Category Archives: Eating

John Dory’s Here!

The new John Dory opened in the ACE Hotel.  Cannot WAIT to try it.

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Lunch at Bistrot Paul Bert

Prix Fixe: 16,50 euro includes entree, plat et dessert.  With my 5 euro glass of Bordeaux and tax, meal came to 24 euro.  Bistrot Paul Bert had popped up in numerous articles as a solid neighborhood joint with excellent traditional French fare.  It happily fulfilled my expectations- I had a simple beet salad (you have no idea how much I appreciate a good salad after two weeks here), followed by juicy roast beef and “puree a la maison,” followed by a decadent big chocolate macaron filled with some seriously rich chocolate mousse.  Wow.  Great value, and I loved the ambience.

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Draft Lemonade

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At the Market

The Sunday morning market is AWESOME.  I had all these plans to go to these markets all over the city, but the fact is, the one right behind my friend Annic’s apartment is perfect, and I can be certain I am the only American there.  It’s little, just two little streets that cross each other like an X.  The boulangeries, fromageries, caves du vin, seafood markets, butchers, vegetable guys and florists all open up their doors and expand into stands in the street.  Rotisseries set up on the street fill the air with the smell of roast chicken.  The fruits and vegetables are artfully arranged, as if someone was going to take the whole arrangement of haricot vert and use it as a decorative piece.  We have Annic’s big straw bag, and we pop in and out of each store, only buying one or two things at each.  The street is filled with families doing the same, and a relaxed happiness pervades, as if the tradition of Sunday market brings not just good food but incredible comfort. People greet each other and share kisses and jokes.  The street vendors offer you a taste of their produce before you buy, confident that once you have a bite, you will buy from them.  There is intense pride in the products shown.

 

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One More Reason to Love the 80s

On night 2 of my Parisian life, I found myself at a private wine dinner with a bunch of French people where not only were we tasting vintages from the 1980s, there was a quiz, too.  I was the only American at the dinner, held in a restaurant in a suburb just outside Paris. Obviously, I was the only person who did not speak French. In a touching gesture, one of the hosts (knowing my language limitations in advance) had translated the test into English.

Not that it helped me.

I scored 11.5 points out of 20, and I was proud.  I think everyone was happy that I hadn’t blown it completely, and had shown a bit of knowledge about the great traditions of French wine.

 

The first course, and my quiz

 

 

Check out these bottles.  Pretty cool, right?  I was building tree forts and playing with Barbies when some of these wines were bottled.

 

 

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Cepe Season

I don’t know that I’ve never seen mushrooms this big. It’s the season for these earthy giants and the markets are filled with them. Annic is cooking them up right now with olive oil and garlic, and she will serve them for lunch with duck and a celery root slaw.

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Paris Day 1

cafe

Notes:

I saw 4 women eating baguettes or sandwiches on the street.  Skinny bitches.  I love them.

I saw 1 woman eating an eclair as she window-shopped.  Genius.

I found my dream car, this little thing called Le Figaro.  It might have been a custom car whose owner christened it Le Figaro.

I ran in the Parc Monceau, a luscious neighborhood park filled with adorable French children, and their equally adorable parents, playing.  This is where my boyfriend would play when he was a child.  It made me love him even more.

On the way back from my run, I stopped in at the Monoprix in search of speculoos butter, which Hidden Kitchen chef Braden calls “crack goo.”  I didn’t find the crack goo, but I did find 23 new species of cookies and 14 new species of butter, and 17 new species of yogurt.  It was a brave new world, and I can’t wait to return.

I walked out of Monoprix (still in running gear, mind you) with two boxes of cookies and yogurt.  As I got lost finding my way home, I ingested too many cookies.

I like sitting in cafes in the afternoon and having an espresso.  It’s very good.

 

 

 

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Paris Map

My mapped out guide of eating, drinking, shopping and hammaming.

 

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Weekend Bites

Tis the season for those excellent, sweet, crunchy, HONEYCRISP apples at the farmers market.

My new favorite shoe line, DIEPPA RESTREPO, and their collection of boldly awesome oxfords and loafers, which are perfect for lazy Sunday walks from one cafe to another.

Sunday roast will be PORCHETTA, you can check out Sara Jenkin’s recipe that I’ll be following, or just go visit Jenkin’s PORCHETTA in the East Village.

Rent BABETTE’S FEAST, curl with with a SIDECAR, and watch what is supposed to be one of the best food movies of all time.

 

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Bread Rising

When I was a child, my stepfather Carl would bake bread.  I don’t know where he learned to do it, maybe from his mother or older sister, growing up on the farm in southern Brazil.  He didn’t work off a recipe; the flour and yeast and water and salt just sort of came together in his hands.  My little brothers Cole and Kyle would be picking lone Cheerios off the floor and playing with toys under the table, my brother Elan and I making masterpieces with our fingers against the condensation that had gathered on the big kitchen window.  That warm yeasty smell filled our little kitchen, even Rico the Evil Parrot seemed to enjoy it.

I think we were always a little surprised at how small the loaf was when it came out of the oven.  How had something so little filled a whole room with goodness? We ate it immediately, still warm, when it was simultaneously chewy and crusty, letting our tabs of Land’O’Lakes melt into every crevice, and licking our lips of extra guava paste.  The guava paste was Carl’s touch.  We had the circular cans from Goya, and that concentrated jelly on the buttery bread reminded me of my other guilty pleasure: the Cuban guava pastry. My mother was the pastry chef of the family.  But the days that Carl baked bread were very good days

Bread is the ultimate comfort food, for better or for worse.  The smell of baking bread always makes me think that things are alright in the world.  It’s one of those foods most everyone shares a love for.  We break bread together.

So go ahead and indulge in that fresh-baked loaf from your local bakery.  In SF, be it Tartine, Paris, Bread and Roses or Rose Bakery, New York, Grandaisy, Sullivan St., Balthazar, Blue Ribbon, Amy’s, Eli’s….

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