Monday, August 30, 2010

Seine-ful French food …

Reflecting the French asthetic perfectly
at Les Deux Magots Cafe. 
It’s nearly autumn, and I should be packing for what has become an almost annual trek to Paris. But, this summer I vacationed in the States (What was I thinking?). Now, I’m stuck with an acute case of ‘authentic French food deprivation.’

There are so many reasons to love Paris. Certainly, among those reasons are the enduring cultural destinations that draw tourists – monuments, museums, galleries, and the list goes on. For me, the historical richness, incomparable beauty and permeable energy of the city is spellbinding, but it’s the sinful, sumptuous food that keeps me coming back again and again to ‘The City of Light.’

At the top of my ‘French Foods to Die For’ list is escargot. Oh, stop! I can hear you from here. You want to know how I can put slimy snails in my mouth. Well, let’s just say that once I found the courage to try them (and despite how they look, they’re not the least bit slimy), I was hooked. From simple snails simmered in garlic butter to Escargots Bourguignons that are poached in Cru Beaujolais and herbs, I am always at the ready to devour these delectable appetizers. Just give me a piece of artisan bread for mopping the luscious juice, and I’m in heaven.

Come home to mama!

My other incessant Parisian desire is for chocolate. In Paris, les chocolat is dark, rich and indulgent! Every restaurant prides itself on its signature dessert – from moist warm cake with molten chocolate lava at its center to light and airy, cream-filled profiteroles drizzled with dark chocolate.

The profiteroles at L'Epicerie Restaurant on rue Montorgueil are the best!

It’s hard to find bad food anywhere in Paris! But, you certainly can be disappointed by a renowned restaurant’s hype or joyously amazed by a fabulous meal in the simplest cafe. Over the last ten years, I’ve tried out many recommendations included in the Best Restaurants Paris guidebook and on the website (, and I found many spots that were overpriced or overrated – truly underwhelming. On the contrary, most of the quaint, family-owned cafes and bistros that missed the list serve some of the finest meals I’ve tasted – and at reasonable prices.

So, here are a few of my favs that you might want to visit when you get to Paris.

1. L'Epicerie Restaurant on rue Montorgueil. 2. le Zimmer at place du Chatelet. 3. Restaurant du Palais Royal along the terrasse dans les jardins du Palais Royal. 4. La Maree Verte on rue de Pontoise.

Bon appetit!

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