One of my favorite areas in Paris is the Rue des Martyrs neighborhood. Stretching from Saint-Georges up through Pigalle, the vibe is hip-sexy-fun-chic-cool-foodie-trendy. There’s something for everyone, from KB Cafe with their amazing Australian-style coffee, to delicious choux at Popelini, … Continue reading
The team behind Cantine California has struck gold again. Le Dépanneur, their sit-down restaurant in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris, is a slice of Southern Californian paradise, complete with little cactus plants and wooden patio furniture. In true American style, … Continue reading
I’ve never been to Corsica, but after this meal, it’s on the top of my travel list.
I love a good planche mixte. I could eat it just about every day. It’s a mix of different cuts of cured meat and sausage, as well as a variety of cheeses. (For my veggies out there, you can also have one with only cheese, too. Equally as delicious!) This past weekend, the Englishman and I had an incredible planche mixte at the lovely Terra Corsa in the 9th arrondissement.
Our selection of cheese included both a young and aged chèvre, along with their counterparts in the brebis form. Brebis is sheep’s cheese, which is unbelievably good. As you can see, we had a nice variety of meats, each one better than the next. The Corsican restaurant had a great selection of wine to boot, which they matched to our planche selection. DM ordered a more complex wine, while I went with a lighter red, both equally as enjoyable. The baguette was perfect, and we both left happy and full!
I highly recommend stopping by this eatery if you’re in town. The neighborhood is so much fun. Rue Martyrs goes from Notre Dame de Lorette up to Pigalle/Anvers, with tons of cute shops, boulangeries, and eateries. This is also where you can find the hotspot Rose Bakery, the fun Kookaboora Cafe, as well as the latest Popelini boutique for your fill of choux à la crème. So much to see here! To start the night, though, make sure to snag an outdoor table at Terra Corsa, order one of their amazing planches, and enjoy the flow of bread and wine throughout the evening.
42 Rue Martyrs, 75009
A visit to the Marché d’Aligre is becoming a Sunday morning tradition. The quartier is full of “sympa” restaurants and shops, many of which have excellent reviews. A lover of food and restaurant discovering, I couldn’t wait to start trying them out! The first to get checked off the list was the Moroccan eatery Le Berbère.
We all ordered different couscous dishes, including the mixed grill, merguez, and meatballs. The variety of vegetables in the side dish was fantastic, and the broth was bursting with flavor. I’m a huge fan of merguez, and this one was bomb-dot-com good! Add a little harissa, and voila, our meal was complete.
Both the food and service at Le Berbère were top notch, and we had a great afternoon there. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area – and have a big appetite!
62 rue Crozatier
I love wine bars.
Mmm, actually, I love wine
bars. It’s so much fun to explore and to taste all different types of vino. Thanks to the wonderful dégustations I’ve attended, I’ve discovered that there is more to life than Bordeaux. As it turns out, white wines are actually quite enjoyable.
On a warm summery night, what better way to wind down than with a lovely friend and some fantastic wine?
Les Caves de Reuilly
11, boulevard de Reuilly
“Where shall we go for dinner?” What a tough question! There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from! Tons of places are hip, specialized, renowned, or just plain good. How do you choose just one?? You could definitely read … Continue reading
Amazing. The talented team comprised of Josh Fontaine, Adam Tsou, and Carina Soto Velasquez Tsou has blown away the Parisian bar and foodie scene. With three fantastic bars in the city, Candelaria, Glass, and now Le Mary Celeste, the trio is reinventing … Continue reading
It was hands-down the best crêpe I’ve had in Paris so far.
The nutella-filled wonder was made by Alain, who has a stand at the Marché des Enfants Rouges (The Market of the Red Children) in the Marais. Merci to my Englishman for having found this gem!
Made popular in the UK by The Little Paris Kitchen’s Rachel Khoo, Alain’s organic stand had a long line of anglophones when the handsome Englishman and I stopped by for our goûter (the 4 o’clock snack in France). People visiting Paris for the weekend made sure to stop by the market and try these gastronomical creations. Not only does Alain make amazing organic crêpes (“tout bio!” as he shouts), but he also makes fantastic breads and the famous cornet végétarien.
The eccentric Frenchman sings and dances to the music of his boombox as he prepares your order. His cooking has a certain grace to it as he moves fluidly around his kitchen, grabbing this ingredient or that. The line moved quickly, and soon it was our turn! DM ordered a sugar-lemon crêpe, while I ordered my usual, a crêpe au nutella. As he buttered the hot plate, we were treated to another little song-and-dance performance.
Both crêpes were AMAZING. For the sugar-lemon one, Alain grated some organic lemon zest and then squeezed lemon juice all over it as a finishing touch. We thought it might make it taste a bit sour but instead it complemented the sugar and sweet batter perfectly with a crisp, tangy taste. My nutella one was heavenly! We decided that the magical element may just have been the slightly burnt butter that made the batter taste all sorts of wonderful.
The Marché des Enfants Rouges is a perfect place to stroll around on a Sunday or meet up for lunch. With a wide variety of stands, ranging from Moroccan tajines to a fantastic wine hub, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.
Below you can see some of the pictures from our visit and the delicious treats we enjoyed. Can’t wait to visit again soon. Merci, Alain!
Your new favorite place to eat in Montparnasse: Le Stand
Le Stand is a new New York-Italian style restaurant in the fun 14e arrondissement. A lover of both the outdoor métro line 6 and the Edgar Quinet neighborhood, I was absolutely delighted to discover this eatery.
Chef Yann Frohn has put together an incredible menu that will satisfy any member of your party’s palate. Burgers and pasta dishes highlight his mastery of this particular cuisine, while the plat du jour menu usually features French dishes that are salivation-worthy.
Frohn’s previous experience at four-star hotel restaurants and in the luxury industry is apparent in the presentation and variety of the menu. The ingredients are fresh, with the vast majority of the menu made in-house. The burger was perfectly American, and the fries were without a doubt the best I’ve ever had.
The décor is fun and modern, and it gives you the impression of dining in a Big Apple eatery. It’s only when the staff and other guests speak that you realize you actually are in the French capital. I absolutely loved the light fixtures (see below) and red walls!
Desserts were also amazing! As you know, I’m a lover of the café gourmand, and this particular one was a big hit. If you can contain yourself and enjoy just one dessert, I would go for the profiteroles!
Another plus is that they can accommodate large parties. We celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday, and all twenty of us were easily accommodated and well taken care of.
For a casual lunch or night out, Le Stand is the next place on your list.
9, boulevard Edgar Quinet
A coffee date with friends today turned into the discovery of a fabulous new Mexican restaurant, El Guacamole near the Canal Saint Martin. I’m not often in the 10th, but after today’s walk through the charming neighborhood, I will be exploring it more in the future. May I present to you El Guacamole.
Being from Southern California (and the daughter of Mexican parents), my standards for the cuisine are high. El Guacamole did very well. It’s not easy to get the authentic ingredients to cook certain traditional dishes, but I really enjoyed their cactus (nopal) taco. I loved the horchata, a traditional Mexican beverage made with rice and cinnamon.
I find it interesting to see how much tacos cost around the world. I found a pub in Royal Leamington Spa, England, that has tacos for £6, and another restaurant in Paris that has them for 6€…each. Priced at 3€50, these tacos are reasonably priced, and the tortillas were so good!
Lovely location, delicious food, and cosy atmosphere. See you at El Guacamole!
37, rue Yves Toudic
This is a match made in fashion and gastronomy heaven!
One of my favorite brands, Citizens of Humanity, has created a monthly video series called “Just Like You.” Each video features a different, international personality discussing their respective passions, professions, personal stories, and thoughts on life. One of my favorite videos in the series spotlights French chef Hélène Darroze.
Though she is now the fourth generation of a family of chefs, Hélène Darroze first earned a business degree and joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco – but in the office. Ducasse finally persuade her to return to the kitchen, and the rest is history. She returned to her family’s Michelin-starred restaurant, and then went on to open her own restaurant in Paris, where she won her first Michelin star in 2001, and then a second star in 2003. In 2008, she was named the new chef of The Connaught hotel in London after its nine month £70 million restoration and renovation program, where she earned them another two stars. On top of this all, other accolades include becoming a chevalier (knight) in the French Legion of Honor in 2012 and being the inspiration for the character Colette in Pixar’s 2007 film Ratatouille. Two cities, two restaurants, two children: she can do it all!
What is exceptional about Hélène Darroze’s cooking is her loyalty to her roots and the flavors of southwestern France, particularly from the Landes region where she was raised. Her culinary style has been dubbed “haute rustique,” as it combines the sophistication of French cuisine with traditional cooking methods and hearty ingredients. Darroze says she is very influenced by her heritage, where art de vivre cuisine and food is so important. This unique emphasis has no doubt contributed to her international success.
It’s no wonder that Citizens of Humanity selected such a dynamic and passionate person for their series. I fell in love with this clever combination to showcase their partnership, a jean oven mitt! And x marks the spot, or the Hélène Darroze restaurant in Paris. You can purchase the mitt online here.
All proceeds from the Hélène Darroze x Citizens of Humanity Oven Mitt will benefit Afghanistan Libre, an organization that provides assistance in constructing and running primary and secondary schools for girls.
Visit Hélène Darroze in Paris
4, rue d’Assas, 75006
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London
The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
or at the Raff House in Moscow
Malaya Nikitskaya street, 25
The French celebrate Three Kings Day, or La Fête Des Rois. The first Sunday of each new year is dedicated to this celebration, and one of the most important players in this day is the delicious galette des rois.
Traditionally a puff pastry with a frangipane stuffing (almond paste used in desserts), the galette is served to everyone in a very particular manner. The youngest person present goes under the table and decides how the slices are designated. Whoever finds the féve, the object placed inside the galette, is the queen or king of the day and, of course, gets to wear the crown that accompanies the galette.
This year’s galette was absolutely delicious, and the lovely Mieko was pronounced the queen of the day!
It’s officially December!
That means warm coats, scarves, cuddle weather, winter solstice, and – Advent calendars! I love that little daily piece of chocolate as a way to countdown to Christmas.
Advent calendars seem to be extremely popular in Europe! Every main chocolate brand has their own. Kinder, Milka, Lindt, and Cadbury – you can find their cute little designs everywhere. I was recently gifted the Cadbury one below by a lovely Englishman; it’s quality chocolate. I learned that there is a game that goes along with it; the person who correctly guesses the shape or design of the chocolate that day gets to eat it!
If you are looking for a truly French advent calendar, you only need to look no further than one of the best chocolatiers in the country: La Maison du Chocolat.
Nicolas Cloiseau, Master Chef of La Maison du Chocolat, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, has created some delightful and unique collections for this holiday season. The beautiful Advent Christmas tree is the most delicious way to build anticipation for the 25th.
Or you can choose a Christmas Star Coffret, for the day of, and pick from the following options:
Dark & spicy – Praline with crunchy slivers and Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg)
Dark & sparkling – Ganache sphere with Champagne Blanc de Blancs (100% chardonnay, very fruity)
Sweet & nutty – Almond paste from Provence with walnuts from the Périgord and honey from the Morvan forest
Dark & acidulous – Pure origin dark ganache from the Dominican Republic with full, round chocolate notes and crisp, acidulous flavours of candied fruits
Dark & fruity – Duo of ganaches with coconut and lime. White chocolate ganache with coconut, dark chocolate ganache with lime.
I would have to get all of them!
For mouth-watering and gorgeous decorations, bring home the Celestial Tree, the Christmas Star, or for the most French touch to your Christmas, the Constellation Bûche de Noël. Looking forward to seeing what will come home with me on my next trip to La Maison du Chocolat!
La Maison du Chocolat
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Being away from the US, I was curious as to how the celebrations would fare this year. Where does one get cranberries, a turkey, pumpkin pie ingredients, gravy, and stuffing in this city?
Thankfully, (pun intended) you can get it all in Paris! Not without a few treks across entire metro lines and hitting the store Thanksgiving in the Marais (without which the full meal would not have been possible), but you can definitely find everything you need to pull off a successful Turkey Day meal. In fact, at the store Thanksgiving, one can get all sorts of American food products! (Reese’s peanut butter cups, included!) Oh, the way to get a turkey across the city is to place yourself in the back corners of the metro, where you can put it under your seat, or behind you on your seat, because that thing is heavyyy.
I was fortunate enough to have not one but TWO Thanksgivings this year! Both involved including friends from all over the world and introducing them to our fabulous eat-til-you-burst holiday. The best parts of the night were going around and saying what we were thankful for (which everyone loved! When an English friend heard what we were about to do, she said, “YES! I have always wanted to do this and I never thought I would get to!!!!!” Happy that this made her holiday!) and introducing European friends to my favorite dessert, pumpkin pie. I loved seeing the concerned and curious faces take their first bite of the pie and immediately smile and say, “Oh my goodness! THIS IS SO GOOD!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, pumpkin pie is amazing.
Of course, the experience of being able to celebrate this important American holiday while being almost 6000 miles away from home was truly the best part of this Thanksgiving. This year, I am thankful for: my family, of course, whose support and love is my biggest motivation to succeed and without whom my life in Paris would not be possible; my friends, old and new, who never cease to impress me, motivate me, make me proud, and make me laugh; my voice teacher and professors, who help and push me to achieve my goals; having met John, who every day makes me so incredibly happy; and last but certainly not least, Paris, which has shown me different sides of myself, has made me grow as a person with the new challenges and experiences that I see on a daily basis, and is the city that has introduced me to some of the most amazing people and things in the world.
As always, Paris, je t’aime.
It’s the third Thursday in November. This can only mean one thing: Beaujolais Nouveau is here!
Beaujolais Nouveau Day officially starts at midnight on the third Thursday of November in Beaujeu, near Lyon, home of the vintage. Barrels are rolled through the streets of the region, and the celebration lasts throughout the night.
French law prohibits the wine to be sold before the third Thursday of the month, which creates an exciting anticipation once the month of November comes around. So today, all around France, people will celebrate the arrival of the newest Beaujolais!
The 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau campaign this year revolves around the world of fashion, as they believe that this wine shares the qualities of “refinement and glamour” that fashion possesses.
Although, the French are not the only ones to drink this light, fruity red wine. Following the Parisians in Beaujolais consumption around the world are the Japanese, Americans, and Germans.
As tradition has it, on this festive day, restaurants, wine caves, bars, and wine stores will have signs out that say, “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” (The Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived!”) Can’t wait to celebrate!
For more info, check out these links: