• Clamato {Round Two}

    June 11, 2015

    clamato_010

    Here are pictures from our most recent trip to Clamato just a few weeks ago. Again, I was so impressed by how fresh and creative everything was. This summer my favorite dish was the bulots (sea snails). Just like the pouce pieds from last summer, it’s something I’ve never had (or probably seen) in the states. Also another favorite was the maple syrup tart! Dusty and I don’t usually order dessert because we’d rather order another first or second course but this time I’m so glad we saved room.  It reminded me of a caramel tart, so rich and with the whipped cream it was perfect!

    Chef Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat are smart men. Clamato has a sister restaurant Septime, located right next door. And then right across the street is their wine bar serving beautiful wines and snacks. Septime is a reservation only place (that books up well in advance), serving modern french with seasonal ingredients. I’ve seen Septime on a lot of “must eat in Paris” lists. And this is why having these three places within a few blocks is so smart. As we sat in Calmato we saw many dinners go to Septime, realize they can’t get in, come to Calmato, get on the waitlist and then walk over to Septime Cave for a few drinks. These three places stay busy!

    clamato_009BULOTS, MAYO CURRY

    clamato_011DORADE GRISE, YAOURT DE BREBIS, POIRE DE TERRE

    clamato_012CEVICHE DE MULET NOIR, RADIS, CORIANDRE

    clamato_013MERLUCHON, BROCOLETTI, ASPRERGE SAUVAGE

    clamato_015POULPE, BETTERAVE NOUVELLE, LIVECHE

    clamato_016TARTLETTE AU SIROP D’ERABLE, CHANTILLY

    septimelacave

    No Comments | Posted in: Food, France, Paris, Travel | Tagged with: ,
  • lejardin_001

    We didn’t just go to Reims for champagne but also some good food. In Reims there is a group of restaurants of Chateau des Crayeres. The main Chateau is a two Michelin starred affair, classic and French. However, they also have a sister restaurant, Brasserie Le Jardin, nestled in the garden of the Chateau through the woods. It’s more down to earth and relaxed in style but the food is still amazing. We had a three-course meal and each tried something different. If I remember everything from a year ago, our first course included gazpacho, tartare and sardines. Our main course included duck fish, and fish. And then of course there was dessert! It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful view! The last picture is of the chateau, which was amazing as well.

    lejardin_002 lejardin_003 lejardin_004 lejardin_005 lejardin_006 lejardin_007 lejardin_008 lejardin_009 lejardin_010 lejardin_011

    1 Comment | Posted in: Food, France, Travel | Tagged with: , ,
  • Reims-Day-Trip

    Reims, pronounced like “raans” is 45 minutes from Paris by high-speed train or about an hour and a half by car. Last summer Paris, in typical fashion, was having a train strike right at the same time we had made plans to take a day trip to the champagne region. We had already bought train tickets and made reservations to all kinds of fun places so we  were crossing our fingers for days that it would end before our trip but no such luck. The night before we were frantically searching the internet for rental cars. Dusty is amazing and some how navigated through the city of Paris with a rental car, picking Allison and I up at our front door, ready for our trip!

    We spent the day touring champagne houses (Mumm, Veuve Clicquot, Martel), eating a fabulous lunch, and visiting Reims cathedral. Reims is charming and the buildings look aged, but much of the town was destroyed in the World War I, with additional damage taken in World War II.

    Reims_015

    First, about the champagne! Only bubbly from this region can be called “champagne.” The rest is ‘sparkling wine.’ Champagne is made from the chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes. The aging and bottling process is very unique and different then how wine is made. I was absolutely amazed! “Riddling” is a process to remove the yeast from the aging champagne. The bottle is placed at a 75 degree angle and must be turned an eighth of a turn each day. This forces the dead yeast into the neck of the bottle to form a plug, which is frozen and popped out through a process called “disgorging.” Here is a general overview of the Champagne tours and caves we visited.

    Mumm: Very informative tour about how champagne is made!
    Veuve Clicquot: Award for best tasting room and great story about the founding woman behind the empire!
    Martel: Best “bang for your buck”!

    Reims_001 Reims_002 Reims_003 Reims_004 Reims_005 Reims_006 Reims_007 Reims_008 Reims_009 Reims_010

    After we made our rounds to the champagne houses and stuffed our bellies at lunch, we went to the Reims Cathedral, which was absolutely magnificent. It’s over 800 years old! This cathedral is a great example of gothic architecture and is historically significant as the “Coronation Cathedral,” where most of the kings of France held their coronation ceremonies.

    Reims_011 Reims_012 Reims_013 Reims_014

    Tips: Ricks Steve’s France Guide does an excellent job of overviewing the region! His book helped with planning our champagne cave tours, touring Reims cathedral and getting around town. After our third tour, I was a bit tired of hearing how champagne was made so think about just going straight to the tasting room if you’re going for more than a day and visiting several different places.

    No Comments | Posted in: France, Travel | Tagged with: , ,
  • clamato_002

    One of our recent favorite restaurants in Paris is Clamato. I’d add it to my Top 8 Places to Eat in Paris if you like fresh seafood and fish! We went last summer and loved it so much it was one of our first stops this year. It’s a small plates seafood and shellfish place by Bertrand Grébaut of Septime. Plates run 7-20 euros. The decor is understated yet warm including a brick bar with high stools. Wines are non-sulfite made by small producers and available for sale across the street at Septime Cave – a popular bar for drinks & nibbles. It’s a no reservations place. Arrive early, sevenish, to get a seat. We had dinner a couple weeks ago on a Wednesday night and got right in shortly after 7pm but by 7:45pm there was a 30 minute wait. The pictures are from our visit last summer in 2014! Our favorite dish last summer were the pouce pieds (aka barnacles). Something I’d never imagine could be good and they were delicious. Texture-wise they reminded me of clams or squid. I’ll post pictures from our most recent trip soon!

    clamato_001POUCE PIEDS DES GLENANS

    clamato_003OUR VIEW FROM THE BAR

    clamato_004RAW OYSTERS & CLAMS

    clamato_005TRUITE SAUVAGE DE L’ADOUR/CONCOMBRE

    clamato_006SARDINE/AUBERGINE/CEDRAT

    clamato_007RISOTTO/GAMBERO ROSSO

    clamato_008COUTEAUX XL AU BEURRE D’HERBES

    1 Comment | Posted in: Food, France, Paris, Travel | Tagged with: ,
  • MD119

    As you can imagine, we wanted to get pictures taken for Annabelle’s first birthday and thought at the same time we’d try to get some family photos. I’ve been meaning to post these for many many months! I wish I could post them all but here are a few highlights! We had Beth Ritchie take them for us and she did such a great job taking care of us and our very restless toddler!

    MD052MD025MD023bwMD002 MD030 MD043 MD056 MD057 MD058 MD093

  • Paris Bucket List 2015

    June 3, 2015

    eiffeltower

    We’ve arrived in Paris (two weeks ago!). Right after we arrived I put together a bucket list with Dusty’s help of the things we want to do while we’re here (and I’m finally posting it). Here they are in no particular order.

    Picnic on the bank of the Seine
    L’Aquarium de Paris
    Paris Food/Wine Tour
    Disneyland Paris
    Day trip to Loire Valley
    Éclairs from L’Atelier de l’Éclair
    Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes and Parc Zoologique de Paris
    Picasso Museum
    Cruise on the Seine or Canal Saint Martin
    Spend some time playing at all the amazing parks in Paris
    Get Annabelle a scooter
    Eat and/or have drinks at these restaurants (Pierre Sang Boyer, Le 6 Paul Bert or Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Cinq, Ellsworth, Frenchie to Go, Hero, Miznon, Heimat, Spring, Chez L’Ami Jean, Bones, Le Perchoir, Clamato, Le Mary Celeste Cocktail Bar)

    No Comments | Posted in: France, Paris | Tagged with: , ,
  • Restaurant David Toutain

    I’m back at it, sharing some of the delicious food we’ve eaten in Paris. Last summer we went to Michelin 1 star Restaurant David Toutain for our anniversary. Given it’s been almost a year since we went, I can’t give lots of details but it was absolutely delicious. We went for lunch and had their tasting menu with wine pairings. The chef even came to our table to say hello before our meal was over. After we walked to the Camp de Mars (park near the Eiffel Tower) and relaxed before we had to get home to Annabelle.

    Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain

    No Comments | Posted in: Food, France, Paris, Travel | Tagged with: ,
  • Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2014

    rudolph!

    No Comments | Posted in: Baby, Holidays | Tagged with: ,
  • Fairy Princess

    November 28, 2014

    fairyprincess_001

    Happy fall from our fairy princess. Remember when I said I liked to dress Annabelle up. Well, as I was shopping for Annabelle’s halloween costume (her outfit was from one of her grandma’s so I was just shopping for the bananas and basket) I found some adorable fairy wings and had a great idea to put her in an a skirt that she got for Christmas last year from a friend of mine along with some leggings I recently bought her. We’ve been having some of the best fall weather. The leaves by our place are so beautiful and Annabelle looked adorable in her outfit. What a great excuse to take pictures! These are some of my favorite pictures of Annabelle. the gold from her skirt and colors from her wings are perfect wit the changing colors of the leaves.

    fairyprincess_002 fairyprincess_003 fairyprincess_004 fairyprincess_005 fairyprincess_006 fairyprincess_007 fairyprincess_008

    No Comments | Posted in: Baby | Tagged with: ,
  • Happy Thanksgiving

    November 27, 2014

    thanksgiving

    No Comments | Posted in: Holidays | Tagged with: