. What a fun, terrific post. Loved seeing the Helen Mirren photos--she is gorgeous! Thanks!

  40. What wonderful shots of Ms. Mirren!
    From now on I think we should be calling you "Carol Gillottzarazzi."
    Just saw her in the thriller, "The Debt."
    Wonderful film, with great actors.

  41. Noreen,
    Karen Schneid should have a website soon for OOH LA LA Artisan Confectionary.
    Keep an eye out.
    She lives in JoBerg

  42. Fun fun fun. I feel like I was in your pocket. Great post once again. Added L'Ami Louis to my must do list when in Paris next. Thanks for the Parisian daydream!!!

  43. Anonymous6:57 PM

    What a fun adventure!!!

  44. What a star studded visit you are having. The food looked just fabulous! Helen too, goes without saying. I can't wait to read what happens next!

  45. Tom Katiah3:05 PM

    L'Ami Louis is infamous for being noted as the worst restaurant in the world. Read AA Gill's legendary review. I kind of agree with him. It has so many bad features that so many tourists seem to accept as 'hey it's Paris'. And boy it isn't cheap. I think the owners have long since given up caring and keep charging the bucks so long as But there are SO many more better places in Paris than this old dinosaur. You seem to have enjoyed yourself though.

  46. Different strokes for different folks Tom.
    I was a guest so not inclined to complain.
    It's not about the food IMHO but all the other stuff.


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