Paris, France

Welcome to part II of my 2016 visit to Paris. [You can see part I here.]

​While Paris is the capital of France, the capital of fashion, capital of love, capital of sitting rattan chairs on the sidewalks of cafés and musing for hours… it’s actually not the capital of food. That title—at least in France—goes to Lyon, where gastronomy reigns queen. And we could debate all day which city actually holds that title over the whole globe. Copenhagen? Tokyo? New York? London? Chicago? San Francisco? Lima? Absolutely it depends on your definition and maybe what you’re looking for.

But capital of food or not, Paris still has great food and many places and dishes to choose from. Sure, Paris is just like any other major global city: there’s a spectrum of good and bad food, hole-in-the-walls and trendy restos, fast food and Michelin stars, etc. etc. One thing that is striking about Paris is that it is somewhat nameless where signature dishes are concerned. Put “French cuisine” aside for a second (steak frites, baguettes, croque-monsieur) and ask, what is Parisian cuisine? I can pinpoint Provence, Alsatian, Normandy for example, but l’Île de France? Paris? I come up blank. Paris is perhaps known for its pâtisserie (e.g., macarons, Paris-Brest) more than a singular dish. Or maybe it’s just the variety and quality.

One of my favorite things to eat in Paris is a jamon-buerre, which literally means ham-butter. It’s essentially a ham baguette with butter and cornichons and it’s the among the best take-away food in the world. So simple, so portable, so delicious! We ate some in Jardin du Luxembourg after a day of walking around the city.

When we weren’t walking the beautiful streets of Paris, we were likely sitting in a café, rosé or coffee at hand. If a jamon-buerre is my go-to fast food, a café is my go-to slow down time. Parisian cafés are set up in a genius way: looking to the street and your table companions at once to both people watch and chat. It provides hours of entertainment and relaxation and pleasant company. Plus you can sip on a glass of your choice of beverage, which is not terrible.

Among the other things we ate during our time in Paris were cheeses, crêpes, and some tartes from my favorite pâtisserie in all of Paris, Maison Laurent. Keith and I stayed across the street from Maison Laurent the first time we were in Paris many years ago. It’s probably not on any list of places you must visit in Paris out there on the internet, but 1) it is so good and 2) that’s the beauty of Paris that even relatively unknown pâtisseries can be so great. [Below the pictures are more recommendations for places to go in Paris.]

I don’t think I need to sell anyone on the idea of going to Paris. It can seem cliché, absolutely, but it’s one of the most visited, romanticized cities in the world for a reason: it’s awesome. I can’t wait to go back, hopefully very, very soon.

Keith and me outside Notre Dame

Keith and me outside Notre Dame

Une crêpe
Une crêpe

Pâtisserie
Pâtisserie
Macarons from Pierre Hermé (top) and  Ladurée (bottom)
Macarons from Pierre Hermé (top) and Ladurée (bottom)
Pain du jour
Pain du jour
Café
Café
Time for a jambon-beurre in Jardin du Luxembourg
Time for a jambon-beurre in Jardin du Luxembourg
Coupe of Champagne
Coupe of Champagne
One of many good afternoons spent in café
One of many good afternoons spent in café
Picnic time with some of the best basil-artichoke spread
Picnic time with some of the best basil-artichoke spread
Cheese board time
Cheese board time
Après-midi rosé
Après-midi rosé

 

 

A few recommended places:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s