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 sidewalk, where enticing hot chocolate, tea, coffee and cakes are served along with wi-fi and wit. And when you return the next day, just like that, it's gone.

29 August 2020


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)

27 August 2020

26 August 2020


With the recent canicule, coronavirus precautions and August vacances, usually crowded 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 but first, a refreshing bottle of rosé to share

24 August 2020

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 portion of the evening's offerings.

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

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

 Below: gourmet terrines being turned into canapés on artisanale country loaves; poached "eggs in nests" w/their crispy mouillettes; petit fours.... 


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

21 August 2020


Our week in Provence was bookended by a stop in the Auvergne-Aubrac on the way there, 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 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

More Provence

17 August 2020


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

Above: peach spritzes with a splash of Cointreau

15 August 2020


À mes chères et chers, merveilleuses et merveilleux --

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


* What Would Larry David Do?

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

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

Photo and design by Nadège  

13 August 2020

11 August 2020


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 gem is serving up icy cold drinks and authentic 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 w/avocado guasacaca (you read that right) and manioc chips; pulled pork and beef arepas w/crumbled Venezuelan white cheese, black beans, fried plantain

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

Open in August
French 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


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

Book: "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. I had just been offered these magnificent lilies, 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, the world woke up to the terrible news of the explosion in Beirut, 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 an enormous explosion of some sort, while below, on the cover, a man covers (protects?) his face with his hand. Since then this post has elicited comments about its symbolism but it wasn't done on purpose as the photo had been 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.

4 August 2020

1 August 2020

Street heat

With temperatures soaring and annual August flight, Paris streets are (gloriously) deserted.