Here at HIP Paris, we know so many of our readers are longing to visit the City of Light. The next best thing, in our opinion, is re-creating your favorite bistro dishes at home. When we set out to do a round-up of the best bistro cookbooks, there were simply too many to fit in one post. So, we’ve saved some of our most beloved for this installment!
Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells
Growing up in the States, I always thought French food = fancy food. Bistro Cooking dispels this myth. Capturing its warmth, simplicity, and heartiness. Patricia Wells has compiled over 200 delectable bistro recipes. They are light and quick to make, adapted to the way people cook today. Notes and sidebars evoke life in bistro kitchens. Warm Poached Sausage with Potato Salad, Pied de Cochon’s Onion Soup, Guy Savoy’s Leg of Lamb, Beef Stew with Wild Mushrooms and Orange, Chicken Basquaise, L’Ami Louis’ Potato Cake, Provencal Roast Tomatoes, Pears in Red Wine, and Golden Cream and Apple tart are just a few of the mouth-watering dishes included in this most cherished cookbook.
The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr, and Lee Hanson; forward by Robert Hughes
Included in Restaurant Magazine’s list of the ‘’World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” Balthazar quickly became one of the hottest eatery’s in the U.S. after it opened in 1997. Star-studded clientele, locals and visitors alike, flock to this beautiful restaurant in New York’s chic SoHo neighborhood. The Balthazar Cookbook includes some of its most popular and accessible dishes: Moules à la Marinière, Bouillabaisse, Coq au Vin, Cassoulet, Blanquette de Veau, the perfect French fries, heart-warming Macaroni Gratin, finished off with classic desserts like Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Pot de Crème. You might not be able to make it there in person, but you can still discover the recipes that have made the likes of Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart, Daniel Boulud, and Alice Waters rave about this New York institution.
Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking by Anthony Bourdain
This cookbook, perhaps unjustly overlooked amongst the late chef’s oeuvre, has all of the hallmarks of Bourdain’s style: funny, unpretentious, sarcastic, and full of great recipes. These were the signature dishes from the now-defunct Les Halles, the French bistro in NYC where Bourdain began his career. The restaurant’s no-nonsense style was a perfect fit for Bourdain. The book adeptly transcribes restaurant cooking for the home cook. Bourdain gives you simple steps to realize recipes like Roasted Veal Short Ribs, Steak Frites, Escargots aux Noix, and Foie Gras au Pruneaux. Practical, entertaining, and full of charm and bravado, this book is a must-have for foodies, Francophiles, and Bourdain fans everywhere.
Café Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan
Co-written by one of our favorite food writers, Dorie Greenspan, Boulud’s cooking expertise is brought to the comfort of your home in this accessible book. The 150 recipes include a basic collection of dishes found at Café Boulud. They are simultaneously delicious, healthy, and easy. The book centers around four themes: French tradition, seasonal foodstuffs, international flavors, and the kitchen garden. Lamb and Bean Casserole, Bay Scallop and Tomato Gratin, Sea Bass en Croute, and Chestnut-Crusted Loin of Venison are some of the ambitious dishes on offer. Boulud also provides a list of trusted suppliers so you can re-create the classic Café Boulud dishes, down to the same ingredients.
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- Check out part 1 of our favorite bistro cookbooks
- Explore the 13 best bistros in Paris right now
- To adapt to our changing world, Paris restaurants are taking it to the streets
Written by Surekha Gupta for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.
4 comments on “Our Favorite Bistro Cookbooks, Part 2”
So nice to hear people are still discovering Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cookbook. I live in Toronto, Canada et j’adore tout ce que est Français! Patricia’s recipes have been a staple in my kitchen from the moment the book was published over 30 years ago.
Although my cookbook collection includes the best of Daniel, Jean-George, Dori, Jean-François, Paul, Hélène, Anne-Sophie and Joël, Alain and many others, Patricia is my GO-TO for heartwarming comfort food… from Potel’s Gougère to M Henri’s roast lamb. Bonne Cuisine!
I love this post!!
Please kindly note the spelling of Light.
Paris is often referred to as the ‘City of Light’ (La Ville Lumière), both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more literally because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org › wiki
Very kind regards!
Hi there…. we do spell it like that. 🙂
OMG, this is just amazingly co-incidental. I live in Cape Town South Africa, where we had a very stringent lock-down for nearly 5 months. Restaurants only opened a couple of weeks ago and we are now allowed to buy alcohol from Monday to Thursday since a week or so ago. During that time we were also not allowed to socialize at all. Times were really grim and I decided that we needed something to look forward to. So I started cooking us Bistro eat-in meals from Patricia Wells’ book Bistro Cooking and do a keep a little blog about it for family and friends. I only started following your blog about six weeks ago and now you are featuring her book. So fabulous!