We had a fabulous girls’ night out (with Kasia, Alana and Mary) at an outstanding restaurant in the charming center of Paris just off the Left Bank. Invited by friend and restaurant manager, Kajsa, to test the imported Italian delicacies of Amore e Gelosia, we were welcomed with the warmth of a friend and the luxury of a highly experienced professional.
What first sparks the interest upon entering the establishment are the large portraits and images that decorate the walls, or famous Italian icons and people eating pasta with sheer and utter contentment. Large bosomed women with grand and brilliant smiles and laughing men who look well fed and well loved. It’s the beginning of an evening bathed in the Italian culture. After a tour of the restaurant (three different dining areas) I decided it has the perfect balance of cosiness and chicness to be exactly what I would hope for from this #ItalyInParis experience.
I was invited in September to a fantastic soirée at the Bofinger brasserie that I have blogged about before (a few years ago). Amongst a slew of Parisian bloggers I was excited to be able to taste some of the options from their new Fall-Winter menu.
(Pour les francophone, voici quelques blogs en français sur le sujet : auhasard.fr, bambiaparis, ParisianShoeGals, Eloàlabouche, YuYuFashionBook, RaphALaVanille) and for a collection of the tweets and instagrams check out Storify.
Not just a well presented dinner, the event was a fun and involved one. The lovely ladies who organised the event had us rate our favorites as the procession of food progressed, and we all got to participate in a food preparation lesson for one of the courses. Read more →
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I LOVE Treize Bakery… It’s dangerous to have a friend with such an incredible restaurant… my hips aren’t lying!
But image learning how to make all that incredible happy and home-cooked food, yourself! Eh oui!!! Laurel, the amazing magnificent Laurel, now offers cooking classes on Wednesday evenings. (Sign up in advance so you make sure you get a spot). She teaches techniques like how to make the four basic sauces and the base of all sauces (a simple combination of butter and flour but that needs to be very carefully mixed together and watched with an expert eye), or pie crust…light and flaky buttery pie crust…OH MY!!! Or how to make her famous carrot cake…Mmm hmmm… that’s what I’m talking about! Read more →
I was so happy to be invited by Le Meurice for a tea time tasting of their pastries, which are renowned, and rightly so given the dedication to French excellence in pastry arts and cuisine that is promoted by this Dorchester Collection hotel.
But an article about tea time at Le Meurice will no doubt spark a conversation about the recent media frenzy over the boycott against hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei, a small sovereign nation that is pocketed on a Malaysian coastline. Anna Wintour and all the celebrities have a very valid point in boycotting hotels owned by this sultan who is integrating sharia law into his country’s customs. I IN NO WAY SUPPORT SHARIA LAW IN ANY WAY. These laws are intrinsically homophobic, misogynist and inhumane. I think radical leaders like Hassanal Bolkiah should be given a taste of their very own oppression and discrimination. I support Anna Wintour and the fashion industry boycotting the Dorchester Collection hotels. But… I also support the dedicated and open minded professionals that work in and for these hotels. These people have nothing to do with the garish laws implemented in Brunei, nor its sultan’s opinions or religious inclination. These people who work in hotels such as Le Meurice, uphold the standards of luxury and tolerance of people from all walks of life. The wonderful people who work for Le Meurice support French standards of business, liberté, égalité, fraternité. I find it sad that these people are the ones being in essence hurt by this sultan’s decisions, and it isn’t fair for them at all. They do an amazing job of running a hotel with high French standards. I do hope the public opinion can put enough pressure on the sultan for him to retract his decision for sharia law without putting in danger the jobs of those who work in his hotels.
Now… can we talk about pastries!?! Read more →
Coretta is a restaurant that will forever mark an amazing change in my life, the reintroduction of dairy into my diet. For about ten years now I have nixed dairy from my intake, and at all the restaurants I visit, I must always inquire about the lactose contents of the menu and carefully select accordingly which often limits my choices to a sad one or two dishes. Often, the kitchen has to make special dishes for me, if they are in the mood. But recently, I have daringly tested out my dairy intolerance, because, they say that every ten years or so your body chemistry changes. It all started with a Pierre Hermé salted caramel cream macaron that DIDN’T make me feel sick. I was astonished. I made a few more attempts at Pierre Hermé macarons, and a couple bites of friends’ desserts to test the theory. It seemed to have some truth to it. Coretta was the first restaurant where I dared to have a whole dish that contained a little bit of cream in the sauce… A revelation of flavor came over me and I remembered what amazing food can taste like! Butter and cream and cheese really do make a difference.
I am going to tell you about a wonderful new spot in the Haute Marais quarter. Open since Novemebr 2012, this place offers something rare in the old parts of Paris : space. It’s called Beaucoup, and it has beaucoup d’espace for a Paris restaurant. It’s the third Parisian restaurant by the duo Ludovic and Julien. They seem to have a knack for opening trendy chic spots. But what I find so delightful about Beaucoup, besides it’s décor, menu and atmosphere… is that it’s right around the corner from the well known spot Merci. To me it seems to be the obvious suite to the installation of Merci. Merci… Beaucoup. And I hope someone opens a place just down the street from Beaucoup, and calls it « De Rien »! It could be a cute little place that serves up something different every day according to what they have available. It would be like they are making something from nothing! Get it? « De rien »? Every meal there would be a surprise! But… I digress with my little Paris restaurant fantasy. Read more →
In my (unadmitted) quest to discover all the fun restaurants in the Batignolles quarter, I was able to suggest Le Club des 5 when planning a dinner out with Chéri and our artist friend Barbara. I had walked by it many times and it has such a fun delightful interieur that seems to dram me in, that I couldn’t wait any longer, so I insisted.
I wasn’t disappointed!
I do chose restaurants based upon décor and ambiance first, and food second. I feel that just as food presentation is important, so are your surroundings and the decorum in which you eat. I can’t eat in a messy room, for example. Read more →
It would seem that Springtime draws me out and exploring the cafés of Paris. I think the easing of chilly weather makes me feel more adventurous and I am inclined to exit the comfort of home for the chairs, benches and divans at various unexplored cafés around town. Although it isn’t that difficult to entice me outdoors given the many attractive café establishments in the City of lights.
I spent a little time recently in two that I had never discovered before…and all in the same afternoon.
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I probably would never have treated myself to such an extravagant meal had it not been for my very good friend, Alana, who is also a connoisseur of fine cuisine and has a palate that would challenge most of the well-known food critics out there (whomever they are). We wanted to have a girls’ dinner out and wanted something that screamed « indulgence » but did not want to skimp on food quality. Not an easy feat with my dairy intolerance. so when I called up Spring and asked them if they could accommodate someone with a dairy allergy, and they said « oui » I squeaked with such joy, Alana told me I sounded like I had won the lottery. I NEVER would have EVER thought that such a posh restaurant would be willing to modify their whole menu just so I could eat there. (I later found out one of the reasons why they were so willing to accommodate).
Le Clan Des Jules
We found this fantastic little place on rue Brochant in the 17th. It has everything you would want on a cold dreary winter evening when you go out for dinner : warm colored décor, interesting and appetizing menu, friendly service, good wine, and a fun theme to the whole thing!
So the theme is a sort of tongue-in-cheek way of saying it’s a mob owned restaurant. It isn’t, that’s just the theme. From the vintage items strategically placed around the restaurant, to the 1920’s mobster machine gun racked up on the wall, to the bullet casings lined up on one of the shleves; even one of the menu items played into the theme : on the dessert menu the last choice was « Rien, le parrain m’attend 0€ » (Nothing, the godfather is waiting for me 0€).
We were set in a cozy corner, and although when we got there were only the second table to fill, in about 30 minutes there was not a single table empty… (all French people, no tourists) and it was a week night! Thank goodness we reserved. I highly suggested doing the same if you want to head there for a meal.