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  • Another item on my Paris Bucket List this summer was to have le chocolate chaud (hot chocolate) at Angelina.  I don’t drink coffee so my go-to hot beverage is often hot chocolate and since Paris is much cooler in June than it is in Nebraska (sometimes even in the 60s) , I thought it would be a nice treat on one of the cooler Paris days.

    One chilly afternoon I ventured out and took a stroll to Angelina for some of their famous hot chocolate and equally famous pastry, the Mont Blanc.  This delightful pâtisserie is composed of a vanilla-flavored chestnut cream, fromage blanc/chantilly (a soft fresh type of cream cheese/whipped cream) and meringue. The ingredients give the pastry a sort of crunchy yet creamy texture.  It was a little piece of heaven and was even nice enough to bring a little home to Dusty so he could try it too.

    We’ve walked by Angelina on several occasions and there’s always a line.  It’s an elegant establishment and what’s amazing is that you’ll see tourists sitting along side locals, everyone loves this place.  Because I was alone and didn’t want to wait for a table, I got my drink and pastry for a emporter or “take away” and walked across the street to the Tuileries Garden to sit near one of the fountains and do a little people watching.  I just have to comment on the beautiful packaging.  My mont blanc came in an elegant box and it was almost like opening up a gift it was so pretty.

    angelina_001 angelina_002 angelina_003angelina_004 angelina_005

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  • Chez L’Ami Jean

    June 25, 2013


    As I mentioned in a previous post about not getting the chance to blog about all of the wonderful dinners we went to while in Paris last summer, Chez L’Ami Jean was one of those restaurants. Reservations are a must here but Dusty was able to call when we arrived in Paris and get us reservations for the first seating (they have two seatings), for a week or so later.

    If you read reviews of the restaurant you’ll find that this place is not for those looking for an elegant, quiet, and attentive dining experience.  I’d agree with all of those things but the food is so good that the loud, small, cramped quarters seem to disappear once the food appears.  I did ask Dusty about our waiter and he said that he remembers our waiter being really great (he has a much better memory than I do).

    When we arrived we were seated and heard a lot of English around us and if I were to guess, the first seating is for the American crowd.  Of course, Dusty and I were a little disappointed because we try not to be your typical tourist but we soon got over our disappointment when the delicious food started coming out (have I mentioned how good the food was)!  There are three choices for dinner: three coure menu for 42 euros, five course menu for 55 euros and then a third option they call carte blanche.

    Of course, Dusty insisted we order the carte blanche, an 80 euro option including whatever chef Stéphane Jego wants to make. And thus, the adventure began.  Some of our favorites

    chezl'amijean_002Left: Unknown creamed soup; Right: Salmon Tartare with poached egg

    chezl'amijean_003Left: Fish with citrus zest; Right: Scallops

    chezl'amijean_004Left: Turbot; Right: Squab

    chezl'amijean_005Famous riz au lait (rice pudding) with accompaniments

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  • Cantine California

    June 24, 2013

    While in Paris last summer Dusty happened to read a New York Times article about the growth of food trucks in Paris and specifically about a new gourmet taco and burger truck, Cantine California, that had just opened a couple months prior.  We had to try it out for several reasons: 1) we love street food and food trucks, 2) we love anyone using high quality, fresh, and local ingredients, and 3) we’re always ready to try something new.


    I’m not a huge hamburger fan and I wouldn’t say Dusty is either but I can’t deny that I really enjoyed everything about it including the homemade fries.  This year we ventured back for another delicious hamburger and tacos.  Dusty always gets the carnitas and I like the burgers + fries.  I was a little disappointed this year because my fries were a bit overcooked but overall, a great experience.

    Last year and again this year, we noticed a combination of American expats and young Parisians.  Both times there’s been a line and I think that’s a good sign that they’re doing something right.  I’d highly recommend the food truck if you’re looking for a great hamburger or tacos and roaming the streets of Paris.  I used a combination of pictures from both of our trips (the last row is from this year and the others are from last summer).  It was a bit nicer last year as you can see.

    cantinecalifornia_002 cantinecalifornia_003cantinecalifornia_004cantinecalifornia_005

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  • Frenchie

    June 23, 2013

    Well before we got to Paris Dusty started thinking about where he (we) wanted to eat.  He made reservations almost three months ago at Frenchie.  Last summer we were able to get last minute reservations and loved it so much that we were excited to go again this summer.  Here’s the post from last summer if you’re interested in seeing what we had.

    They only seat approximately 3o guests and have two seatings (7pm and 9:30pm).   The menu changes weekly and includes two starters, two main dishes, and two desserts that you can choose from.  This is a perfect menu for Dusty and I because we don’t like ordering the same thing and this way we can each get one of the choices and have tried everything!  Of course we didn’t bring the camera so these pictures were taken with the iphone.

    frenchie_10Here’s the menu and a little selfie of us before we left for dinner.

    frenchie_2frenchie_3Tourteau, courgette, persil (Crab, zucchini, parsley, pasta)

    frenchie_4Poitrine de cochon, chou-fleur, rhubarbe (Pork belly, cauliflower, rhubarb)

    frenchie_5Volaille fermière, asperges, morilles, savagnin de voile (Chicken, asparagus, morels, wine sauce)

    frenchie_6Rouget, artichaut, feves (Fish, artichoke, beans)

    frenchie_7Citron, rhubarbe, glace au miel (Lemon, rhubarb, honey ice cream)

    frenchie_8Fraises des bois, faisselle, glace noisettes (Strawberries, cottage cheese, hazelnut ice cream)

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  • Saturne

    June 22, 2013


    While we’ve been in Paris this summer I’ve been updating our blog and at the same time, looking back at last year’s pictures from our trip.  It reminded me of all the great dinners we had last summer and that I never got around to blogging about all of them.  Saturne was one of those restaurants.  As you can expect, I can’t remember much from our dining experience other than that we got the wine pairing with our 7 course meal and that everything was delicious.

    saturne_002saturne_003navet de croissy, faisselle de chevre, groseille (turnip, cottage cheese goat, gooseberry)

    saturne_004thon blanc, concombre, amande fraiche (white tuna, cucumber, fresh almond)
    moules, grenaille au foin, plantes maritimes (molds, shot hay, sea plants)

    saturne_005homard bleu, radis, corail (blue lobster, radish, coral)
    pigeonneau, aubergine, girolles (squab, eggplant, mushrooms)

    saturne_006fraise, oseille, yaourt (strawberry, sorrel, yogurt)
    chocolate, betterave, malt (chocolate, beets, malt)

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  • Last summer while in Paris Dusty said that he really wanted to have steak and frites.  He ended up getting his steak frites at a nameless bistro one night while we were out but it was a huge letdown.  This summer we were on a search for the best (or at least a better) steak frites.

    On a side note, I don’t think I’ve mentioned how much research Dusty does on a city’s food scene before and during our trips (why I call it research I don’t know because he really enjoys reading about food).  Well, let’s just say he spends quite a bit of time making sure we eat well.  He did some digging into the best steak frites in Paris and after some due diligence he thought we should try Le Relais de l’Entrecôte.

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    Le Relais de l’Entrecôte is most definitely known for their steak frites, probably because this is the only thing they serve.  They have two locations in Paris and don’t take reservations.

    Each evening a line forms outside the restaurant before they open at 7pm.  We arrived at 7:05pm.  As you can see from the pictures, the line was long.  We were a little worried we might not get in with the first seating and would have to wait (normally not a big deal unless you’re pregnant and have been walking around Paris all day).  It is a big restaurant though so we got lucky and got a table just fine.  We did see others show up shortly after us who had to wait until the next seating.

    So, after getting seated our waitress handed us a drink menu and simply asked us in French, “medium or well done?”  I thought our waitress was very pleasant.  There is no menu because seriously, the only thing they serve is steak frites.


    Next came out Dusty’s wine, a lettuce walnut salad that’s included with the meal, and bread.  The salad was very simple but I thought delicious.  It comes with a mustard vinaigrette which Dusty thought was a little too spicy for him (it’s a spicy dijon mustard vinaigrette I’m assuming) but I thought it was perfect.


    After our waitress picked up our salad plates she brought out plates of steak frites with this delicious greenish sauce n the steak for each of us.  Each person’s dish is presented in two servings.  You receive a plate-side portion of steak frites and once you’re done, they bring you out a second helping that is put on your plate.  Both the steak and frites were really good.


    The whole process is quite interesting to watch.  The sauce was really great and important to note.  When Dusty had his steak frites last summer one of the letdowns was the sauce but Le Relais de l’Entrecôte’s signature sauce was delicious.  According to one of the blogs I follow and a newspaper article on the restaurant, the sauce is made from chicken livers, fresh thyme and thyme flowers, cream, white Dijon mustard, butter, and water, plus salt and pepper and in my opinion, why the restaurant is such a success.


    Dessert is optional.  At the end of the meal we were given two dessert menus, one written in French and one that had pictures of the desserts.  We shared some type of delicious chocolate cake/brownie with ice cream and whipped cream.

    It was the perfect steak frites dinner (especially for someone who’s pregnant and doesn’t always like making choices).  The salad, steak and frites meal cost somewhere around 28 euros each and the dessert was an additional 7 euros.  If you’re looking for choices this most definitely isn’t the place for you but if you’re looking for a nice steak frites then I would highly recommend.

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  • L’Eclair De Genie

    June 19, 2013


    One of my obsessions this trip has been eclairs.  I really think it’s the baby that’s gotten me addicted to all of these delicious Parisian sweets.  A few of the Paris blogs I follow have something called an Eclair Smackdown.  They try a whole bunch of eclairs from some of the best pastry shops and then vote on which ones were the best.  One of the top winners was L’Eclair de Genie, which happens to be very close to our apartment so I thought I should sample some.


    If you’re wondering what an eclair is, it’s an oblong pastry made with dough filled with a cream and topped with icing.  It originated in France and was called “pain à la duchesse” or “petite duchesse” until 1850.


    L’Eclair de Genie is located just a block off the main road that takes you from the Bastille to the Louvre.  You have to know about this place to find it and wouldn’t just happen to stumble on it.  I’ve been there twice now and I can say that people do search for it because there’s always a line (not too long though).  I chose three that sounded delicious and took them home for Dusty and I to do our own taste test.  Our favorite was the caramel beurre sale (salted butter caramel) but we’re really addicted to anything of this flavor.  Our least favorite was the chocolat lait caramelia.  For me, it had a weird taste and I wasn’t very fond of it.  The chocolate grand cru had this wonderful dark chocolate flavor and resembled a traditional eclair.  One of my favorite parts to all of these gourmet stores is that all of the employees wear gloves.  They treat the merchandise as though it is a a precious gift.  And they put them in the cutest boxes too.  Click on the picture above if you’d like to see the ingredients at a closer glance.


    As a reference, these eclairs cost 4.50 euros to 6 euros.  The eclairs at our local patisserie, just around the corner from us, cost 2.20 euros and are quite good but only come in three flavors, chocolate, vanilla and pistachio.  Again,  there’s no way to compare the gourmet L’Eclair de Genie eclairs with your everyday eclair.  It’s like comparing hershey chocolate to a handcrafted gourmet chocolate.  You’re trying to compare apples to oranges.  Hershey chocolate is good but every once in a while you have to have the gourmet chocolate (or eclair) as a special treat.

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  • Cafe Constant

    June 16, 2013


    This past weekend Dusty and I got out of the apartment and spent a great day sightseeing around Paris.  As I mentioned in another post  we went to ‪Galeries Lafayette, a huge upscale department store to visit the grocery department, which is like a gourmet supermarket with kiosks of some of the highest end products you’ll ever see.  After Galeries Lafayette we strolled around the Eiffel Tower and then ended up at Cafe Constant.

    Christian Constant owns three restaurants on the same block near the Eiffel Tour: Le Violon d’Ingres, Les Cocottes and Café Constant.  Le Violon is considered his Michelin star high-end establishment, Les Cocottes is somewhere in the middle and then Cafe Constant is your traditional everyday dining bistro. Even though the later two aren’t high-end establishments, they still use high quality ingredients and are absolutely wonderful places.  We’ve been to Les Cocottes twice (once this summer and once last summer) and absolutely love it.

    They don’t take reservations at Cafe Constant and so you must wait your turn to get a spot in this coveted place.  The restaurant opens at 7pm and we arrived just five minutes after.  Everything you read says to get there early.  The place is small so the line forms outside (thank goodness it wasn’t raining).  There was a line but nothing we couldn’t handle.  We waited about 20 minutes before getting to the front and happened to get the last 2 spots at the bar.  What we missed before we got there was that there must have been a much longer line because if I were to guess, the place seats less than 55 people.  What we found out was that those behind us could put their name on a list and have a drink while lingering outside or come back at whatever time they were told.  I didn’t think this was too bad considering their are plenty of cafes close by to have a glass of wine and if you have an hour to waste, the Eiffel Tour is very close.


    Dusty started out with tartare de saumon, hitres et bar au gingembre (salmon tartare on top of three raw oysters with shallots and ginger) and I started out with one of their specials for the evening, squid with bit of chorizo in the middle and this wonderful broth.  We both loved our starters.

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    For our main dish Dusty had the Escalope de veau Cordon-Bleu comme l’aiment nos enfants (veal cordon bleu “as the kids like it”) and I had the parmentier de cuisse de canard cruise au win rough, pommes gaufrettes (duck with a red wine sauce, potatoes, apples, wafers).  We thought the cordon bleu “as the kids like it” was a play on words and would be more of a gourmet cordon bleu but it wasn’t and nothing to write home about.  It tasted good but we were hoping for something a little more elevated.  We loved my dish and thought it was well executed.  Dusty obliged and helped me finish my dish so I didn’t have to leave anything on the plate uneaten.


    We ended the meal by sharing the riz au lait a la vanille (rice pudding with caramel sauce) for dessert.  It was a very good rice pudding.  It’s not my favorite Paris rice pudding but I’d eat it again.  The prices were very reasonable as well.  Entrees (starters or appetizers) were 11 euros, plats (main dishes) were 16 euros, and desserts were 7 euros.

    Dusty and I eat late, especially while we’re in Paris.  The locals don’t eat until well after 8 or 9pm.  We even had dinner reservations at 10:30pm once.  Restaurants don’t even open until 7pm and when you see people in restaurants or cafe’s that early you know they’re Americans.  At Cafe Constant eating late is a bit hard to do because you must wait in line to get a spot.  It was well worth eating early though and we crossed another item off of our Paris bucket list!

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  • laregalade_001

    One of my favorite places to eat in Paris is La Regalade.  La Regalade bistro has three locations, it’s original on the left bank in the 14th arrondissement, one near the Louvre (La Régalade Saint Honoré) and a third (La Régalade Conservatoire), part of a new boutique hotel which just opened this year.

    Dusty called and made a reservation but the only time they had available was 7:30pm.  We knew it was going to be an early dinner but we were willing to sacrifice because it’s such a great place.  We showed up and after a little confusion we found out that someone else had taken our reservation (I’m assuming they had made a reservation at one of the other locations and didn’t know it).  They were very apologetic and asked if we could come back at 9pm.  We went to a nearby restaurant/bar for a drink, Willi’s Wine Bar.  Willi’s has been around since 1980 and although we just had drinks, the food looked spectacular.


    Allison and Dusty enjoying a glass of wine at Willi’s before we went back to La Regalade.

    laregalade_003 laregalade_004

    La Regalade serves a delicious prix fixe menu of seasonal food for approximately 35€ that includes a starter, entree and dessert.  One of the things I love is that everyone starts with a communal housemade paté that comes in a hug terrine and a jar of cornichons (pickles).  You eat as much as you want and they take it away when your food comes.  Some might be put off by the fact that the same terrine is then given to another guest who might come in a little later but I’m not at all and love that they can serve it this way.

    laregalade_005 laregalade_006 laregalade_007

    Of course we didn’t take a picture of the menu so I can’t tell you specifically what everything was called but Dusty started out with squid ink risotto with calamari, I had a fresh crab salad, and Allison had fresh vegetables on a thin tartlet.  Everything was well executed and so very delicious!  Before our starters came out we also were brought out a small cup of some type of cazpacho ceviche (which I’m sure happened because of the reservation issue).  I don’t traditionally like cold soups but this was an amazing tomato soup with avocado and shrimp at the bottom that you mix in with each bit.

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    For our main courses Dusty had duck and I had sea bream with artichokes.  Both were cooked perfectly and absolutely wonderful!

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    To end the meal Dusty and Allison had the absolutely best riz cuit au lait (rice pudding with caramel sauce on the side–my favorite in Paris) and I had the souffle chaud au Grand Mariner (Grand Mariner soufflé), knowing the rice pudding comes in a communal jar and there would be plenty for me.

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  • capresesandwich

    On our food tour a couple weeks ago we went to Poilâne, a popular bakery in Paris with unique bread called pain Poilâne.  The store has been their since the early 1930s.  On our tour we discovered that the bakery is known for the traditional French dark sourdough loaves.  These loaves were very popular during WW II because they kept longer and could be cut into large slices.  Even as the baguette became the popular type of bread they believed in the great product they had.  The bread is still made with stone-ground flour, sea salt, and a wood-fired oven.  You can read more about the history of Poilâne on their website.

    These are reasons why I love going on great tours and reading blogs that talk about Paris, I would have never known that I should even try this bread otherwise.  I love baguettes and have never ventured to try anything else but since the tour we’ve fallen in love with this wonderful bread.  It is really nice to have a bread in the apartment and not have to go to the boulangerie if you want a sandwich.  Baguettes don’t last more than 24 hours and there’s no way to use a baguette from yesterday for your sandwich today.  The grocery store that we go to sells Poilâne bread so lately we’ve been picking up a quarter loaf for sandwiches.  A couple of days ago Dusty made us a lovely grilled caprese sandwich with soft mozzarella, fresh tomatoes from the market, and pesto.

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