30 April 2019

An April lunch

 
Lunch on an elegant terrace overlooking Le Petit Palais.

Below: two courses from our formule déjeuner
1) velouté starters (cauliflower with fresh green peas purée; cucumber with crab)
2) panna cotta with raspberries dessert



 

Mini-Palais Restaurant
3 Avenue Winston Churchill 75008

(click photos to enlarge)


 

27 April 2019

Music and gardens


2019 marks the 40th Anniversary of magnificent Les Arts Florissants, an extraordinary musical ensemble led by William Christie and Paul Agnew, and dedicated to baroque in all its forms, but not only...

Above: spring and summer festivals in The Gardens of William Christie

Featuring talented young musicians from the world over and in liaison with the Juilliard School of Music in New York, more than 20 programs of operas and concerts are held in France and throughout Europe - and there's much more.

- See website for this year's programs -
Les Arts Florissants
 Twitter: @lesartsflo

William Christie - Musical Director, Founder
Paul Agnew - Associate Musical Director

Below: from press reception held at L'Académie des Beaux-Arts inside the glorious Institut de France



(click photos to enlarge)

26 April 2019

A natural love affair...



American Craft Beers and Fine French Cuisine: A Natural Love Affair

Barbara Pasquet James

 Once again, this year’s Planète Biére’s pairing event of fine French cuisine with American craft beers - and in the company of some of Paris’ pickiest palates - was off the charts.

On the eve of Planète Bière I found myself feasting the night away with assembled guests at a five-course sit-down extravaganza aptly dubbed, Un Dîner des Épicurieux - a dinner of the epicurious… - created by Victor LeClerc, chef at Paris’ La Fine Mousse restaurant, and Adam Dulye of the Brewers Association, chef and internationally recognized expert on beer and food pairings. Each dish had been meticulously paired with a beer that would enhance its unique qualities.

Our meal began with a delicate brew from Wormtown Brewery, Massachusetts, called Mass Hole Lager. Chosen for its notes of light corn, cracked grains and grassy floral hops, it was paired with a cauliflower velouté amuse-bouche laced with coriander oil. The beer’s crisp yet light character cleansed the palate with each taste, making it a perfect accompaniment.


Next up, a perfectly poached egg atop a carrot purée lightly flavored with ginger-like galanga, julienned mange-tout green beans and, for crunch, toasted pumpkin seeds, was paired with Sierra Nevada Brut IPA from Chico, California. The beer’s champagne quality and deftly balanced bitterness with a pop of citrus made it a sublime choice for this entrée.

Our main course, fresh steamed hake atop a heavenly avocado mousse infused with flavors of citrus and coriander with just the right flourish of coconut and green mango slivers, met its match in Lucy Session Sour from Indeed Brewing Co. of Minneapolis. Named after the brewer’s daughter (said to be “sour, sassy and unpredictable”), the beer’s exotic character boasted hints of passion fruit, orange peel and lemon grass, making this one my personal favorite of the evening.


Then the cheese course arrived - shaved aged mimolette from the north of France - and with it, Belgian style Roadhouse brew, Avarice & Greed, chosen for its malty sweetness and big, fruity, pear-like finish, another fitting harmony as we excitedly braced ourselves for the dessert to come.


Despite my not having what some call a “sweet tooth,” desserts in France, always inventive and with far less sugar than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, have become a part of the meal I look forward to, and this one did not disappoint. An unctuous dark chocolate cream was beautifully paired with Denver Beer Co.’s rustic Graham Cracker Porter, its complementary notes of vanilla, smoked cedar, and mulling spices adding an extra layer of flavor to an already unbelievably flavorful dessert.

The verdict? “Ça marche!”

***

A word about La Fine Mousse:

This is a casual restaurant and bar dedicated to craft beer, worth discovering. On one side of the street is its bar with 20 craft taps, a large bottle list, and, importantly, couches. On the other is the restaurant. There are events, workshops and a convivial atmosphere guaranteed.

Special thanks.



La Fine Mousse

6 Avenue Jean Aicard

75011 Paris

23 April 2019

Tea at the château


More Vaux-Le-Vicomte: a private informal tea




Below: our small press group is joined by the castle's gracious owner, Alexandre de Vogüé







22 April 2019

Enchanted evenings


An hour from Paris...

This year, from May 4 to October 5, two thousand candles will light up evenings every Saturday at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte.

Waltz the night away in the gardens, complete with fireworks at 11 p.m.

Above: al fresco dining at Les Charmilles
(dinner Saturdays only - reservations essential)

Below: the castle at sunset



21 April 2019

He is risen


He is not here.
Matthew 28:6

The magic of Easter

Joyeuses Pâques 2019


Photo image courtesy of reporter friend (AFP)


16 April 2019

She'll be back



Goodbye for now beautiful Lady, Our Lady, Nôtre Dame de Paris - original title of Victor Hugo's novel, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Above: the interior as I will always remember it

15 April 2019

Eataly!


A long-awaited temple of Italian deliciousness has finally made its way to Paris.

Eataly
37 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie 75004 

***

Gala opening was Friday April 12
More in May newsletter

12 April 2019

Marking history


Oar-shaped historical markers throughout the city harken to the Parisii, a Celtic tribe who settled on the banks of the Seine 3rd century BC.

11 April 2019

Friends in high places


A favorite Montmartre spot to meet for drinks with views of the city and Eiffel Tower.

Terrass Hotel
12-14 rue Joseph de Maistre 75018

10 April 2019

Street couture


Springtime in Paris means fun to go through closets and put together outfits:
You'll be surprised at what you find....

9 April 2019

"Now this is what I call a hotel!"


Years ago, with friends driving from London to the south of France on our way to one of those three-day château weddings (in this case a great-great-granddaughter of Victor Hugo), we decided to stop for the night. Arriving in a small town in Burgundy, the driver, a Brazilian banker who fancied himself Ayrton Senna, upon spotting the elegant hôtel de ville stopped the car, jumped out, and proclaimed, "Now this is what I call a hotel!" and began to unload the bags from the trunk. His English wife, fed up with being cramped in the car with him for hours and bickering at almost every kilometer (he'd taken a wrong turn at least twice and refused to ask directions), closed her eyes and said, "Please get back in the car and stop being so tiresome. That's the town hall!" BPJ

Above: Hôtel de Ville, Paris' main town hall

***

[Many who've known me for years and follow this blog have been encouraging me to recount some of the tamer "adventures" we've shared without giving too much away, as a book might be lurking in there. Somewhere.]

8 April 2019

Comfort sandwich



No matter how much great eating there is in Paris - and having written up many of the city's best restaurants over the years - I find myself always returning to my old standby, the simple baguette jambon beurre.

Above: getting ready to share an early light lunch on a perfect day on the terrace of Carette, Place Trocadero

6 April 2019

Op eye



Below: more from the exhibition
(click to enlarge)


Victor Vasarely
 Budapest-born visionary who strove to "psychically feel and comprehend this world"

Ends May 6, 2019

4 April 2019

Double door


A door in the Marais as seen from a double door across the street. Who lived there?

Wi-fi friendly Paris


Plugged-In:

In Paris, café culture is alive, well, and so far, has quietly embraced laptops. Don't let anyone try and tell you differently. BPJ


Full article now in The Good Life France Magazine

3 April 2019

Le Brébant



Once a mecca for intellectuals, artists and writers, this striking café-restaurant has been a fixture on the Grands Boulevards since 1865.

Below: Petrossian tarama with lemon wedge, poilâne toast and a glass of chardonnay


Le Brébant
32 Boulevard Poissonnière 75009


April newsletter
Nouveautés

1 April 2019

Au bout de la saison



From market to table:
It's the end of the winter season and soon crates will be bulging with spring offerings.

Below: Italisn Romanesco broccoli made its way to French tables in the 16th century 


Au Bout du Champ
118 rue Caulaincourt 75018