missmaggiepops

Eating my way around the world

Tag: Paris

Paris, je t’aime

  

Paris in the springtime is beautiful. The flowers are starting to pop, you don’t need as many layers of clothing, and there aren’t hordes of tourists like in the summer. Parisian dining has been good to me so far as well.

  

I found fois gras confit at a market (Les Enfant Rouges) in the Marais, off of rue de Bretagne. I know: shut the front door; fat melted into more fat. Omgahdroool.  That same stand had Tomme du Chevre, which I quickly snapped up since it’s hard to find stateside, and a big chunk of sea-salted butter from Brittany.

  

I also grabbed a quick bite to eat at famed Rose Bakery in the Marais (30, rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris) near my hotel. I had a quiche with chunks of roasted salmon, hubby’s had chorizo and roasted fennel, while kiddo’ ate croquettes of veal & polenta (ok, kinda’ ate. He’s going through the fun toddler phase of subsisting solely on bread & grapes)

  

Of course I did requisite cheese & butter shopping on rue de Rivoli. There are some great markets on that street where you can pick up giant morels, beautiful berries, hard-necked garlic, freah seafood, and so much more.

 

 

  

And don’t forget to pick up fresh yoghurt. My motto in life is: boycotte fat-free yoghurt; Long live cream! Actually, boycotte ‘fat-free’ anything.

  

And if you’re into collecting vintage silver, Paris is where it’s at. Either at the antiques stores throughout the city, or at the markets. I found sterling silver soup spoons for €8 each. 

   

   

I ran into a restaurant supply store, E.Dehillerin, near the Louvre, such a happy accident. Picked up a €20 butchering knife for the hubby, and nearly lost myself in all the copper, and molds section.

  

There really is just too much to talk about in 1 singular post. Next up: restaurant recommendations. A bientôt!

  

  

 

 

  

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Birthday Burgundy – Wine Hopping in France

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Domaine des Tilleuls, Côte de Nuits, Borgogne, 2010

I’m just a tad bit too excited to drink this tonight for my husband’s birthday celebration. It’s from the Borgogne (Burgundy) region of France. If you’re driving from Dijon on A311 to the popular touristy spot, Beaune, it’s like wine hopping in Napa Valley except more Godfather-style; California has nothing on France’s vineyards. Just before Gervey Chambertin, where this wine is from, you’ll hit Marsannay-la-Côte, another tiny village that produces excellent Burgundies that are hard to find in the US.

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How do I know this? Am I a sommelier? I wish. A few years ago I was an art school student at The School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC), studying in Switzerland with Michelle Grabner, who just curated The Whitney Biennial, and Shane Campbell. By the end of the class, which included museum and gallery openings, Art Basel and Liste fairs, and private talks with artists discussing their latest installations, my head was about to explode (in a good way). My boyfriend at the time (who is now the hubby) convinced me to stay in Europe after the course was finished. I wanted to go to Venice to see the Biennial, an easy-ish train ride from Geneva, but he persuaded me to go to Paris instead. So I did. I took the most beautiful train ride from Geneva to Paris through the Swiss Alps and I don’t have a single picture to show for it. Whenever I would bust out my camera the moment passed. So I decided to stay present, sealing in the hazy, romantic images of the alps and that train ride into my memory forever.

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From Bern to Geneva by train you’ll pass by Lausanne, Switzerland, a sleepy wine producing town on Lake Geneva

Before I left for Europe I booked us an apt in Paris. I was a broke-ass student, so I found the cheapest thing, a flat in the 18th arrondisment by the Moulin Rouge for €300/week. The price should have been my tip off. My boyfriend met me at Gare du Nord after having just landed at CDG (Charles du Gaul airport), and we took the metro to our pad. It was in a beautiful, Haussman style building. Carrying our luggage up the six floor walk-up, passing floors of weathered oak, floor to ceiling windows in sunlit hallways crowned in intricate molding, we finally reached ours, the 6th floor. The 6th floor was dark and abysmal. When we opened the door to our pied-au-terre all that was missing were blood stains on the walls. I also learnt that before you rent an apt in Paris, you should find out if you have to share the hasn’t-been-cleaned-in-decades toilet with the entire floor like we had to….. One of our neighbours was quite lovely as well- he yelled French obscenities at us the entire time in a sweaty wife-beater that hugged his giant belly, and boxers that looked like they hadn’t been changed in days. I had a nervous breakdown.

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Little did I know, Adam had a diamond ring in his pocket. He decided after watching me lose my mind in our hell-hole that our first night in Paris was not going to be the right time to ask me to marry him. So he got on his laptop and found us a chateau about 4.5hrs away from Paris and booked it for the next several days. All we had to do was find a rental car, which is hard to do in Paris without a prior 48hr reservation. With my dégueulasses (bloody disgusting) français, I managed to find us a rental company who would lend us a car, and we Google mapped our way through the French countryside in a stick shift.

We stayed at Château de Flammerans in Flammerans, just outside of Auxonne. The owner is a former chef who makes breakfast for you each day that includes croissants he bakes each morning. You’ve got to stay there if you can. The breakfast was simple yet amazing, the rooms are majestic, and you’ll discover a piece of France you can’t get in fabulous Paris.

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When you’re driving to Beaune don’t forget to stop in Dijon, not only for the requisite mustard, but for the farmer’s market that sells local fruit, veggies, salt cured fish, cheese, and cured meats. You’ll also find a vintage market selling jewelry and french texts.

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So bottoms up to us tonight; it will be nice going down memory lane while we get smashed in celebration of another year growing older, and another year spent together.