Category Archives: Paris dining

Paris: Fried Foods and Fine Leather Goods

Bonjour from Texas, my friends! We have been home five days and I have spent most of them in Austin, enjoying my family and tending to our sadly neglected lake house. We missed the bumper crop of Texas wild flowers, but the jasmine is still blooming large on our fence, perfuming the house through open windows (for a few more days, anyway). It’s good to be home.

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Yes, we still have no lake, but my sister’s house is on a part of Lake Travis that is still a little wet. We had a nice family dinner on the deck Saturday night.

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Notice how much nicer docks look when floating on water than when perched precariously on rocks as in the photo from our house.

Not so long ago Mark and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a new restaurant in Paris called Ellsworth. The newest offering by the darling couple who owns one of our favorite special restaurants, Verjus, Ellsworth is more casual, serving tapas seven days a week. Here were a few of our favorites.

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These were not your freezer’s corn dogs, my friends. The tender cornbread wrapper concealed duck sausage, and arrived with pickled mustard seeds and strong French mustard for dipping.

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These flaky, golden scoops of goodness were fried chicken atop a slightly spicy slaw. Fried chicken is not easy to find in Paris, and this is the best we have ever discovered.

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Dessert was apple fritters and cinnamon cream sauce. Oh my. I wish I could conjure some right now. They were so good.

of course there was some of this, too

of course there was some of this, too

Both Verjus and Ellsworth are centrally located near the Palais-Royale. Check them out the next time you are in the hood. Tell them Mark and Kate sent you.

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After all those fried calories, we opted to walk home that evening. Our route took us right by the Hermes store, which provided me the opportunity to photograph the windows without the glare of daylight. I didn’t love them, but preferred them to the previous windows, which were just weird.

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Thanks for stopping by Paris via Texas!

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Filed under Austin, fashion, Hermes, Lake Travis, Paris, Paris dining

The Final Installment of Paris With My Mom and Niece

Mom and my niece were only here for a week, but we made sure we filled each day with as much Paris pleasure as we could pack in.

Obviously, my niece could not make her first trip to Paris and not see a bit of the Louvre. We walked over one morning, hoping to beat the crowds, and did the “Masterpiece Tour” on the museum’s very cool audio guide. The guide had a screen with a GPS on it that showed where we were and guided us to the “top hits” of the collection. As we approached each masterpiece, the audio would begin telling us about it without the need to push any buttons. Way cool. Despite some technical difficulties, which may or may not have been due to user error, we found the guide to be very helpful and I would highly recommend renting it.

We spent about an hour and half there, which was just about all we could manage.

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Aren’t you glad I opted not to video my tour, as many others were doing that day?

Having experienced a tip-top view of Paris by day, we decided to try a night-time view from the restaurant at the top of the Montparnasse tower, Le Ciel de Paris. Mark and I had never been up there and were curious about the restaurant and bar with a view that included the Eiffel Tower. I must say that my expectations were exceeded by our dinner experience. The service was professional and friendly, the atmosphere was elegant, the food was good, and the view was prime.

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I was thrilled that my niece was actually interested in art, so I didn’t pass up the opportunity to show her one of my favorite museums, the Musée d’Orsay. We toured the sure-to-please impressionist collection on the fifth floor, and then chose a few classics from the second floor.

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Their final night in Paris was a Sunday, and we took them to an old family favorite near the Eiffel Tower, La Fontaine de Mars. Not at all pricey, but always good, this place serves a delicious roasted chicken and mashed potatoes for when you have had all the fancy French food you can stand.

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and I love their gigantic, cheery napkins

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And just like that, our week was over. Time always goes by too fast when we share Paris with family!

On a more recent note, I went to the Wilson Market yesterday and came home with the last of the winter’s cauliflower and the first of the spring asparagus. I love it when seasons collide like they did in this tasty dish from Smitten Kitchen, Roasted Veggies With Brown Butter  Breadcrumbs. Actually, her recipe was just for cauliflower, but I knew it would be delicious with asparagus too, because, brown butter.

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And it was.

I hope you are all enjoying this lovely season, wherever you may be. Spring is taking a time-out in Paris today, where it is grey and drizzly and a breezy 52 degrees. No worries, though- sounds like a perfect Sunday to stay inside, blog, and check out my new favorite Netflix show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Thanks for sharing part of your day with me!

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Filed under art, cooking, Paris dining

Lunch With A View

Bonjour mes amis! I am still here, despite what you have NOT heard from me in the last week or two. I have put down my tour guide umbrella and put on my tourist fanny pack for a lovely visit to Budapest and Milan. As in Paris, spring is knocking but has not yet put down her bags. The trees have buds but few leaves and we are still zipping up our coats. The fruit trees are resplendent, though, and the forsythia is ablaze. I am loathe to miss the wild flowers in Texas this year, which promise to be especially knock-out due to the wet winter and spring, so I will be consoling myself with lots of fresh flowers from my market.

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But now, back to Paris!

I have been fortunate to dine at the elegant Jules Verne several times, but had not been there in over a year. When my mother and niece were with us we thought it would be the perfect time to revisit the amazing Eiffel Tower restaurant and share it with them. This Alain Ducasse restaurant is located on the second platform of the tower, and is accessed by a private elevator.

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When the elevator doors open into the restaurant, you are led to your table by waiters who make you feel as though you were royalty. The tables are close together but not crowded, and the atmosphere is subdued elegance.

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The white dome in front of my mom is about to be flipped over to become a charger. The geometric pattern is repeated on the ceiling.

The food is every bit as good as one would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant (which it is).

who could resist this little beauty from the bread basket?

who could resist this little beauty from the bread basket?

soup starter- I think it was lobster

soup starter- I think it was lobster

spring asparagus

spring asparagus with an egg

roasted lamb

roasted lamb

chocolate dessert

chocolate dessert

another dessert doused in armengac

another dessert doused in armangac

Of course, it is not so hard to find delicious food and elegant presentation in Paris. The reason people reserve weeks in advance for the Jules Verne is for the view. I neglected to take any photos from our table this time, but if I had, they would have looked much like these, which I took from the top after we ate.

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note- the triangular roof with green tarp, about one quarter from the top, is right by our apartment

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wave to the tourists

wave to the tourists

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It was a memorable lunch for all four of us. If you ever have the opportunity to dine at the JV- grab it!

Cheers to all of you.

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Filed under dining with a view, Eiffel Tower, Jules Verne, Paris dining

Fresh Eyes On Paris

My mom has returned to visit and this time she brought my niece, who is fifteen years old and making her first trip out of the country. It has been such fun seeing Paris through her eyes. I hope she never forgets this trip with her grandmother and her aunt and uncle. I am already planning to visit her when she does her junior semester here in six or so years!

The day they arrived we walked down to the Grand Palais to see if there were any interesting “fashion types” entering the building for the Shiatzy Chen fashion show.

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Yep, there were a few.

The next day we spent the morning close to home, shopping at the Wilson market, and enjoying the fashion museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The fashion museum is featuring the French designer Lanvin in a new exhibit that is absolutely wonderful. Don’t miss it if you are in the neighborhood.

I can't resist taking pictures of these gorgeous color blasts.

I can’t resist taking pictures of these gorgeous Delaunay color blasts at the Modern Art Museum.

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Can you see the river sparkling out there?

 

In addition to a stellar collection of art, the Paris Museum of Modern Art also boasts a pretty fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower.

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That afternoon the sky was so blue that we had no choice but to walk around Montmartre.

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my mama and my niece

my mama and my niece

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We were pretty tired at the end of the day, but not too tired to take a bus five stops to Le Bon Georges, where we were greeted warmly and fed a tasty meal, indeed.

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melt in your mouth sole meuniere

melt in your mouth sole meuniere

And then we went home and fell into bed.

The End.

 

 

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Filed under art, Eiffel Tower, fashion, Montmartre, Musee d' Art Moderne, Palais Galliera, Paris, Paris dining, Paris Fashion Week, Sacre-Coeur, Uncategorized

Les Papilles and Lazare- Two Good Meals In Paris

The restaurant selection in Paris can be mind-boggling. I often think to myself, as I walk by places that I would like to try, that I could eat out twice a day for the next ten years and not come close to hitting all of them. We do make an effort to try new places, but sometimes it’s nice to go back to the “tried and true”.

Several weeks ago, after out field trip to Bercy, Mark and I popped by Lazare in hopes of getting lunch without a reservation. Located in the St. Lazare train station, Lazare is a spacious and light-filled restaurant with a three-star chef, Eric Frechon. We had eaten dinner there once before but did not know whether we could get in for lunch, or even if they would be open for lunch. They were, and we did, and it was lovely. Sunday lunch is a set menu and that day it was smoked salmon and leeks vinaigrette for starters, a beef dish similar to pot roast with potatoes, and cherry clafoutis and tart tatin for dessert.

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From my seat I had a bird’s-eye view into the open kitchen.

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I have read complaints about the service at Lazare, and ours wasn’t terrible but wasn’t great. The worst of it was being given a bill, which we paid before realizing it was for the diners sitting to the right of us. The staff brought us the difference in cash and were apologetic, but the mistake was symptomatic of the disorganized service that afternoon. We went home full and happy, though, and pleased with ourselves for a delicious and spontaneous choice for lunch.

That same week we took Martha and her friends to our old stand-by, Les Papilles, which I have written about here more than once. The last time we were there was in the summer and we nearly disappeared under our table in a puddle of sweat. This evening, though, was cold, and we sat at our favorite round table by the window, which we opened a few times for a cool down.

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As always at Les Papilles, the fixed menu was an amazing soup, a roasted meat and vegetable, and a frozen panna cotta. The first two courses are served family style.

the best part of the soup are the crunchies that arrive in the bowl

the best part of the soup are the crunchies that arrive in the bowl

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pork and veggies

 

parmesan polenta

parmesan polenta

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Sad to say the panna cotta didn’t stick around long enough for a photo. It was covered in toasted pistachios, and was delicious, as always.

 

Les Papilles is always relaxed and fun and the food is consistently good. Just don’t go there in the summer. Ever. Even a cold soup didn’t save us.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Paris, Paris dining

Shopping And A Late Lunch

The sun smiled down on my daughter Martha and me on her last day in Paris. We decided to walk to a store I had read about called Sept-Cinq on the edges of Montmartre. This day, like many days here, was more about a journey than a destination, but it’s nice to have a spot on the map to shoot for, if only for a sense of purpose. Not that there is anything wrong with aimlessness, mind you.

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Eglise de la Sainte-Trinité

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All too soon we stumbled upon the cozy little Sept Cinq, a shop dedicated to items made by Paris craftsmen. And as the sign says, there is also a small section in the back for a little refreshment after one has shopped up a need for a snack.

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The Paris-made treats range from T-shirts to shoes, candles, cards, jewelry, and purses. I spent quite a while lingering over each charming collection. And take a look at the floor.

I'm a sucker for these old tile floors.

I’m a sucker for these old tile floors.

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even stuff for the dudes!

 

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but sometimes I pretend to be

but sometimes I pretend to be

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The petite tea area in the back was so inviting. Perfect for a private conversation with a best girl friend and a nice cup of something hot.

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totally dig that wallpaper

 

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Such a nice little find! But we were not ready to return home, so we kept walking uphill.

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It was almost 3:00 when we decided we were kind of hungry. I was inclined to pop in to a bar for a glass of red, but Martha wanted something more substantial. Like lunch. Granted, it’s a bit late for lunch, even in Paris, but when we entered a cute restaurant a man asked if we wanted to eat lunch and we said yes. He told us to sit down in the back, where we waited patiently for a menu. Eventually another man came over and when we asked for a menu he said it might be too late for lunch- he would check. He returned with menus and told us it was fine. SO Martha chose risotto and I chose an open-faced sandwich from another part of the menu labeled “quatre heure”. He told Martha they were out of both risottos on the menu. He told me I couldn’t order the sandwich because it was not for lunch- it was for after lunch time. Hmmmm. We seemed to be somewhere in- between lunch and happy hour and should we just get the hell out of here. We decided to give it one more try. Martha asked for the warm goat cheese salad and, miraculously, she could have it. I had given up and stuck with a glass of red. I tell you this whole story because it is so typical of what one finds in France, and can drive you crazy if you let it. We were happy we stayed, however,  because the salad was delicious, and he even encouraged us to share it, which is not typical of Paris. Lucky for me, Martha did share, and we licked the platter clean.

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When we finally got out of there (I think they were hoping we would stick around for “quatre heure” offerings), the sun was on the wane, casting a lovely pink hue on Sacre Coeur.

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Sept Cinq
54 Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, 75009
Tel: +33 (0)9 83 55 05 95
Métro: Saint-Georges

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Filed under Montmartre, Paris, Paris dining, Sacre-Coeur, shopping, Uncategorized

Under A Winter Moon

Sunday evening we went to another vegetarian restaurant (Paris has more than one!) near Notre Dame. Although the day had been grey, the full moon shined brightly that night. Who could resist Paris under a full moon?

Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville

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IMG_4924The restaurant was called Le Grenier de Notre Dame. It was much cozier than the one we tried the night before, and the menu was more extensive. The food was quite good.

We ate upstairs, accessed by the tiniest spiral staircase you have ever climbed.

We ate upstairs, accessed by the tiniest spiral staircase you have ever climbed.

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As you can see, my camera is not really up to capturing the moon properly, but you can’t blame me for trying- that moon was really something. I hope you were able to enjoy it in your sky, too.

 

 

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Filed under Notre Dame, Paris, Paris dining, Seine