A Return to Grace at Bio d’Adam et Eve (Paris)
Adam and Eve certainly had a tough time of it. Living a life of perfect bliss in the Garden of Eden amongst the foliage, rivers of milk and honey and a host of wild animals, they had it pretty good overall and were never want for basic needs…food included. Well, that was until it all went to hell of course. You know, when Eve became too curious for her own good (in her defense I think burning curiosity is encoded into women’s DNA) and chose to bite into the forbidden fruit and woo sweet old Adam into doing the same.
Their fall from grace sent the world – and everything in it – into a tailspin. Adam and Eve weren’t allowed to live at home anymore and they discovered that running around naked was no longer à la mode. From that day forward women would endure wild, gut wrenching pain when giving birth, while men would be forced to put their blood, sweat and tears into cultivating and sowing crops that might not yield enough food to feed their families. Much less themselves.
Oh, and people weren’t allowed to live forever anymore.
Despite the drawbacks that their misstep in judgement incurred for humanity, some see Adam and Eve’s choice as a sort of awakening. A moment of enlightenment if you will. An opportunity to move from a comatose realm into a sea of consciousness, and the chance to discover a whole subtext of knowledge that had been hidden underneath their Edenesque bliss all that time.
That’s putting a positive spin on it. I mean, we might as well make the best of a crappy situation, no?
A restaurant in Paris that goes the extra mile to incorporate lessons-learned and encourages patrons to return to a state of food-loving grace is Le bio d’Adam et Eve, located in the 1st arrondissement on Rue Saint-Honoré. A vegan and vegetarian-friendly eatery that caters to all sorts of Intolerants (including the organic-conscious, meat-shunning, non-GMO, gluten-and-dairy-avoiding sets) this déli-café wound up being a glorious Parisian find.
The interior is bright and minimalistic, and the canteen set-up reminded me of the Belgian franchise EXKi. Le bio d’Adam et Eve is just as ethically minded as its Belgian competitor, even more so perhaps, in that it serves healthy ready-to-eat food that’s 100% organic. On offer are fresh and wholesome pre-made sandwiches (e.g. salmon, ham and vegetable) and soups, along with a host of warm dishes that include grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes and tomato polenta.
Any vegetarian or vegan Intolerants will have plenty to choose from. Le bio’s selection includes hummus, crispy salads, paella, fresh fruit and various types of nut milk. To accompany your main dish are slices of rustic bread that can be used to mop up your vinaigrette – some breads are made with gluten and others without (rice, buckwheat and chestnut flour act as substitutes).
In terms of drinks there’s coffee and tea, wine and beer and a filtered water fountain that allows patrons to quench their thirst. Bio smoothies and green juices are also available if you’re on a specific fast or if just want to have your lunch in superhero liquid form.
Then there’s dessert…oh by the grace of God…dessert. Catering to both the un-Intolerants and Intolerants out there, Le bio d’Adam et Eve has several baskets and fridges full of sinfully good ways to end your meal. There’s yogurt and milk based puddings, flans, muffins and cookies, along with gluten (and dairy free!) chocolate and nut-based mousses and lovingly made cakes that can supposedly induce happiness in those who eat them.
For lunch I settled on a salad with carrot, lettuce, quinoa and germinated seeds and a small pot of hummus for good measure. It was fantastic. Simple and fresh, the salad tasted as if I could have put it together with ingredients from my own garden…if I had one. The hummus was light and zesty; a perfect accompaniment to my plate full of greens.
I chose the chocolate and ginger mousse for dessert and boy, did the devil and I dance over that small pot of titillating goodness. Both gluten and dairy free, the mousse was rich without being overly sweet, and was also airy while still having structure and substance. There was a slight spiciness – a fire if you will, courtesy of the ginger – that lingered long after my last spoonful was gone. In all, the mousse alone had me riding a high all afternoon and feverishly plotting when I would be able to sneak away to try another of their heavenly delights (almond and lemon pudding anyone?).
If a dessert like that is what a fall from grace entails, then sign me up. Everything is about balance anyways and to know pleasure we must have an understanding of pain. Le bio d’Adam et Eve does a fabulous job of trying to restore balance and order through the quality food it serves.
A lot of people seem to pop into Le bio to grab something on-the-go, but there’s plenty of seating available if you want to have a proper meal and read the canteen’s manifesto on how they strive to serve food that’s pleasurable, healthy, meaningful and ethically sound.
Food that is meant to nourish and strengthen and empower. Food that is filled with goodness.
Food that inspires grace.