Sunday, August 28, 2011

Paris Lately

Where to begin.  Since arriving back in Paris from summer vacation in Spain and a two week stint in the US, we have jumped back into French life at full speed.  First, our friend Pat came to visit (ask him about his new favorite dish, tripe) and now we enjoying a couple of weeks with the in-laws (remember the B&B owners from New Orleans?)  We can't wait to show the Grand Monsieur and Madame all of our favorite places in Paris (ask the Grand Monsieur about his upcoming blog!)

A quick recap of a few fun adventures from this weekend.

La Rotisserie d'en face.  Great restaurant recommended by the Grands'.  We loved the food, ambiance and location (in the heart of SGD).  I would definitely repeat this one. 

On Sunday, we discovered some great new boutiques in the Marais.  Bimba & Lola and Deby Debo are two notables. 

Look from Deby Debo

If you are shopping in the Marais, stop by Carette on Place des Vosges.  Great place for brunch or a cafe and patisserie.  Love their mint green tea.  (We also like Soprano if you are craving Italian.  The portions are small, but who needs big ones when you are eating carb heavy pasta?)

Speaking of shopping, we did the entire stretch of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.  I enjoyed my first trip to Colette (much trendier than expected, think Barney's in NYC) and a dip into several other tres fab designers...."je jueste regarde" - a phrase I learned very early on, just looking.  

Lunch at Le Berkeley was another highlight of the day.  The shrimp were to die for!

We also enjoyed our first live music show this weekend with the Grands.  A little jazz trio performed at Café Laurent (one of my favorite places during my law school stint in Paris). It's in the Hotel d'Aubusson in the 6th.  A great place to enjoy a glass of champagne and pinch yourself that you are in Paris! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

La Maison du Jardin

Add it to the fabulous little bistro list.  J'adore! We took our friend who is in town visiting for dinner last night and loved everything about it.  Sitting just outside Luxembourg Gardens, it embodies everything we look for in a great French bistro - well priced, great location, amiable waiter, good wine list and of course fabulous food (try the sea bass).  Open in August, to boot.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the in-laws tomorrow.  I foresee several more fabulous little bistros in our near future.  

By the way, Paris is in August is the best kept secret.  The crowds are gone, the restaurants empty and it is 73 degrees.  I would highly recommend if you are even thinking about a trip over.  Cest magnifique!

Friday, August 19, 2011

J'adore Nouvelle Orleans

After a Nashville wedding (Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Dick!) the Mr. and I landed in New Orleans.  A week of delicious food, morning strolls through Audubon Park and quality time with family and friends leaves us sad to say goodbye to the Crescent City.  Most memorable, the fabulous little French Chateau we called home for the week (complete with a breathtaking rose garden run by the nicest couple).  We loved every moment of our stay in the suite on the third floor with a little window overlooking the park.  With roses from the garden adorning every little table in the Chateau and French antiques overflowing from each room, we felt like we were back in France.

A few favorites.

My favorite part of the whole experience were the french lace roses embellishing every room.

The Chateau is enclosed by two beautiful side yards, one a French inspired garden and the other a veranda overlooking a pool.

I am dying for this bistro table at 26 Rue.

And the adorable wire planter...

And the French marquise...

I could go on and on....

They even set up a beautiful table for dinner on the terrace.  What a treat!

Unfortunately, they only open up the Chateau for very special guests so I can't promise anyone contact info for reservations, but I've heard the Soniat House in the French Quarter provides a similar experience.

On to food.  Needless to say, the food in the Big Easy never disappoints.  From homemade meat pies at Charley's to the unmatchable Sunday brunch at Patois, New Orleans is still truly a culinary heaven.  Here are a few of our favorite stops from this trip.

Herbsaint for lunch in the CBD.  I had the lamb and goat cheese ravioli and it was delish.  We've yet to try Cochon (same owner) but based on the experience at Herbsaint, I am expecting big things.

Coquette is another favorite after a day of shopping on Magazine.  It has a great atmosphere.  (We especially love their dinner menu).

And of course our very favorite restaurant in town, Patois.  From the perfectly appointed ambiance to one of the best bread baskets around, it scores a 10 in every single category.  Nestled on a small street Uptown, it is a must if you are in New Orleans.  (Try the pork and poached egg biscuit with their spiced tomato hollandaise).


Need I say more?

For a more casual neighborhood seafood joint, head to Charley's for fried seafood and homemade meat pies.

Our friends Mike and Beth took us to a great place in the French Quarter called Irene's.  The place oozed with character and made one of the best cheesecakes I've ever tasted.  The soft shell crab pasta was dynamite. 

And finally, of course you can't get out of Nola without imbibing in a libation or two.  We loved Bouligny (upscale wine bar), Henry's (dive bar with the coldest beer in town) and of course the oldest bar in Nola, Lafittes.

A bientot j'espere, Nola.  We will miss you. (You too, Mike).

Now it's off to Decatur for the Grace/Perry wedding.  See you in Paris Sunday!