Recently in France category:

It was quite a summer, starting with sipping homemade cherry wine, a picnic at Versailles, checking out the Le Creuset factory, and frying up a batch of “French” fried chicken in a sizzling pan of duck fat. A few weeks later in the season, I was pulling a cherry clafoutis from my oven, grilling deviled chicken, and pickling strawberries, to take care of the overload from the outdoor…

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I’m a random collector of Le Creuset. When rifling through a random box at a flea market in France, a hint of one of their trademark colors may catch my eye. I’ll pull out the pot, inspect it (never with too much excitement because if I plan to bargain for it, I need to keep my cards close to my chest), then either make an offer…

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I decided to play hookey last week, which coincided with an invitation to the Jardin de la Reine at Versailles for a spring picnic. The weather has been on-and-off in Paris, as it usually is, and no matter what the skies were planning on doing, I figured it’d be nice to escape the city for a few hours. And who could pass up a picnic in the gardens…

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Chez Dumonet

One of my downfalls is that I do not have a photographic memory. Sometimes I go out to eat and the next day, I have less of a recollection of what I ate (and drank) than some of my esteemed colleagues who write about restaurants so eloquently do. (My memory is gradually been replaced by the camera on my phone.) In this case, as soon…

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I know. It’s hard to get people excited about tinned sardines. I’ve eaten them casually for most of my life and never gave them all that much thought. But with sustainability issues and delicious spreads that you can make with the flavorful fish – and the fact that they make an almost instant lunch – I’ve found myself making sure that I always have a…

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Dessance

Like Espai Sucre in Barcelona, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to eat at Dessance, in Paris. It’s not that I don’t love dessert (which is a good thing because I think it’s a little late to change careers…), but because the idea of an all-dessert menu – or as Dessance calls it, a meal featuring cuisine du sucré – just didn’t appeal to me….

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I went to les Sources de Caudalie over a decade ago with the intention of bringing a group of guests there. While it was, indeed, a lovely place, it wasn’t really near anything, so folks wouldn’t be able to go out explore on their own unless they had a car. However, it is smack-dab in the middle of Bordeaux wine country, on the Château Smith…

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Pottoka

Sometimes I feel like a nitwit, especially when people start talking about all the new restaurants in Paris. I am a creature of habit (and I don’t like disappointment), so I generally go to the same places. I also tend to stay on the Right Bank, where I live, as the restaurants tend to be more exciting and less-fussy, with a more casual ambiance. But…

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Many times, I’ve walked by Caractère de Cochon, a slip of a place on a side street, just next to the earnest Marché des Enfants Rouges, in the ever-growing hipper upper haut (upper) Marais, and wondered about the cave à jambons jam-packed with hams of all sorts hanging in the window and from the rafters. But I’ve never stepped inside. But recently I was talking…

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