Recently in France category:

Épices & Saveurs Although it may seem like your typical Arabic épicerie (food shop), of which there are many in Paris, I’ve shopped a lot of them and found Épices & Saveurs especially well-stocked. The place is as neat a pin and in addition to the usual line-up of harissas, nuts and dried fruits in bulk, olive oils, and spices, I always find curiosities on the…

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Pierre Jancou is one of my favorite cooks in Paris. He does the seemingly simple task of taking raw elements – such as a pan of root vegetables – and making them taste better than you thought that vegetables could taste. I first came across his cooking when he was the chef/owner of Racines. I’d ordered a simple pasta Bolognese, which isn’t something I would usually order unless I was…

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Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes I like old-fashioned places. One place that does old-fashioned especially well is France. But I’m not the only one who feels that way; people come from around the world to visit the city, and bask in the à l’ancienne charm, which is sometimes derisively described as carte postale Paris. Like other cities, Paris is changing and isn’t a museum, per se, but…

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From the outside, Compagnie Générale de Biscuiterie is a low-slung place, resembling a workshop of some sort, rather than a pâtisserie, located on the way up to Sacré Cœur, in Montmartre. I made the trek up there to check it out because I was interested in the one thing the low-key place makes: cookies. The French use the word “cookies” primarily to refer to chocolate…

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[UPDATE: As of March 2018, Merguez & Pastrami is closed. The owner is planning another venture in that space in the spring of 2018.] The most interesting neighborhood right now in Paris is the 9th arrondissement. Walk in any various directions from a métro station after you land there, and you’ll find yourself in a completely different neighborhoods, whether it’s surrounded by stately buildings on the…

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It’s not a drag to be in Paris in August. In fact, those who stay in town always say the same thing – “This is the best time of year to be in Paris.” (Or, “Wouldn’t it be incroyable if it was like this all year?”) Even though Paris is a lot smaller, imagine if 85% of the people left New York City or San Francisco in…

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Shortly after I had arrived in Paris, I was having dinner with Romain at Bistrot Paul Bert. Nearby, a couple was speaking English and when I struck up a conversation with them, I asked how they knew about the restaurant. They mentioned they saw it on a “Best of” list in a culinary/travel magazine. So it wasn’t a secret back then, nor it is now. And with good…

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One of the great regrets I had in life was when I went to Beirut and didn’t go to the Tawlet Souk el Tayeb, a culinary project supporting local farmers, cooks, and producers. There’s also a weekly farmers’ market, classes and meals. Because my schedule was so packed on my trip, as much as I tried, I didn’t make it. A few years later – as…

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No matter how many wonderful the foods, and other things, are in France, when I go back to the States, there are some things that I bring back to France with me. When I go to the other way, to the U.S., I pack things that I have a hard time living without or to give as gifts. Friends or hosts might get a loaf of Poilâne bread,…

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