Results tagged O-Chateau from David Lebovitz

Cheese Tastings in Paris

cheese map of France

A visit to France is, of course, a cheese-lovers dream. And for those who come and want to experience a variety of French cheeses in Paris, there are a number of places that offer dégustations (tastings) as well as tours and wine pairings with experts.

Most are in English and in the boutiques and fromageries (cheese shops) that offer cheese tasting plates, there is normally someone on hand who will happily explain all the different cheeses. Here’s a list of places that offer a variety of experiences for anyone interesting in sampling les fromages:

Madame Hisada: Specialty cheese shop with salon offering dégustation platters.

Fil’O'Fromage: Cheese shop and restaurant, with tasting plates.

Meeting the French: Wine and cheese tastings.

Paroles de Fromagers: Wine and cheese tastings.

Chez Virginie: Cheese shop with guided tastings.

Le Foodist: Wine and cheese pairings and tastings.

La Coop: Cheese cooperative from the Savoy region offers self-guided cheese tastings.

La Cuisine: Guided cheese tasting workshops.

Marie-Anne Cantin: Guided cheese tastings.

La Vache dans Les Vignes: Cheese tasting plates.

Paris by Mouth: Cheese tastings and walking tours.

La Vache dans les Vignes: Cheese shop and café.

Ô Chateau: Wine and cheese tasting lunches.

Cook’n with Class: Wine and cheese tasting, and pairing classes.

L’Affineur’ Affiné: Fromagerie and restaurant.

cheese plate

Note: In addition to the organized cheese tastings listed above, you can generally go into a wine bar and order a selection of cheeses (and wine, of course) to sample. Although the tastings aren’t guided, the staff will generally be able to tell you about the cheeses.

Thanksgiving in Paris

pumpkins & potimarron

This article was written in 2012, however many of the places do an annual Thanksgiving feast. Check the websites of the venues to see what they are offering. -david

It’s that time of the year, when Americans gather around the Thanksgiving table. Because of the number of requests from travelers, and some locals, here is a round-up of places serving Thanksgiving meals. Since the holiday is celebrated on Thursday, which is a regular working day in Paris, many places offer the meal on other nights of the week as well.

I’ve linked to the venue, and the event, so folks can check out what each place is offering. I can’t make specific recommendations since I usually stay at home so this list is for informational purposes. Listed are two places that sell Thanksgiving supplies and foods, and most outdoor markets and butchers in Paris also sell turkeys (and turkey melons!) There are excellent farm-raised turkeys in France, although they’re not as common to find as other poultry.

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Bits & Pieces: (Favorite Links)

Croissants and Pains au chocolat

I always thought that someone could make a mint opening up a good coffee place in Paris. Now there seems to be a few who’ve heeded the call: Coutume Café (47, rue Babylon), KooKa BooRa (62, rue de Martyrs), and Le Bal. Quelle difference!

And since this is the Year of Mexico, in France, a few new Mexican places have opened up serving authentic (or close to authentic) Mexican fare. If you close your eyes, except for the people speaking French instead of Spanish, the super-delicious tacos at Candelaria will make you feel as if you’re right there, in Mexico. And for those who like cocktails, the plain white wooden door in the back leads to a hip cocktail lounge. The Guêpe vert is my favorite, although this isn’t the place for cocktail-lovers who want a quiet space to sip their drinks. (Check out my post Mexican restaurants in Paris for a more complete list.)

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10 Things to Do If You’re Stuck in Paris

Air France mob scene

Yesterday, I was passing through the Place de l’Opéra, and saw this mob outside the Air France office. And the line snaked around the block. I took a picture and went home to happily finish packing for my trip, which was going to start tomorrow.

I must be living in a volcanic cloud of my own, and indeed, when I woke up, there was an e-mail that my trip has been canceled. So instead of facing the dreaded task of unpacking my suitcase, which included a swimsuit (grrrr….) I made a list of things you can do if you’re stuck in Paris:

1. Book a spa day. I can’t tell you where I’m going, because I’m waiting for my confirmation. But many folks like the Mosquée de Paris, which is inexpensive and located in a lovely building where you can sip mint tea after your steam. There are specific days for men and women and prices start at just €15. I’m not sure if the treatments there are as luxe as one might want, but my friend Heather is a bit more generous than I am and has a list of spas in Paris that are a bit more posh.

2. Hit each and every place on my 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris.

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Scoop

For the first five years in Paris, I wouldn’t go to Scoop. I’d walk by, scan the selections of hamburgers and “les wraps”, and keep going. Even though I was intrigued with the list of house-made ice creams, I’d always reason to myself, “I didn’t move to Paris to eat a hamburger.”

scooper burger vanilla shake drinker

I was reading recently about a site called My American Market that carries American foods, mostly targeted at expats living in France. There’s some hard-to-find baking products, like unsweetened chocolate and molasses, but there’s also plenty of goofy stuff, like muffin mixes, trail bars, and something called Molly McButter.

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Shameless Groveling

Alright, folks. We’re about halfway through Menu for Hope 6 and we’re almost at the $20,000 mark. Thanks to all of you who contributed to this incredibly worthy cause!

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However being an overachiever (in spite of what a therapist, or my editor, might say), I think we can do better. Like, a whole lot better. So just to remind you, here’s a list of a few bid items that you should hop over to the FirstGiving site and bid on immediately.

Or there is a super-awesome, easy-to-use Donation Widget that was just introduced which was so much fun to use, I dropped a few bucks myself.

So how about…..

cafebernachon bars

From the “You’d-have-to-be krazy-not-to-bid-on-this” file, a bar of Bernachon chocolate shipped to you once a month for a whole year? There’s only two places these very special bars of chocolate are available: at one shop in Paris, and at the Bernachon boutique in Lyon. Otherwise, forget it. Zip. Nada. You’re not getting any.

Well, except here. Or I should say “there”, because they’re gonna get shipped right to your door.

Bid item EU37

Italian Caffè

Speaking of chocolate, people always ask me, “Which country makes the best chocolate?” It’s a question where there just isn’t any answer. I mean, there’s nothing in the air particles or, say…the atmosphere in any particular country that makes their chocolate better or worse than the others.

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Paris Book Event This Weekend

This Sunday, December 6th from 3-5pm, I’ll be doing a booksigning with Heather Stimmler-Hall of Secrets of Paris, author of The Naughty Paris Guide, and Keith Spicer, author of Paris Passions.

We’ll be hosted by Context Travel in Paris and Oliver Magny of O-Château, who will be providing libations (ie: wine).

sweetlifeinparisbooks.jpg

Since it’s the holidays, if you’re good, I might even bring some Friendship Bars…depending on whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

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Thanksgiving in Paris…and above & beyond

olivier winetasting instructions

When folks ask me what the French do for Thanksgiving, I don’t think the word they’re expecting to hear are “Um, nothing.” And why should they? It’s not as though America shuts down for le 14 juillet.

Still, a few places around here do get into the spirit and you’ll see a few bags of cranberries at the market, a few more sweet potatoes piled up, and smart volaillers stocking whole turkeys, normally a rare site in France.

wine taster

Since it’s pretty much life-as-usual around here on the fourth Thursday of November, when a message from Olivier Magny of O-Château popped up in my Inbox earlier in the week, asking if I’d like to go to a wine-tasting, at 30,000 feet that day, I said, “Sure!”

So there I was, stepping out of my apartment, at 7:15 am Thanksgiving morning, heading to Orly airport to meet up with Olivier and his team of sommeliers.

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