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Eat Pray Love in Paris: Our Top Picks

To celebrate the French release of Eat Pray Love (Mange, Prie, Aime) today, Amy Thomas has put together a fabulous little list of the best places to eat, pray and love your way through Paris.

Eat Pray Love ParisLove Locks on the Pont des Arts: Hipposrunsuperfast; The Cook’s Atelier

I wonder how the French will receive Eat, Pray, Love? It seems decidedly dorky and American with none of the glamor or decadence that Sex and the City, the other chick-flick import, had. Rather, just an earnest exploration of the meaning of life for a newly single, thirty-something year old.

Me? I love this sappy-pseudo-spiritual-go-sister-rah-rah sorta movie. So not only do I have a (girlfriend) date to see Julia Roberts smiling her way through Italy, India and Indonesia, but I’ve been plotting the best places in Paris to eat (yummy Italian), pray (or at least feign meditation while in downward dog) and (peut-être find) love.

Paris Pizza: GreenPizzPizza from GreenPizz

Eat

In a town that devours nearly every body part of almost every animal, it can be surprisingly tough to find a satisfying plate of pasta. So what’s a carb-loving signorina to do? Suss out the neighborhood gems. Beneath Sacre Coeur’s shadow, you’ll find Corso (10 avenue Trudaine, 9eme, 01 48 78 55 81), a modest Costes brothers establishment that serves heaping piles of al dente pasta, homemade gnocchi with ricotta and spinach and a mean tiramisu.

It took me awhile to find a good pie here in Paris but now I have two reliable pizza places. With toppings like rocket, baby peas, and roasted eggplant, my new favorite is GreenPizz, but for a more traditional experience, go to La Briciola (64 rue Charlot, 3eme, 01 42 77 34 10). The caprese’s sweet sauce, beautiful mozzarella and modest basil leaves are pitch-perfect. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Tours and Classes | 16 Comments »

Impressing the French: Baking For the In-Laws

Lindsey Tremuta, the author of the entertaining blog Lost in Cheeseland, offers up regular musings on her life as an American expat in France. Here, she shares a couple recipes with us: a zucchini cake with crunchy lemon glaze that held its own during lunch with the French in-laws and a mouth-watering iced lemon buttermilk poundcake.

Hipparis: Baking for the French In-LawsDelicious ingredients: the keys for success

When I first moved to France, cooking scrambled eggs and pasta were about the extent of my kitchen capabilities. Mr. Cheeseland was understandably perplexed how I was able to nourish myself before he came along. Well a change of scenery and a couple of years to really get settled was just the push I needed to start cooking. We generally share the cooking responsibilities but I do the baking. That is, I make attempts.

One of the first things I ever successfully produced was a whole wheat zucchini bread. At that time I was always trying to find ways to make desserts healthier which usually produced a bland final product. Once I accepted that I was really only denying myself an extraordinary pleasure, I went back to basics. Zucchini, banana, pumpkin and lemon loaves without cutting corners on sugar or butter. If you’re going to eat it, might as well make it good.

Hip Paris: Baking for the French In-LawsZucchini cake with crunchy lemon glaze

Every couple of months we get together with Mr. C’s parents and his sister for lunch, an occasion that usually translates to 5 hours of grazing and drinking. His sister is outstanding in the kitchen and always cooks up something inventive and filling – rarely traditional French dishes. That being said, she’s also known for her baking. Chocolate often makes an appearance in her desserts (if it isn’t the focus) and although it’s heavenly, I often feel unable to breathe or muster the energy to move out of my chair. It’s really an unpleasant situation. As a result, I started offering to bring the dessert to have a bit of control over how much and how heavy the end of the meal is. That hasn’t stopped her or my mother-in-law from making their own desserts thereby making the the problem I was trying to avoid even worse.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, HiP Recipes | 5 Comments »

Fall Fashion: What the Parisiennes Are Wearing This Fall

Badaude, the talented illustrator and Paris editor at the Style Bible, brings us here a few of Fall’s best looks, as portrayed by a random sampling of Parisiennes that happened to cross paths with her roving sketchbook.

Fall Woman Paris FashionValentin Otttone

Romantics can keep Paris in the Spring. The best season in my book has to be early fall.

When golden sunshine hits falling leaves in the Jardin du Luxembourg, you could almost be forgiven for thinking summer is still around. You could, actually, very well go on wearing your little summer outfits until twilight arrives to wrap you up in a little frisson of a chill — when all the Parisian girls in the cafes untwist and re-twist their scarves, tug at the cardigans that have oh-so-unintentionally drooped down their backs to their shoulders, and pin them back up with a little red pin that sparkles just-so against the gray cashmere.

The holidays are over. The rentrée has begun.

In other words, this is the best time for Parisienne-watching…

Fall Fashion Paris by Badaude Part 1

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 10 Comments »

Bistrot Fixe: A Coveted Corner in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement

Amy Thomas, the fabulous blogger behind God I love Paris, dishes here on four must-try restaurants in Paris’ 1st arrondissement.

Paris Restaurant: La Regalade
Josephine Docena, La Régalade

Now that it’s the end of summer, it’s time to welcome Spring—and I’m talking Daniel Rose’s forever-anticipated restaurant, not the season.

For over a year, Rose and his co-chef/girlfriend, Marie-Aude Mery, have been dealing with French red tape and staying busy with the Spring Boutique, while an insatiable dining community licked its chops in anticipation of the restaurant’s reopening. The 24-seater finally debuted late this summer with a five-course market-driven tasting menu. For my recent lunch (I’m too cheap to spend 64 Euros for dinner; the 38 Euros lunch is more my speed), that meant palate-pleasing dishes like a creamy, lemony caviar d’aubergine, a juicy and tender duck breast accompanied by crispy thigh bits and poached peach, and a deconstructed lemon tart topped with crème anglaise, praliné shavings and plump blueberries.

Spring Paris RestaurantJosephine Docena, Spring

Though the kitchen is visible as it was in the petite ninth arrondissement spot (the massive stainless steel appliances and copper pans provoke beaucoup de jalousie) Spring’s new incarnation, with stark white walls, brushed concrete floors, and sharp angles, feels more “downtown chic” than “neighborhood gem”. (Spring Restaurant, 6 rue Ballieul, 1st. 01 45 96 05 72, Spring Boutique, 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 1eme, 01 58 62 44 30)

Gourmands might be familiar with this little nook of the city as it’s where Chez la Vieille has been sating local celebrities for 50 years. Whereas Spring brings a fresh sensibility to the plate, this two-story bistro is all tradition. Beatnik tiled floors and black and white framed photos envelop cozily packed tables, and an affordable lunch menu (29 Euros for three courses) is as irresistible as ever. The traditional fare includes a heaping lentil and chicken salad and pan-fried dorade with endives, along with seasonal items like cold pea soup thrown in for good measure. (Chez La Vielle, 37 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 1eme, 01 42 60 15 78) Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Saint Germain’s Best Kept Secrets: Living On The Rue du Bac

Last Spring, Maggie was lucky to spend some time in Haven in Paris’ gorgeous Rue du Bac 2-bedroom. A relative newcomer to Paris, she made the most of her expat status by seeking out the hidden gems her wonderful neighborhood had to offer. She shares a few of her favorites with us here…

Saint Germain Paris Woman Bike Rue du BacOne & Only Paris Photography

I adopted the Saint Germain neighborhood up and down Rue du Bac as my home away from home earlier this year. Eventually, to my delight, the neighborhood started to adopt me in return! After seeing my smile amidst the sea of scowls over and over again in the long lines in their shops, the local merchants actually started to smile back, even if it was ever so slightly.

Each vanishing grimace assured me it was okay to start feeling at home. And I did, quickly. As an American girl in Paris, I knew the quickest way to appear even remotely French would be to build up my arsenal of Parisian necessities, all within the few blocks around my apartment. To that end, I hereby share what I think every aspiring local Parisian woman needs:

Saint Germain Paul Louis Courier Rue Du Bac ApartmentPaul Louis Courier Apartment, near the Rue du Bac (One & Only Paris Photography), Erica Berman

Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes, Parisian Living, Shopping | 15 Comments »

Paris Goes Back to School: The Case for Month-Long Vacations

Paris in the Fall: La rentreeParis in the Fall – Ryan S B

Ask any Parisian what he or she loves about New York, and they’ll inevitably gush about its energie. It’s true that Paris can feel sleepy in comparison (which is actually why I love it), but I would argue that there is no better energy than that of Paris in September.

This moment is known as “la rentrée,” when the locals return from their summer vacations (many of which span the entire month of August), looking great and feeling even better. Whether they’ve been surfing in Biarritz, lounging in Provence, or schmoozing in St. Tropez, they return to Paris revitalized, rejuvenated, practically reborn—not to mention seriously bronzed.

The lengthy summer vacation is sacred—and practically mandatory—in France. My first boss in Paris used to leave his entire business in the hands of his highly unprepared assistant (which would have been me, had I worked for him in August) for the entire month. His livelihood was one thing, but les vacances? We don’t mess with this tradition. After all: all work and no play makes Parisians a very cranky bunch. And so, they play. And they don’t compromise, because vacation is a fundamental human right. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »

Friend or Foe? How to Cope When the French Get Feisty

Paris Cafe Waiter B&WFrench café and waiter … unfortunately not always famous for their friendliness. Dolarz

We’ve all heard something to the effect of, “Paris would be perfect, if it weren’t for the French.” I usually laugh these comments off as clichés that hark back to an earlier age, when France was more culturally closed than it is now. We all know that today’s French are as affable as kittens… or are they?

During my days in Paris, my opinion of Parisians vacillated constantly. One moment, I was pleasantly surprised by the (maybe too) friendly feedback I would get from taxi drivers, “Your accent is so charming, you should stay in France forever”; and the next, I was smarting from the evil looks cast by super-stylish French salesgirls, whose foreigner radar always seemed to seek me out.

Man Beret Bar Cafe ParisFrench waiter, smiling and ready for your order! Flequi

There’s really no point in generalizing about whether the French are “nice” or “mean.” It’s like asking whether clowns are funny or terrifying. The answer? Both. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 15 Comments »

Erica’s Weekend away from Paris: a Country Cottage in Normandy

montage French country cottage Bed & door detail NewMy French Country Cottage in Normandy – Photos Erica Berman

It can be hard to get Parisians out of Paris for a weekend. We think we want to go somewhere, but when push comes to shove it just seems so complicated that we prefer an apéro, a resto, or a leisurely dinner with friends. We save our energy for big trips to exotic and far away places. Also, being snobs, we think that anything close to Paris won’t be interesting or worth the hassle of the drive.

French Country Home Normandy BikesBikes by Sharon’s French Country Home

This weekend I managed to make an exception to this rule. The lure of a French cottage in Normandy, a walk in the forest and a few early morning flea markets was calling me since Sharon, the cottage owner, promised all of this at less than an hour’s drive from the center of Paris. Could it be true?

Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes, Parisian Living, Travel | 13 Comments »

How to Shop Like a Parisian: Personal Stylists to Make You Fab

Paris fashion personal stylistsPhotos: Liuwencheng, Charlyn W, One & Only Paris Photography

In Paris, the fashion trend of the moment is having your own personal shopper. From the city’s grands magasins to independent fashion advisers, there’s no shortage of creative alternatives to traditional shopping.

Many Paris shops are offering personal shopping services to their clients, including the big department stores, who offer individual sessions by appointment with a stylist. At Galeries Lafayette, for instance, a fashion adviser guides shoppers to the most fashionable brands after a private interview, showing the newest items and helps while their clients try on clothes. Printemps also offers the services of a private stylist by appointment, who will accompany shoppers throughout the store, guiding them in their choices. A personal room is made available to try on the clothes at leisure.

Independent personal shoppers, a concept that originated in the United States, are also on the rise in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping | No Comments »