Mr 416expat will post all about Paris itself. I will post about the food. The short story is, for our anniversary, we went to Paris for 36 hours. From London on the Eurostar, Paris is a 2 1/2 hour trip. From Toronto in our car, our cottage was a 2 1/2 hour trip. Both are cool, but going to Paris was pretty unique.
In preparing to go, I knew there were a lot of food experiences that I wanted to have. My number one source of information was David Lebovitz‘s blog. He is an American pastry chef formerly of Chez Panisse in California who relocated to Paris, France and writes an excellent blog. His “My Paris” section includes lots of restaurant suggestions and several French etiquette tips. I found his blog post on cookware shops to be really helpful and informative. Most helpful? The section on knowing your prices for items such as le crueset and staab. I am currently in the midst of researching both cookware brands and was initially thinking of picking up some staab in Paris. I learned quickly that the prices in Paris are no different from those in London and it’s a lot easier to lug home a 5 quart pot from Oxford Circus than it is from Paris. That said, here are my favourites along with links to David Lebovitz’s write up:
58, rue Tiquetonne (2nd)
Tél: 01 42 36 54 67
This place, given it’s playful name, has everything you could want. I picked up some Edmond Fallot mustard and some valhrhona cocoa powder. I am really excited about making chocolate crinkle cookies with that cocoa powder! In hindsight I wish I had also picked up some nuts, more chocolate, puy lentils and pistachios but that will have to wait for my next trip.
18-20 rue Coquillière (1st)
This place was nuts. It was floor to ceiling full of kitchen stuff. There were stock pots you could fit small children in, spoons fit for giants, and enough enameled cookware, although no cheaper than in London, to make me swoon! The staff appear to be commission based and seem accordingly helpful/eager to put that pot your hand grazed against behind the counter for you. I didn’t pick anything up here, but have a list of things for our next trip. Do you sense a pattern?
La Grande Epicerie
38, rue de severes
This place was overwhelming. It was a Pusateri’s Paris style. I went a bit nuts here. I got lemon curd (think cupcake fillings, thumb print cookies, meringue topping and tart filling), French butter (salted and unsalted), balsamic vinegar, fleur du sel, ingredients for mulled wine, actual wine, and a hawaiian sea salt. I could have kept going but Mr. 416expat kept me fairly well reined in. We did have to carry this stuff back to the hotel afterall.
Last but not least, my absolute favourite place was less of a shop and more of a street. Rue cler was lined with bistros, patisseries, charcuterie shops, and grocers. We had several meals in shops on this street and picked up some croissant and tarts to bring back for breakfast and lunch on Sunday. It was very close to our hotel and made for fabulous people watching.
Coming up this week on the blog…Pumpkins are 50p at the grocery stores! Hello pumpkin soup!
and braving new culinary frontiers…