Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Salon du Chocolat 2012

 Last night at the opening of the Salon du Chocolat 2012 we were greeted by Poilane tartines slathered with Bordier butter and sprinkled on top with grated chocolate. The perfect amuse-gueule/bite-sized hors d'œuvre to begin the evening of tasting/degustation.

 Quite a crowd was assembled...

 And why not when this is waiting for you?

 And this.

 Slabs and slabs of so many chocolate combinations.

 Why did I leave my Flavor Thesaurus at home? How to choose.

 Beautiful chocolates from Sadaharu Aoki

 Jean-Paul Hevin always shows up with new gourmandises/sweet treats

 Temptation was everywhere and I resisted many sirens but not these mini caramel tarts of Henri La Roux. I have no regrets! I don't trust myself with a whole jar of his caramel tartiner...

 Pierre Marcolini was there in person.

 As was the French squirrel!

 I fell hard for these mini Chocisson filled with pralinee.

 More temptation from Sebastien Bouillet of Lyon.

 These chocolate lipsticks were Bouillet's too.

 I'm a big fan of these mini, faux chocolate macarons from Arnaud Larher.
Miam miam

 And I love Boissier's packaging as well as what's inside.

 Well the show is over...

 But really it's just beginning for 5 days straight through Sunday.
Don't miss it!
If you're not in Paris at the moment visit le Musee Chocolat instead.
28 bd Bonne Nouvelle
It's a favorite of mine - they have fabulous old vintage chocolate everything - dolls, china, graphics. Really fun. And they have CHOCOLATE of course!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nancy - Brasserie Excelsior

 Yesterday I went to Nancy in the Lorraine region while some of your were getting out candles and flashlights.

 Brasserie Excelsior is your classic 'Belle Epoque' cafe
50 rue Henri Poincaré, Nancy

 You’ll find it in front of the Nancy train station, I made a lunch reservation immediately 

 Huge and cavernous, each curving detail is in the style of was styled by artists of the time and inaugurated during the carnival of 1911.

 In no time from noon on every seat was filled with a line waiting.

 But what to eat?

 The French Fall windows are not just full of non-existent squirrels you know.

 The chestnut/chataigne/marron holds a supreme place in most vitrines along with mushrooms and squirrels.

 So I ordered a starter - coquille/a big scallop wrapped in lardon/bacon in a creamy chestnut sauce with a crispy cracker/tuile. Fortunately I had my iPod Touch with Kindle on it, so I could look up BACON in The Flavor Thesaurus.
Bacon: one of the world’s best seasonings. Some people believe that there isn’t a flavor that bacon doesn’t enhance. Smoked bacon has a stronger, saltier, spicier flavor than unsmoked. Salty bacon brings out the sweetness of other ingredients and takes the edge off their bitterness. The aroma and flavor of cooked bacon is famously provocative to vegetarians, but synthetic vegetarian/kosher bacon flavor is available in the form of crisp pieces, bacon salt and a bacon-flavor mayonnaise.

Bacon and shellfish: Delicious in “clams casino”—clams baked on the half shell with a bacon and breadcrumb topping. Fry a mixture of finely chopped onion, red bell pepper, garlic and bacon in olive oil, spoon it onto the uncooked, open clams, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven. If your clams are quite small, you’ll need to chop the bacon finely so you can tell one chewy, salty protein from the other. Keep an eye on the quantities—you want the bacon to underpin the shellfish flavor, not overpower it. Bear the same thing in mind while making mussel and bacon soup, a lobster club sandwich or when fastening your scallops into a girdle of bacon.

On Chestnuts: Like pine nuts and cashews, one of the sweeter nuts, but it’s chestnut’s low fat content that makes it unique. Nonetheless, as with its oily cousins, roasting—over an open fire, naturally—brings out its full flavor and sweetness. Its earthy quality makes it a good match for other autumnal flavors, such as game, mushrooms and apples.
 Yahoo! Nice to know what your eating isn't it?

 My second course - another starter - the classic quiche Lorraine.

 The eggy layer was as delicate and light as a flan - the best quiche I've every tasted. The astringent vinagrette on the salad perfectly cut through and balanced the creaminess of the tarte and fat of the lardon. It's hard to remember this is your average combo of bacon and egg but as The Flavor Thesaurus says:

Bacon and Egg The quintessentially English combination common to the full Irish breakfast, Italian spaghetti carbonara, French quiche lorraine and the classic salade frisée aux lardons et oeuf poché...
Having the thesaurus along makes eating more fun and more adventurous indeed.

 For dessert I crossed the street in Nancy to old-fashioned confiserie, Lefévre-Lemoine at 47 Rue Henri Poincaré
To taste some local Bergamotte and Mirabelle candies.
Keep Safe East Coasters! Thinking of you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


 You MUST go to Deyrolle when next in Paris.

 At 46 rue du Bac 75007

 Deyrolle is one of those secret places in Paris. You walk inside and step back in time. A taxidermiste, un cabinet de curiosités Depuis 1831.

 Downstairs is the boutique, where you can buy beautiful facsimili of old French school posters.

 Upstairs are the animaux!

 I did not realize that upstairs is also a shop...

 And not a musee...

 Then I saw the sign - NO PHOTOS without the express permission in the shop. And everything is for sale.

 Oh la la. I am in the shop.

 Do please visit Deyrolle PBers! Because je me trompe/I made mistake taking photos.

 And please buy this beautiful calendrier to support them. 2012 is on sale for a mere 5 euros.

 And make up for my bad behavior...

 You won't be disappointed.
Je te promets/I promise.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Impressions

First thing in CDG airport - Eiffle Tower shoes!
My new bag (with the red ribbons) survives the trip. It was too heavy once I added the sesame bagels for French girl, ahem.
Roissey bus to Opera plus a good snooze.
Metro #8 at 10 am
Out at Ecole Militaire to oogle Lenotre's vitrine
Plus a look inside and a peach tarte.
Later at La Grande Epicerie
Practicing with my new S100. Sharper and less blurry pics when I shoot fast...pas mal
It's COLD here - 33 degrees  and them some Paris drizzle
Forgotten cafe still life
My lunch at Bon Marche Miyou - this has become a habit.
Blond on blondes at Bon Marche
I'm keeping an eye out for Paris goodies for you.

Like an Eiffel Tower wearing lunettes.

Remember this little guard dog on rue du Bac?
Bonne Week-End