Results tagged gelato from David Lebovitz

Tasting Rome: Gelato, Pasta and the Market

porchetta

Whenever I go to a foreign city, within a few hours of getting oriented, I invariably find myself mentally preparing my move there. I walk around the streets, admiring all the shops and interesting people speaking beautiful languages, and looking up at the apartments with curving iron railings and linens hanging out to dry I imagine myself being a part of it all and making a new life for myself there.

rome

It happened when I moved to San Francisco, and I remember arriving and thinking that it wasn’t quite as pretty as people said it was. No one told me that South San Francisco, near the airport, wasn’t actually San Francisco. And twenty or so years later, when I moved to Paris, I was in for another shock.

I’m not a particularly good traveler; I like being home. (And I love my pillow.) So perhaps that’s the appeal of moving somewhere and staying put for a few decades. I can really get the feel of what living in whatever city I’d like, and come home and sleep in my own bed every evening.

Italy is a special place and many of us are quite fond of it. And why not? The people are friendly, the food is great, and Italians have an easy-going, sometimes boisterous nature, that I think appeals to Americans. Initially I’m usually reluctant to jump into a local restaurant, especially if I’m alone. But in Italy, if you show the slightest interest in the food, people are very excited to explain more about it. Whenever I’ve made the effort, it seems like they can’t wait to feed you.

burrata

You might be presented with a plate of mozzarella, a soft and supple cheese completely unlike the rubbery bricks most of us are used to, when cut with a fork, ooze out a sweet, warm puddle of milk.

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Rome, Again

Today, I’ve had gelato for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And as I write this, it’s only 3pm in the afternoon.

lunch

It all started on this bright Sunday morning, when I made the onerous hike up to Prati, to Fatamorgana for their daring, wildly-flavored gelati. If you weren’t looking for the place, you’d probably keep going. But being the trooper that I am, in the blazing heat, I pushed past the crowds at the Vatican and trudged upwards toward my goal.

fatamorgana gelato

To say the walk was worth it is putting it mildly. This compact address scoops up some of the most astounding gelato I’ve tasted. I wasn’t quite sure what to order, as there were literally three kinds of frozen zabaglione and nearly ten various riffs on cioccolata.

I decided to go for it and had Kentucky, flavored with chocolate and tobacco, ricotta-coconut, and pure zabaglione. When I took my cup outside and spooned in my first bite, I almost started crying. In fact, I did cry a bit—it was so good.

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Rome Booksigning & Get-Together

If you’re in Rome, your welcome to come by and say, and enjoy a glass of wine and a few treats, at a book event and meet-up on Saturday, June 5th.

From 6 to 8pm I’ll be in the courtyard of the Palazzo Santa Croce, vicolo De’ Catinari, 3 (map) and if you’d like to get a copy of my latest book, Ready for Dessert, they’ll have copies on hand for signing.

readyfordessert.jpg

The event is hosted courtesy of my friends at Context Travel, and Domenico and Elizabeth Helman Minchilli.

context logo-sm.jpg

Ciao…!

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Polenta Ice Cream (Gelato di polenta)

Technically this gelato isn’t ‘polenta’ ice cream, but it’s made with corn flour. But when I was in Torino, Italy last year, a local gelateria was making what they were billing as a ‘polenta’ gelato, using farina bóna.

So if you want to argue with an Italian chef, you’re welcome to. After tangling with puzzling bureaucratic paperwork for a disproportionately-large chunk of my days lately, I’m happy to just accept what people say, and no longer question the how’s and why’s. (Like when I got a customs bill for an unsolicited delivery last week that had a tax on the tax. To preserve my sanity, I’ve stopped trying to make sense of those kinds of things anymore.)

Plus “Flour Ice Cream”, somehow doesn’t have the same appeal.

ice cream and cherrries

I was happy, at long last, to get around the making gelato from this unusual ingredient that I picked up during the Slow Food event I’d attended. Unlike the derision* that similar events like this draw elsewhere (which was why I always avoided going), Monsieur Skeptic went with an unusually-open mind and was thrilled to discover so many unusual and nearly-extinct food products that the Slow Food Foundation is working to keep alive.

farina bona stirring

Farina bóna is deeply-roasted corn, ground into flour, which was produced in villages, such as Vergeletto, in Switzerland, which had just 90 inhabitants.

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le 14 juillet

french flag

This morning when I woke up, it sounded like rain outside. Which was odd, because of the harsh sun streaking through the creases in my beloved light-blocking curtains, it seemed strange that there would be precipitation. And sure enough, when I stumbled over and yanked opened the curtain, the sky was crystalline bleu with just a few wisps of clouds lingering around the Eiffel Tower. There was not a drop of rain was in sight.

There was, however, a steady stream of French National Guardsmen, dressed in their finest, strutting down the boulevard, en route to the parade on the Champs-Élysées. The sleek, polished horses they were riding were making that pitter-patter sound on the pavement. For today is Bastille Day.

No one here calls it that, it’s only us anglophones.

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Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking and Shopping

A number of folks consult the site for information about Paris, but it’s always best to get some second opinions. So I asked a few friends and in-the-know colleagues about their favorite places around the city, and I’m happy to share them with you.

paris

Included are links, when available, for complete addresses and additional contact information. Hours change and places close in Paris without notice so it’s best to call first before visiting. For restaurants and wine bars where food is served, reservations are strongly advised.

If there any Paris favorites that you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.

lucques olives


Favorite Outdoor Market

“Paris markets are one of my favorite subjects. I can go to the same market every day of the year and still always find something new. I regularly visit the boulevard Raspail market, a “regular” market Tuesday and Friday, organic (and expensive!) on Sunday. The fish merchants there are incredible on all days, and I adore the poultry people at the Tuesday and Friday market. I love testing one fish market or cheese stand against the other, grading them on each purchase. For 20 years I lived near the rue Poncelet market and still have a soft spot there, especially for Alléosse cheese and coffee beans from Brûlerie des Ternes.”

“When I have time, I also love the President Wilson market on Wednesday and Saturday, where of course one finds the famed produce from Joël Thiebault but also wonderful fish, fresh crêpes, and Lebanese specialties. The market is near my dentist’s office so I always schedule a Wednesday morning appointment.”

Patricia Wells, of Patricia Wells.com
(Author: Bistro Cooking and The Paris Cookbook)

Favorite Steak Tartare

“As an American in France, getting into the French staple of steak tartare means getting past it’s resemblance to an uncooked hamburger patty. At Les Fines Gueules (2, rue la Vrillière, 1st) near place des Victoires they have cap-and-gowned the French standard by hand chopping Limousin beef (the best in France) and tossing the raw meat with white truffle oil, parmesan and sun dried tomatoes. Certainly not a traditional preparation, but an unbelievably delicious part of this American’s weekly diet.”

Braden, of Hidden Kitchen

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#3: Grom Gelato Comes to Paris

Grom

This week, Grom opens a branch of their famous Italian shop in Paris.

Originally from Torino, Grom uses all-natural flavorings, which include growing some of the organic fruit they use in their sorbets and graniti, grinding up vivid-green Sicilian pistachios for pistachio gelato, and melding the exquisite hazelnuts from Piedmont with Venezuelan chocolate for their ultimate, silky-smooth version of Gianduja.

I first tasted their exquisite gelato in Florence with my friend Judy and was hooked. It truly is one of the best in Italy, and now you can savor it in Paris.

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Where to Find a Good Cup of Coffee in Paris

Telescope coffee in Paris

Because of all the changes in the Paris coffee scene, I’ve updated this post in 2013 substantially since I originally published it. It’s been a wonderful revolution taking place, as many people – some French, others from Australia and the United States, have been conscientiously been upgrading the quality of the coffee available in Paris.

A number of coffee-lovers, myself included, are disappointed in the coffee served in Paris. In The Sweet Life in Paris, I noted a number of reasons why the coffee tastes the way it does, from using inferior coffee beans to laxadaiscal attitudes toward preparing it.

However a lot has changed and while the corner cafés are still stuck brewing and extracting that bitter brew they’ve been doing since time began, a number of places have opened up and expanded the coffee offerings in Paris. Here are some addresses, and farther down below is a list of places that have opened recently, that coffee-lovers will want to check out.

deux express

Below you’ll find a list of places where you can get well-prepared coffee in Paris:


A spate of other coffee bars have recently opened in Paris. Here is a list of them:

L’Arbre à Café
10, rue de Nil (10th)

Café Lomi
9, rue de Saussure (17th)

Télescope
5, rue Villedo (1st)

Café Pinson
6, rue du Forez (3rd)

Tuck
13, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Le-Bal
6, Impasse de La Defénse (18th)

Coutume Café
47, rue Babylon (7th)

Ten Belles
10, rue de la Grange aux Belles (10th)

Le Rocketship
13, bis rue Henri Monnier (9th)

Café Craft
24, rue des Vinaigriers (10th)

The Broken Arm
12, rue Perrée (3rd)

Belleville Brûlerie
(20th)

Holybelly
19, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Lockwood
73, rue d’Aboukir (2nd)

Foundation Café
16, rue Dupetit-Thouars

Fragments
76, rue des Tournelles (3rd)



And here are a few others:



Espressamente Illy
13, rue Auber (9th)
Métro: Opéra, RER: Auber

A concept store and café for Illy coffee. Located next to the Opéra Garnier, a machine precisely tamps the coffee into the filter holder with the perfect amount of pressure, assuring you of a real Italian espresso.



Café Malongo
50, rue Saint-André des Arts (6th)
RER: St. Michel

Café Malongo is one of the better brands of store-bought coffee available in France. In their café near place St. Michel, you can drink a decent cup of coffee, but specify exactly how you want it since they often extract coffee “French-style” (ie: watery) The have a kiosk in the Monoprix, near the gare Montparnasse, but the coffee is disappointing.



Caldo Freddo
34, rue Montorgueil (1st)
Métro: Les Halles

A wonderful little panini place serves really good Italian espresso, which you can enjoying standing at the panini-length counter.



La Briciola
64, rue Charlot (3rd)
Métro: Filles du Calvaire

Pizza from Naples is the specialty here, and the excellent espresso they pour, using Kimbo coffee, is a fine way to finish a meal.



Vélo Café
Place de la Bourse (2nd)
Métro: Bourse

This mobile cart serves coffee Monday through Fridays and the coffee is prepared by a friendly barista from Scandinavia. If you want your café express serré (tight), be sure to mention it.



Comme à Lisbonne
37, rue du Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: Hôtel de Ville or St. Paul

Portuguese coffee made with care. Be sure to try one of the delicious pastéis de nata tartlets with your excellent cup. (More at Comme à Lisbon)



La Caféothèque
52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th)
Métro: St. Paul or Hôtel de Ville

This shop is dedicated to roasting their own coffee, and aside from their café, offers courses in coffee-tasting and appreciation. The coffee is adequate, but they get points for making the effort to extract a proper café express. (More at La Caféotheque de Paris.)



Sugarplum Cake Shop
68, rue du Cardinal Lemoine (5th)
Métro: Place Monge or Cardinal Lemoine

Organic and fair-trade coffee, served in a bottomless cup, American-style in this laid-back bakery and café.



Pozzetto
39, rue de Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: St. Paul

Pozzetto is one of my favorite gelato shops in Paris, and one of the few serving the real thing. Ditto for the coffee, which is a true Italian espresso.



Cafés Verlet
256, rue Saint-Honoré (1st)

One of the classic Paris coffeehouses with Parisian-style coffee, although connoisseurs from elsewhere might be disappointed, and it’s not at the top of my list. (But locals seem to like it.)



Gocce di Caffè
25, Passage des Panoramas (2nd)
Métro: Bourse or Grand Boulevards

The delicious coffee served here is shipped in from Rome and pulled by a genial Italian fellow. For a true espresso, specify a caffè ristretto (café serré.) However since I initially wrote about it, this shop has been folded into Coinstot Vino, an adjacent wine bar. Barista Antonio Costanza is still making the coffee.



Kooka Boora
62, rue des Martyrs (9th)
Métro: Saint-Georges or Anvers

This Australian import is one of the latest places to bring good coffee to Paris. There is outdoor seating. (More at Kooka Boora.)



Nespresso
Various locations (click on link for addresses)

Nespresso has its fans and while I’m not as enamored of it as others, the pre-determined machines and capsules ensure the coffee is extracted to their standardized specifications. There are shop and cafés at various places in Paris, including on the Champs-Elysées.



goûtez un café rare





Related Entries and Links

La Caféothèque de Paris

Belleville Brûlerie and Holybelly

Good Coffee in Paris (Paris Coffee Blog)

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Aussie Coffee for Paris (Financial Times)

Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking & Shopping

How not to drink black tar in Paris (ChezPim)

Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris

Making Perfect Espresso at Illy

Espresso granita affogato (Recipe)

Coffee and Espresso Makers For the Home

10 Things I Just Learned About Coffee

New wave hits Paris (The Age)

Chocolate Espresso Mousse Cake (Recipe)

Delving Deeper Into Coffee

Bad Coffee in Paris? (Lonely Planet)