Recently in Dining & Travel category

New York Noshing, Part 2

I think I need to move to New York City for a whole year to eat at all the places that were on my list to try. Although, honestly…I could certainly just go to Zabar’s everyday and die a happy man. And for all the scoffing that Whole Foods gets, I’d be thrilled to have a store with the range of fine products that they do. Sure it’s not all local, or organic. But it’s nice to find a major supermarket chain carrying healthy foods, unscented products (which I stocked up on), a huge selection of local cheeses, plus chocolates from all over the place, near and far.

And for anyone that wants to complain about ‘Whole Paycheck’, go out and pick a basket of raspberries in the blazing-hot sun…then figure out how much it’s worth if you were to sell it?

So I came back cranky, probably because I had to suffer the indignity of the flight attendants physically unhooking my fingers from the outside of the airplane door at JFK Airport so we could leave. Luckily I brought an extra empty suitcase and stocked it up with maple syrup, dried California apricots and sour cherries, and a few other odds and ends as souvenirs. But while in New York, I had plenty of delicious moments…

If I had to name one of my Top Ten foods of all-time, it would be the Black & White Cookie. Although it’s getting harder to find freshly-made ones that aren’t shrink-wrapped, in New York. But good things come to those who search…

Black and White Cookie

I once made them (from a recipe in here), and realized it was a dangerous proposition. The good thing about making them yourself is that you can make them slightly smaller than the jumbo 7-inch disks you normally find.

And speaking of abnormally-sized Black & Whitesholy mother-of-Black & Whites!

Black & White...Cake!

It’s a Black & White Cake!

Continue Reading New York Noshing, Part 2…

Shopping Like A Parisian in New York City (A video!)

Who says New Yorkers are pushy?

Although I couldn’t convince him to cut in line, watch me teach Adam Roberts how to Shop Like A Parisian in New York City.

(And yes, the camera does add 10 pounds…either that, or I seem to be sporting a Pinkberry-Belly.)







New York Noshing

One of the best markets anywhere, and a great place to start a whirlwind culinary week in New York, is the Greenmarket, which takes place a few times a week in Union Square.


New York’s Greenmarket is a colorful riot of fresh corn, technicolor heirloom tomatoes, fresh-made Ronnybrook ice cream (which I didn’t get to try since my consorts put a damper on things and said it was too early in the morning and I didn’t think I could finish a pint by myself), tiny little chili peppers, sweet amber-colored maple syrup and some respectable locally-made cheeses.


I’d be happy to go on and on and one, but the visit was recorded for posterity on video. Stay tuned…

Union Square

Corned Beef

Speaking of corn, ever since the Second Avenue Deli closed their doors, life hasn’t been the same. Even though I live thousands of miles away, just knowing Sharon Lebewohl and her crew were there slicing mounds of corned beef and pastrami was always enough to make it my first, and often last stop too, on trips to New York.

Continue Reading New York Noshing…

Garrett’s Caramel Corn, NYC


Last time I was in Chicago, it was a few weeks before Christmas and I joined the queue for Garrett’s Caramel Corn. The line wasn’t that long…or so it seemed, and when people told me the wait was two hours I didn’t believe them. That is, until after I’d waited for 20 minutes and barely moved three steps forward.

So I left and decided to forget about it.

But later that night, I was, like, “Damn, I am so craving my Garrett’s.”

And the next day I joined the line again only to be subjected to another endless wait. Although I’m Parisian and believe that lines are only for other people, I quickly deduced that I’d better not take cuts in front of any of those hardy midwestern-types who could kick my butt back across the Atlantic.

I left empty-handed and sad—but who isn’t more thrilled than I am that Garrett’s opened in New York City? Who’s happier than I am now?

If you go, get a mixed bag; half-caramel and half-cheese corn. While I normally shy away from ‘cheese-flavored’ snacks, Garrett’s cheese corn is insanely-good and I’ve been known to plow through a 3-gallon drum of the mix in a startling short time.

I just wonder when they’re going to open in Paris.
If they do, that’ll be the end of me.

560 5th Avenue
242 W 34th St/1 Penn Plaza


Bagel and Lox

I’m always complaining that in Paris, you can never find what you’re looking for.

Let’s say you need shoelaces that are 110 cm. You’ll go to the shoelace department at the enormous BHV department store and on the wall of shoelaces, they’ll be 90cm…100cm…105cm…109cm…111cm.

But 110cm?
Of course not.

So here I am in New York presumably the greatest shopping city in the world. And I can’t find one of those things that keeps tortillas warm. I’ve checked Williams-Sonoma and the insanely-huge Bed, Bath and Beyond (where the security guard tailed me for a good 10 minutes…so maybe the stereotypes are true that Americans don’t like Parisians).
And lastly, Zabar’s.

As if I need an excuse to visit Zabar’s, one of the great food places in the world. If they don’t have it, it ain’t available.
(It wasn’t, btw…)

But oy vey!…all the pushing and shoving and jostling.

People were getting mad at me, so I had to tone it down.

Continue Reading Zabar’s…

Too Many Pretzel Croissants?

Nope. I ate three.

Okay, so I had a little help….


The City Bakery
3 West 18th Street
New York City

Café des Musées

Café des Musées

(UPDATE: Café des Musées changed owners in the Fall of 2014 and I’ve heard mixed reports from locals and visitors. I haven’t been back since the change of proprietors so an unable to provide a personal report about any changes. But I will update this post when I return.)

Located a few blocks north of the historic place des Vosges, steps away from the hubbub of tourists clogging the sidewalks, is Café des Musées, a terrific restaurant in Paris.

Chef François Chenel makes his own pâtés and smokes his own organic salmon, which arrives with a spoonful of crème fraîche, chives, and toasted levain bread. Both are also available to take home, including pre-cooked lobes of foie gras, even if you’re not dining here.

We split an order of grouse. One of the great things about France is that in the winter, restaurants will feature game like partridge, wild pigeon, and other specialties that are hard to find elsewhere. The grouse was dark and meaty-red, just as ordered. Alongside were triangles of braised celery root, a pile of dressed watercress and quetsches, Italian prune plums, cooked until jam-like. Although not as unctuous and sweet as I would have liked, a shot of port in the deglazing would’ve sealed the deal.

Café des Musées

Other menu options are a pretty well-crusted entrecôte steak, served with real French fries, which are unfortunately rare nowadays in Paris. Cochon noir de Bigorre is always great here, a neatly-classic steak tartare, and for those looking for a vegetarian option, a cocotte of seasonal vegetables comes in a casserole, bathed in olive oil. (A friend from California who ordered this pronounced it “boring”, so perhaps that’s not the best choice.)

For dessert, we shared a raspberry Dacquoise; a slightly-crisp almond meringue which had a nice cake-like chew. It was served with excellent, dark cherry-red raspberries which were so sweet they were syrupy.

For those on a budget, at both lunch and dinner, on offer is a prix-fixe option. One recent fixed-price menu was vichyssoise and foie de veau, veal liver, with dessert for just 19€. Another time it was a poached egg in red wine with a lamb shank following up for the main course, with dessert being rhubarb crisp.

Café des Musées Menu

The service is a bit scattered, but that to me is the charm of eating in a neighborhood-type restaurant where people just go for good food but are welcome to linger. It’s the kind of place where the tables are pushed close together so you’re rubbing shoulders with your neighbors and perhaps sharing a basket of good bread. That’s one of the pleasures of dining in smaller Parisian restaurants and cafés.

My friends and I shared a bottle—ok, two bottles—of fruity gamay from the Touraine which went very nicely with everything from the charcuterie to the game and through the dessert. And afterward as well.

Café des Musées
49, rue de Turenne (3rd)
Tél: 01 42 72 96 17

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Eating & Drinking Guide for Paris

Two French Dining Guides

Marling Menu-Master for France

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Gluten-Free Eating & Dining in Paris

Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking and Shopping

Tips for Vegetarian Dining in Paris

Sunday Dining in Paris