The sixth is the center of our Parisian universe.  Though we take up just a tiny sliver of its 0.8 square mile (about 300 square feet to be exact), we have spent a large chunk of our dining hours within its boundaries, everywhere from hole-in-the-wall joints to nicer sit-down restaurants to the well-frequented Monoprix supermarket for a meal back at home.  There remain many known and unknown gems to be sampled but we have no doubt that we will get through most of them, or fail trying.  After all, we love eating as much as we love living where we live.
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Four Baguettes
81, rue de Seine
M° Saint-Germain-des-Près

Euro - 8 or less   
Situated on one of the capillaries branching off the lively rue de Buci, this gelateria first caught our attention as some sort of a cross between a practical joke and a whole lot of wishful thinking.  It had been under remodeling for a while and a large sign by the door invited everyone in the neighborhood to stop by for free ice cream on the grand opening that Friday (August 22).  Late Thursday night, we passed by and the counter was half finished, the walls still being painted, and a few refrigeration units were still in their boxes and packaging.  Hah, we thought, we’d like to see them pull it off.
  Gelato that makes you go WOW:  Marrons glacés and cocco on the left, just cocco on the right (both 3.50€ each).
Friday was a cold, rainy day, an inauspicious beginning if there were even going to be one.  We sauntered down the narrow rue de Seine, feigning disinterest while eyeing a miracle that had taken place over night in a place we thought no one ever worked after seven.  The sign offering free ice cream was gone but before we hesitated a friendly staff in stylish attire off a Milanese catwalk invited us in for a sampling.  We gladly obliged and selected a few flavors from underneath all of those stainless steel lids.  Our first impression:  We were more impressed with the feat they had pulled off than what was in our little cups.  Maybe the refrigeration units had not been plugged in for long enough.

We continued going to our favorite, Amorino, until it got cold and then we sent our gelato routine into hibernation for the winter.  But with the spring thaw our craving came storming back and one day after a full meal of moules et frites at Léon, we wanted dessert and coming off rue de Seine from the river we suddenly thought, “Let’s try Grom again.”  So, we did.  Inside the well and pleasingly lit shop, with clean lines and graceful design, we eyed the uniformity of the steel lids and guessed at the flavors hidden underneath.  Nez got the cocco (noix de coco) (3.50€ small cup), just cocco, and Riot a half-and-half of cocco and marrons glacés.
  Free gelato, no, really!:  A complimentary scoop of fiordilatte on opening day.

Our impression on this nondescript Sunday night after visiting the Warhol retrospective at the Grand Palais?  Absolutely divine.  It was freshness of ingredients that one could literally taste, as if there was a coconut palm and a chestnut tree growing and a milking cow grazing right there in the back of this small storefront.  The ultra fine texture of the ice cream announced understatedly that this was the product of artisanal hands and not some soulless piece of machinery.  Amazingly, the sweetness that our tongues detected seemed to have emanated directly from the flavors themselves and not the addition of sugar.

As we savored every last scoop on our short walk home, we commented on how glad we were on happening back to Grom tonight and that, while our hearts and memories would always be with Amorino, this was gelato that would give that chain and every other gelateria a run for the money.  This is currently Grom’s only foothold in France and the chain’s promise of “Tout cela pour vous offrir la meilleure glace au Monde” is just a stone’s throw from our little abode.  We feel like the luckiest lovers of gelato anywhere.
  More free gelato:  A cup of pistacchio and hazelnut just for walking down rue de Seine.

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