31 August 2020

Street oasis



Not only are tables and chairs spilling onto streets but imagine turning a corner and coming across this idyllic miniature living room set up on a side street, where enticing hot chocolate, tea, coffee and cakes are served along with wifi and wit. And when you return the next day, just like that, it's gone.

29 August 2020

Kidswall

 
Into the weekend with this wonderful "kidswall" on a Montmartre side street.

Monday: the street-as-living-room

28 August 2020

Last suppers


Despite a threat of rain dinner terraces were packed yesterday in anticipation of today's mandatory Facemasks Everywhere rule - and not far behind, early closure of restaurants. 

Update: joggers / cyclists won't be required to wear masks

Below: graph Covid-19 France [source: LeMonde.fr / Santé Publique France]
yellow curve = confirmed cases
red curve = hospitalizations
black curve = deaths
green curve = recoveries

(click to enlarge)



26 August 2020

Vacated


With the recent canicule, coronavirus precautions and August vacances, usually teeming streets near the Basilica are eerily empty.

25 August 2020

A summer ardoise


It's lunchtime, and the chalkboard ardoise listing the day's specials is brought to our tables.

Above: ready to order lunch and share a refreshing bottle of rosé

22 August 2020

Soirée dînatoire




These photos, from the sensational apéro dînatoire held at Le Cordon Bleu École de Cuisine to showcase student skills, represent only a small portion of the evening's offerings.

 As champagnes and wines flowed, tray after mouth-watering tray materialized from kitchens. Chefs helmed tables carving, grilling and plating an astounding array of beautiful hors-d'oeuvres and delectable small plates.

Above: lobster cream atop gazpacho base verrines; seared foie gras garnished w/popcorn (!); succulent roasted lamb w/couscous

 Below: a variety of gourmet terrines being turned into canapés on just-baked country loaves; "eggs in nests" w/their bâtonnets; petit fours.... 



***

With thanks and congratulations to the remarkable team and students of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris

21 August 2020

Aller-retour


Our week in Provence was bookended by stops in the Auvergne-Aubrac on the way, and Burgundy on the return trip, two beloved regions.


Above: majestic castle and sunset view from our hotel window in a hilltop village in Burgundy; last café crèmes before heading home

Below: views from our bed-&-breakfast table in the Aubrac countryside


20 August 2020

More Provence




More photos from our recent jaunt to Provence.

Below: even the most modest village restaurants surprised with Michelin-quality repas



19 August 2020

Garlic Provence


Please, treat your garlic with respect! - Anthony Bourdain, U.S. celebrity chef, author, travel writer

Above: ail rose from Lautrec

***

If I had to pick one ingredient that embodies Provençal cuisine, I'd have to say, garlic. In France, the purple variety called ail rose or pink garlic from Lautrec (a village just an hour's drive from Toulouse) beckons from many a market stall. Provençal cuisine, with its liberal use of garlic, wild thyme and other herbs, lemons, peppers, anchovies, tomatoes, capers, olives and olive oil often gets compared to cuisines of southern Italy and parts of Spain, nearby regions that share an identical terroir.
 
We have French family in that region and one dish, a hearty sort of fish stew that emerges only on special occasions, would be incomplete without its aïoli on the side. My favorite, from Spain, is made by pounding garlic cloves into a smooth paste with coarse salt and a small amount of fresh lemon juice (is there any other kind?) in a stone mortar, then incorporating green olive oil little by little until everything magically emulsifies. No egg. French aïoli, which is what I usually make using a hand blender, is quicker and more like a mayonnaise. My mother-in-law's version uses mustard instead of lemon juice, salt, and an egg yolk; all vigorously mixed with a fork as olive oil is drizzled in, and when it reaches the right thickness, crushed garlic is added, but only at the end. BPJ

Below: garlic, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts ready to be taken home and pounded into a pistou; already garlicky moules will be dunked into dill-laced (French style) lemon aïoli w/toothpicks as an apéritif


  
Tomorrow:
More Provence

17 August 2020

Peachy


Last week's heatwave inspired a wave of light refreshing home made drinks. 

Above: peach spritzes with a splash of Cointreau

15 August 2020

Remerciements


À mes chères et chers, merveilleuses et merveilleux --
 


Thank you, again, for your unwavering support... and for the WWLDD?* T-shirt. ❤️ 



Yours,
 Barbara



* What Would Larry David Do?




This week look for more from our week in Provence (w/on-the-way stops in Burgundy and Auvergne)... and from Le Cordon Bleu's non-stop apéro dinatoire extravaganza.


Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are. Soon... BPJ




Photo and design by Nadège  

11 August 2020

Meditation


No matter what time I take my daily walk I know I will see this man, somewhere on the butte, meditating.

10 August 2020

Muy refrescante




On a tiny street down a (relatively) tiny flight of stairs in Montmartre, just over a block away from chez nous, a tiny authentic gem serves up icy cold drinks and house-made arepas, Venezuela's signature corn-based flatbreads that are also the name of these sandwiches.

 Above: incredibly refreshing limón-laced Papelón, the national iced tea with avocado guasacaca (you read that right) and manioc chips; pulled pork and beef arepas with crumbled Venezuelan white cheese, black beans, fried plantain


  Bululu Arepera
20 rue de la Fontaine-du-But 75018

Open in August
Spanish spoken

7 August 2020

Country cool



Yesterday began a week of canicule, when temperatures soar and Parisians flee to cooler climes.

Above: apéro table from a celebration in the countryside

6 August 2020

Explosion


To all our Lebanese friends and The American University of Beirut, all our sympathies, sadness, and prayers.

Above: "The Bitter Years" / "Les Années Amères"
Photography of Edward Steichen

***

Update 8/10/2020: This photo was taken on July 26, nine days before the explosion in Beirut. Frédéric had just surprised me with these lilies, it was no special occasion, and the first thing I thought, feeling slightly uncomfortable, was, "Um white lilies are for funerals" but didn't say anything as they were such a beautiful gesture and gift, put them in a vase and took this photo. When I looked at it I noticed that the grim coffee table book was in the shot and wanted to re-take it without it, but decided not to bother. Days later, on August 5, we woke up to the terrible news of the explosion, and the next day, August 6, searching for a photo to post as usual, this one almost jumped off my screen. I was struck how the overhead angle made the lilies look uncannily like a huge explosion, while the cover, a man covering (protecting?) his face with his hand (the book's theme is The Great Depression) took on new meaning. Since then this post has elicited comments about the intended symbolism but it wasn't done on purpose, as it was taken days before. BPJ

5 August 2020

Why, Chub?


"You know why!"

Above: "When True Love Came" - Roy Lichtenstein

Many Paris galleries are remaining open during les vacances. Be sure and call first.

1 August 2020