[Paris]: Food

May 24, 2010

Classic pairing: fresh radishes with butter and salt.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who wake up thinking about dinner, and those that don’t. The French, and myself, are those that do! In Paris, food is a way of life. This is not new information, but for me, it was like stepping into a world where everything made sense! Don’t know where you are going in life? Start with the daily baguette. Don’t know about your relationships? Let’s talk cheese. Regretful about the past? Chocolate or wine. The French have a shop for everything: cheese, bread, pastries, chocolate, candy, spices, fish, meat, tea, wine. Shopping for your meal is a 4 hour experience! Delightful! When left alone, I spent a good three hours wandering around Le Grande Epicerie, buying dijon mustard, cornichons, olive oil, salts, spices, and chocolate to bring home.

Each day, Tyler and I ventured out, with hungry bellies and open eyes. We would start our day with a croissant or quiche from the local Patisserie. Pull into a little cafe to enjoy a daily espresso. And then walk until we were ready to eat again. From street food (crepes, greek sandwich, or baguette sandwiches) to our fine bistro dining, we loved every morsel. We also had a perfect kitchen for cooking, or piecing together no-cook meals.

A few suggestions, if you find yourself in Paris soon. First, buy a copy of Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier (author of blog Chocolate and Zucchini). We carried this book with us everywhere, and every suggestion that we followed, we loved.

A few favorite resturants:

Bioboa: A chic little organic cafe in the 1st arr. (3 rue Danielle Casanova. Cross Street: Avenue de l’Opera. Metro: Pyramids) They had an incredible assortment of fresh, lighter fare that was refreshing after all the red wine and heavy French food. We ate there a few times, enjoying the fresh juice (carrot-pomegranate-ginger- strawberry), the veggie mushroom burger with arugula, and the organic cheese burger with pomme frite.

Cafe Panique: Fresh, French inspired cuisine in an intimate setting, located in the 10th arr. (12 rue des Messageries. Cross Street: Rue du Faubourg Poissonniere. Metro: Poissonniere) This was by far our favorite meal while in Paris. The small restaurant is a bright, high ceilinged room, with only a glass pane separating us from the kitchen. I was lucky enough to be able to watch the cooks prepare my exquisite meal. I had asparagus with an avocado cream, and poached egg, marinated haddock on a bed of fresh vegetables, and the most incredible caramel tiramisu. And they use a little french press for their cafes! The service was delightful. I would recommend a reservation. http://www.cafepanique.com/

Pierre Herme: World-renown pastry and chocolate shop in the 6th arr. (72 rue Bonapart. Cross street: Rue du Vieux Colombier. Metro: Saint Sulpice or Mabillion) I am often skeptical about food that looks to good to eat. But Pierre Herme’s pastries are gorgeous AND incredibly delicious. His macarons are perfect in texture and flavor. Pictured below is the famous Ispahan – a large raspberry macaron filled with rose cream and lichi, and topped with fresh raspberries.

Raspberry Rose Macaron from Pierre Herme.

Les Artistes Gourmands: Franco-Italian Pizzeria in the 10th arr. (83 rue de la Roquette, Metro: Bastille or Voltaire) This is a wonderful place we fell upon our second night in Paris. They have a great thin crust, traditional Italian-style pizza selection, with varieties of French cheeses and other seasonal toppings. I tried a cheese pizza with an egg on top – brilliant! We also had our first experience of escargot, which was simply delicious. It was cooked with some sort of pesto sauce. We became friends with one of the waiters who spoke great English and shared a love for Miles Davis.

Escargot with pesto.

Le Refectorie: Trendy, causal cafe with a nostalgia of a french school cafeteria in the 11th arr. (80 Boulevard Richard Lenior. Cross Street: Rue Saint-Sebastian. Metro: Richard Lenior or Saint-Ambroise) We enjoyed their brunch formule which included, a coffee drink of your choice (I had a cafe au lait), fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, the best creamy eggs of all time, sausage, bacon, french bread, a crepe, nutella, yogurt with honey, and musili.

Brunch formule.

Bon Appétit!

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