April 2, 2010
Paris parties are the best sort of parties. They incorporate my most favorite food groups – cheese, bread, wine and sweets – and my first Paris party was not lacking for any of these. The cheese plate looks small above, but it was immense and attacked repeatedly.
The homemade gougeres were, also, quite cheesy. This very full platter disappeared all too soon, which put a big smile on the face of the maker of these puffy, savory pastries. I am fairly certain that I munched down at least three of them between my gulps of wine.
Speaking of the wine, there was plenty. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I so love Parisians? They make no excuses for drinking loads of wine at one in the afternoon. After all, why should they? They work plenty hard for their wine, and we all climbed five flights of stairs to make it to this delicious brunch party. Five flights meant at least five glasses of le vin rouge, no? Regardless… no one was counting.
The table was decked out nicely. I adore how whatever glasses, plates, fruit and wine had on hand became makeshift centerpieces. And the host, who happens to own one of the sweetest flats available through Haven in Paris, picked up some flowers to bring it all together nicely, creating quite the monotone color palette (the best kind, if you ask me). While I’m sure that not every Paris brunch table comes together as nicely as this one did (kudos to the talented hosts), all Parisians have a flair for combining items that seem insignificant into something very lovely, very special. And while in the States you might refrain from disturbing a perfectly-poised fruit bowl, that was so not the case here; all the citrus fruits evaporated before the party’s end.
Don’t ask me the name of this pile of chocolate wedges. It was a dessert made by the host that included chocolate (of course), something crunchy and something slightly minty. We all scarfed it down, not bothering to remember the name nor the complete list of ingredients. I am hoping the host will share the recipe if I ask nicely. After all, I did bring a scrumptious fruit tart to the festivities. Hopefully, the host will remember and kindly agree to share what will forever be a treasured recipe for me.
This tomato tart with mustard was delicious. It used a homemade crust that was filled with mustard, cheese, tomatoes and herbs. I’ve found several recipes online, as it’s a French specialty. When I’m back in the States, I plan to make it for every single dinner party. In advance, I ask my friends and family for forgiveness, but I’m pretty sure you will all approve.
The silver was polished and the bread was piled high. I am not leaving Paris without about 100 loaves of Poilâne’s walnut bread. It’s so good warm, with a pat of butter, or a smear of smelly cheese, or a dollop of loose preserves, or… you get the picture. I believe no Paris party can actually happen without piles of bread, including the walnut bread, as it’s a perfect foil for all that darn delicious wine.
Written by Maggie Battista
Passionate about fine dining and old-fashioned hospitality, Maggie is focused on finding hidden, authentic food gems and is absolutely in love with the creamy, salty butter sold all over Paris. She also runs an online magazine and market called Eat Boutique, where she discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. Maggie’s based in Boston, with frequent trips to Paris, Brooklyn, Maine, and northern California.
Website: Maggie Battista, blogger