News of a favorite classic French restaurant, Moissonnier, closing from a reader (thanks for the tip, Annette) reminded me of the challenges of running a good restaurant. The food was traditional French, done right, prepared with care by the chef/owner, with his wife tending to the details in the dining room. A drive-by location, and a younger generation not as interested in quenelles in cream sauce…

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In France, you’re either a juilettiste or aoûtien, meaning you take your annual summer vacation in July or August, although many get more than four weeks off (and some get less), so there’s room for a few crossovers as well. I don’t know what the word for someone who takes their summer vacation during both months is…chanceux? (lucky?) – or if there is a word for…

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“Je n’en ai pas besoin, mais…” Those are words I constantly tell myself when I’m at a flea market or brocante (antique or secondhand shop) and come across something that I like (or want). Piles of gorgeous French linens, mortars without (or without) pestles, French jam jars, and no longer loved café pitchers, get a once-over from me, as I ask myself that question: “I…

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Staying with friends in the countryside for a few days last week, we were fortunate to discover that a neighbor was making his own bread, which was excellent. The young man bakes just a few loaves a couple of times a week. Romain, in his wisdom (a trait he may have picked up from me: buy as much as you can, when you come across something…

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Being a baker, summer is my favorite time of year. Not only are peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums abundant at the market, but as the seasons progress, the volume of fruits lowers the price, and I stock up on whatever I can, whenever I can. At Paris markets, I try to search out producteurs, the vendors who grow the food they sell, and every summer, one in…

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Two things have surprised me recently*. One is the sudden surge of small-scale ice cream shops that have opened in Paris. Which means my ship has definitely passed on opening my own place as others got to it first. Shops like Senoble, Glaces Glazed, Une Glace à Paris, Sucre Glace, and La Paleteria are churning out ice cream across Paris, some even staying open in…

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The first time I had chicken cooked caramel sauce was at The Slanted Door in San Francisco. “Caramel? With chicken?” I thought. But once I tasted it, I didn’t need to wonder why it became their signature dish. Back then, The Slanted Door was a small restaurant in the Mission, on a street that was notable for Latin markets, edgy bars, and burritos. Things have…

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Middle Eastern restaurants that focus on freshness and quality of ingredients have been proliferating in places like London (Ottolenghi and Honey & Co.) and in the U.S. (Glasserie and Zahav) over the last few years. And now, we’ve got a spate of new ones arriving in Paris. The foods of the Middle East had mostly been relegated to kebab and falafel stands, but new places are…

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Summer is a great time for ice cream. It’s cool, it’s creamy, and I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like ice cream. It’s the absolute crowd-pleaser when the temperatures climb. Add toasted marshmallows, salted butter chocolate sauce, and Graham crackers? I’m in, all the way. Unlike others, I don’t have nostalgic memories that involved S’mores, so I’m making up for lost time. This S’more…

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