J’aime Paris, la ville de la gastronomie et de l’amour! (A city of food and love!) It was autumn when I last set my foot in Paris. I don’t remember how many times I have been to Paris and I think I have seen this city in different seasons. Each season gives a different look and feel to it. The autumn foliage makes Paris very picturesque. It was slightly cold, a pleasant cold – not to the extend that makes you feel like snuggling under your duet.
Montmartre is a nice place to have a walk and to see Paris from high above. Basilique du Sacré-Coeur needs no introduction – it is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.
My all time favourite is Notre Dame Cathedral, just love the architecture! When I first visited Paris and laid my eyes on Notre Dame Cathedral, I felt like as if I had achieved something in my life that I had always dreamed of – to see Paris and Notre Dame Cathedral. Every time I see it, it reminds me of my first visit to Paris.
Each time to Paris, even though it is short but always sweet! It’s a nation of food! On the TV, there are always food related programs if not lots of food related adverts. Restaurants, cafes and brasseries are just about everywhere. I always make a point to try out things that I haven’t and of course, keep on savouring those that have become my favourites. Some good addresses – food wise, in Paris are:
1. Gilles Verot Traditional Charcuterie
Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Originally intended as a way to preserve meats before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavours derived from the preservation processes.
I love charcuterie, my all time favourites are pâté aux figues (fig pâté), pâté de campagne (classic pâté), and jambonneau. If you want to try something different, I would recommend saucisson a l’ail, fromage de tete, and andouille de vire. Gille Verot offer a lot of good quality chacuterie. If you are a fan of cured meat, this is a must stop in Paris! There are 2 branches.
2. Chez L’ami Jean
Chez L’Ami Jean offer Basque cuisine set on the left bank of Paris. It is a must try! On the menu, there are mostly meat dishes. It was our first time to Chez L’Ami Jean. The most memorable dishes I had were roast pork with cannelinni beans and riz au lait (rice pudding) served with salted caramel and assorted candied nuts. Just amazing!
Opened in 1896,Chartier is an unpretentious restaurant and very inexpensive! The menu follows brasserie-style traditions, including items you might not dare to eat – boiled veal’s head, tripe, tongue, sweetbreads, lamb’s brains, chitterling sausages. The waiter will steer you through such dishes as boeuf bourguignon (braised beef in red-wine sauce), pot-au-feu (combining beef, turnips, cabbage, and carrots), pavé (a thick slice of rump steak), and at least five kinds of fish.
4. Patrick Roger
If you are a chocolate addict, please read on! Another must try French luxury chocolate – Patrick Roger! I didn’t know about Patrick Roger until I watched a documentary in France about chocolate a few years ago. He was named the best chocolatier of France (Meilleur Ouvrier) in 2000 at only 32 years old.
Patrick is definitely passionate about chocolate. He has created fantastic chocolate with very much palate-opening flavours like lime and lemongrass. I may not be a big chocolate fan but ever since I have tasted Patrick Roger’s chocolate, I really think I got to know chocolate at another level. It brings me to a different world!
If you ask me which ones of Patrick Roger I can’t live without, they have to be ‘Amazon – The harmony of caramel with the sharpness of lime’, ‘Delhi – Essence of lemon and basil’, ‘ValparaisoThe energy of the Pacific lime’, ‘Cyclone – The sharp sensation of plum’ …..errr… actually I love all!! You just gotta try this! Check out Patrick Roger’s cuisinehere. And be prepared to drool! Price wise – for the one above is €24.
5. Astier de Vilatte
OK… this is not food related but if you like ceramic tableware, you will like Astier de Vilatte. Each piece is unique and comes with quite a big price tag. I try to resist not to go in each time I am in Paris, but most times, I fail. 🙁
This is the classic of the classic! I wouldn’t be surprised that it is a must-stop in Paris. It is definitely the best macarons shops in the world. I have tried Pierre Herme, but I think I will still stick with Ladurée even though Pierre Herme offer more funky, mind-boggling, and eye-catching flavours. I just think Macarons from Pierre Herme were a bit too sweet for my liking.