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ice cream

I’ve come to realize that I’m not very good at ‘watching’. When I worked in the restaurant business, one of my cohorts said to me one day – “There are two types of chefs: doers and watchers.” Meaning that some chefs got right into the cooking with the line cooks, while others like to stand there and watch. I, myself, could be classified as a doer because I’m like I’m a shark: If I don’t keep moving, I’ll wither away.

I’ve kind of had my fill of watching and waiting, so instead of continuing to wither away, I decided to take matters into my own hands and deal with what I could control. This week the weather took a turn for the better in Paris; it’s always one day when the bleak weather suddenly changes and we revel in the hope that the cold snap of winter is behind us.

Everyone on the sidewalks of Paris is a little stunned to see the sunlight, almost walking around in a daze (including the number of people who refused to get out of my way when I was struggling to carry an iron pipe down the sidewalk and as a consequence, almost walked right into the butt of a massive metal pipe) but within a few hours, all the café terraces are packed – and not just with the usual fumeurs – but everyone craning their necks, trying to catch a little wedge of sunshine.

I left the dust and dirt, and ‘watching’ over things at my apartment under construction and scooted over to Candelaria for lunch. When I parked my bike, I noticed on the corner was a new place offering Helados (ice creams). So after I finished my excellent tacos with queso fresco and tortillas with spicy sausage, I headed down to the corner to try some of the ice creams at Clasico Argentino.


All the helados are packed in “wells”, deep metal containers with lids, which is usually a sign of good ice cream. (The insulated container keeps the ice cream at the correct, slightly softer scooping temperature, so there’s no use for stabilizers.) Reasoning I had pedaled my way all the way over there – coupled with the stress of remodeling – I treated myself to a hefty three-scoop cup (€7,3) which, of course, had to include dulce de leche, along with sabayon and dark chocolate. The flavors were very good – especially the swirl of cold sabayon ice cream, rich with the flavor of egg yolks and wine, and the dulce de leche was thick and chewy, although I found myself wanting to sprinkle a few grains of salt in there, to give some contrast to the caramelized milk flavor.

Needless to say, I felt a lot better after my lunch and dessert. Although I have to admit, I shared my three-scooper with the cooks at Candelaria, where I watched the team work. And I also have to admit that regarding the construction back home, even though I wish it was over, it’s probably better that I watch from the sidelines because while I’m pretty good at making helado, I’m not so good at dealing with drills and hammers. (But I do wield a mean pipe.)

Clasico Argentino
56, rue de Saintonge (3rd)
Tél: 01 44 61 00 56

8, rue du pas de la Mule (3rd)
Tél: 01 42 78 71 57

217, rue du Faubourg-Saint Antoine (11th)
Tél: 01 56 06 95 14

Related Links and Recipes

Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Agave-Sweetened Chocolate Ice Cream

Paris Ice Cream Shops

Mexican Restaurants in Paris



    • Sharon

    Glad you found some respite from the watching and the dust. We had one day of sunshine here in north Germany and it made front page news the next day! NO JOKE! Pictures of folks, still in coats and jackets, sitting and smiling at the outdoor tables. Sunshine does absolute wonders for the soul. Helado doesn’t hurt either.

    • Carol L

    Hi David,
    I myself am a doer and a watcher. Whenever there is a professional carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc at my home I am completely transfixed by what they are doing. I am a sponge soaking up their every movement. I politely ask questions which everyone answers in a seemingly polite way back. I think that most of the guys find it interesting that I am enthused by their work and am not just by the kitchen table watching T.V. waiting to pay them when they leave. Then when something needs repair I remember what I have learned and can fix it myself. I cant help it, I am completely in love with every aspect of a home from maintenance to decor and what makes them tick. I feel the same way about baking too.
    I also love watching other people transform their homes so I thank you for letting me peek into yours.
    Big hug of support

    • Nikki

    Don’t you just love when the sun shines and all of a sudden cafes spill out onto sidewalks that you never even knew were there in the first place? I always feel so sad for family when they visit and don’t get to experience the ‘outdoor’ culture that I’ve come to love living here in France. Hope it stays like this, I know I’ve already started to push my ‘winter’ clothes to the back of the closet….hopefully I won’t need to get them back out..fingers crossed.

    • Betsy

    All I can say is thank you for so diligently maintaining your blog throughout this time of tremendous stress and change! You bring a little bit of France and a laugh into my world with every blog entry! As far as IKEA goes, we feel your pain and you didn’t even mention the joy of putting all that loot together…

    • Marcela

    ahhh helado argentino!!!! Did they have dulce de leche granizado (dulce de leche ice cream with big chunks of dark chocolate)? That’s my favourite flavour. Have you been to Argentina?

    • Sandra Castro

    Continued sunshine and all the best.

    • Julia {The Roasted Root}

    Your Argentinian meal in Paris makes me want to hop on a plane and fly over seas…the whole meal looks great (and well deserved); while I have never had helado, I love the idea of ice cream sans stabilizers and would love to have an authentic dulce de leche ice cream. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Kid Cornelius

    Looks delicious! But I have a question: What makes Argentinian helado “Argentinian”? Isn’t it just Italian ice cream introduced and reproduced in Argentina?

    • Natalia

    You mentioned quite a few of my favorite things in this post! Argentina, ice cream, dulce de leche, Argentine dulce de leche ice cream, and being American whilst watching the locals celebrate one sunny day in March hoping it leads to more. (Although here in the UK they go to beer gardens instead of cafes)

    • Holiday Baker Man

    Wish I was there with you.

    • Natasha McEachron

    Oh my, that ice cream. It looks absolutely delicious and extremely creamy. I’ll have to add Clasico Argentino to the list of places I have to check out when I finally visit Paris. At this rate I’m going to need a few months instead of a week or two.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Angela: What’s great about those clips, too, is that the producers of 30 Rock recreated Ikea on a soundstage (according to one of the commenters)…right down to the rack where the table they spent the whole day bickering over, was empty when they got there. So true, and so perfect.

    Kid Cornelius: I think it has something to do with the variety of flavors they make – like dulce de leche, coffee, and the fruit ones.

    Marcela: I didn’t see that flavor, but I’ll check next time – for sure!

    Sharon: It’s amazing how one day of warmth and sunshine changes everything in Paris. Gone is the morosité and everyone is all of the sudden, somewhat happier.

    • sueh

    In December, I wanted to get away to Paris, to spend time out of the cold Wisconsin winter. SO now it’s the middle of March and Wisconsin is having 80 degree days. I’m sorry I’m not in Paris, but I wouldn’t give up this freakish warm weather for anything. Although some helado would be nice…

    • Tags

    You’d think that on March 17th, the pipes, the pipes would be calling. But I’d rather answer the scoops, too, myself.

    • Miss K

    David, I really hope that you’ll be able to get into your own kitchen soon so that you can get back to being a doer there, but in the meantime, I LOVE your strategy of coping via tortillas and ice cream – although I would have washed that all down with about a gallon of wine if I was dealing with the amount of stress you’ve got going on! :-)

    I’m actually relocating from Paris to Saudi Arabia next month and have been making up a list of things I still need to do (including places to eat) before I leave – Candelaria was already on there, but now I will have to add the ice cream place because it looks so gooooood in your photo, thanks for the suggestion!

    • Alicia (Foodycat)

    You have excellent taste in icecream flavours. I usually tend to the caramel end of the spectrum myself (although strawberry is my favourite).

    • Sarah

    OK, now Paris has everything. Not only the best pastries, baked goods and chocolates, but now you can get Dulce de Leche helado??? I agree with Marcela- that flavor with the chocolate “chips” is just to die.

    When visiting with my family in Buenos Aires recently, my husband snapped a photo of my face in the styrofoam ice cream container licking out the remnants of our take-home.

    If you ever get down there, David, my favorite shop is Freddo where they do Dulce de Leche granizado that will put a screeching halt to any well intentioned health conscious dieter!

    And I have to say, I think you need to put together a recipe for Dulce de Leche ice cream for us faithful followers- but I have still not successfully mastered making the dulce de lecheit at home… All methods have failed :-(

    Thanks for the flashback. May have to make the Salted Caramel ice cream now…

    • Carolina

    El helado here in Argentina is really great, I’m glad you can have it in Paris.. Hello from Buenos Aires!

    • Elaine

    My mouth is watering all the way over here in Zagreb–not just for the helado, but also for the tacos. Must try both of these places next time I’m in Paris!

    • arline of VA

    Have you been to Argentina yet? I haven’t. I’d like to go there someday just to try their helado. We are having an unusually warm and sunny 78F early spring this week in the Mid-Atlantic area, making us all crave for ice cream or gelato. If you have a good recipe for corn ice cream, please post it.

    • Santiago

    freddo isnt that good, of the big ones volta and chungo are way better. But i dont really like them either. I stay with cadore, in downtown, or Furchi,in my neighbourhood. Those folks been doing “helado artesanal” since 1959.

    • Lindsey

    How do you think the gelato fared in comparison to Pozzetto?

    • Kate

    Oh, that sounds so good – now i’m craving good ice cream alas the idea of good ice cream here is ben and jerry’s – very sad.

    • Maureen in Oakland

    Rue Saintonge is fast becoming one of my favorite streets in Paris.

    • Diane

    And, if the tortillas and ice cream don’t cheer you up, there’s always the mention that your book, Ready For Dessert, got in the April edition of O Magazine! Congrats.

    (April edition, page 116, for those of you who missed it. They talk about David’s poached quince recipe.)

    • Oana

    You know, we had the same kind of day here in Montreal. The *second* the temperature is above 10 degrees and the sun peeks through we are like ants swarming the streets and patios in ecstasy to be released from the vice grip of winter. I have the same thought every year – where do all these people *come* from?!

    • Sandra

    Arugh! Why didn’t rue de saintonge have this place when I lived there two years ago? Not that there was any lack of yummy food in Paris… Ok, shouldn’t complain…I was living in Paris after all. But that ice cream does sound good!

    • Jessie

    I live in Seattle and we experience that same feeling of confusion and fascination when the sun shows its face every now and then…

    • neeli

    I’m just north of you in Belgium; there is definitely a spring in everyone’s step, and terraces get a breath of life. Goodbye winter! Even windows begin to open (it’s not that warm yet!).

    • Maureen

    A three-scooper? You’re a man I admire :)

    Winter will soon be arriving down under. I really wish you’d wait a while before asking for summer on your side.

    • Stacey In New Mexico USA

    David, sometimes you get to a point where only prayer can help. I prayed just for you this morning that you will be happy in your home very very soon. (… I will miss the hilarious stories but I am hoping you will find other topics with which to amuse us!) Lastly, you haven’t had good Mexican Food until you have visited my world in New Mexico USA!! After a vacation abroad, we always return craving our green chili fix! Can’t live without it and HAVE to ship it to my son who lives out of state! Canned green chili is just a sin around here. Our markets have fresh chili in the Fall, we roast it and freeze it to eat throughout the winter and summer. Hmmmm…I think we will have green chili chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight! Better go take a package of chili out of the freezer now! Adios!

    • Dana B

    Hey, glad to hear you’re in better spirits! The food looks yummmmyyyy :)

    • Zsofi

    I love all the sights, sounds, and flavours of this post. I am very jealous of your amazing lunch–though of course you’ve more than earned it. Let’s hope there are may more sunny days to come.

    • Allan Smid

    Ah, Argentine helados. I was brought up in Buenos Aires, specifically in the northern suburb of Olivos, although I now live in Paris. Used to go to Olivos’ boat port to eat helados and dulce de leche. Heavenly! Thanks to you, I now can bring back those fond memories and enjoy my gourmandise.

    • J.T.

    Yeah Dave, it’s about time you made some crass jokes. Your blog can’t just be all brownies and sighs all the time. Sometimes we need a pipe joke.

    We are all so anxious to see completed shots of your new place. I feel for you, man. Americans are way too spoiled with our giant kitchens and all that. But we do know how to actually get a job done relatively fast. Hang in there and make sure to leave the house on a bike ride every once and awhile. Nothing like a breeze in the hair to make life a little more manageable.

    • The Teacher Cooks

    I do want the ice cream!

    • Cat/Sugar Daze

    Wow, that helado looks faNtastic! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lis

    Hi everyone, I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and do you know that here you have a real competition and long debate about what is the better dulce de leche icecream in the city and around.?? As someone said before, you have four or five great places and a lot of little and hand-made icecream shops, at the neighborhoods, it’s a classic. And, of course, the ‘granizado de dulce de leche’ you have to ask it with this words, it has pieces of dark chocolate inside, ñam. I’m a pastry pasionate so I have my recipe of dulce de leche icecream if you like I can post it!

    Like someone said, if you come here, the food issues are very important, everyone has their icecream, meat, restaurante, pasta, wine or empanadas prefered. Try the lovely restaurantes in the city (many of these have their own icecream in the dessert menu) and take a few days to know another places of the country. If you go to the ancient cultures of the north of the country you have to drink a ‘torrontés’ (white wine typical of Salta) …Of course, don´t forget the ‘malbec’ of Mendoza. These are really good. Obviously, here you have wine icecream….
    Greetings from the south!

    • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    Did you have rounded scoops or the pine-like shape because they have the real flat paddles? It´s hard to get more than two flavors on a cone with the paddles. Anyway, the granizado is made by adding melted chocolate while the ice cream is churning, so it freezes immediately in thin pieces, like thick shavings. DDL or sabayon granizado are amazing flavors.

    • Rosita

    I was thinking about your housing situation and maybe you need to try what they did in “A Year in Provence” (I think) when their reconstruction wasn’t getting completed despite numerous delays. Invite the spouses of the work supervisors over for dinner. No one will want their spouse to know they were the cause of the delay and your renovation will be completed in a timely manner.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      A friend of mine said, “If they told you the reality, you’d lose your faith.” I plan to invite the guys over for something, when I have a place to entertain guests, that is.


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