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What edibles or food related items do you bring home from a visit to Paris?

Don't forget to check any mustard. It will be confiscated if you try to carry-on.

Jul 12, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Trip report, Dordogne, May 2014

Carlux, please forgive the delay in reply. We brought back both tins and non-refrigerated glass jars of foie entier that we bought (based on a recco here) from Carrefour. All "commercially made." And NOT "fresh."

Jul 11, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Why didn't my cream puffs puff?

I took a workshop on making "choux" in Paris. I believe they said that ambient temperature/humidity (i.e. weather) can affect success. Also, we were told to use "good" butter, not the normal supermarket stuff. There's too much water in normal butter. Need more butterfat, like from Kerry Gold Irish butter.

Jul 09, 2014
ScottnZelda in Home Cooking

Trip report, Dordogne, May 2014

That's great! The best supermarket is the Carrefour's in St Cyprien, but it closes at lunchtime until 3:00 and Sunday afternoons. St Cyp market on Sunday a.m is great. Best bakery for bread/pastry is in Castelnaud, at bottom of hill with easy parking. It closes Wednesdays. Enjoy your trip!

Jun 11, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Trip report, Dordogne, May 2014

With pleasure, Parigi!

Jun 10, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Trip report, Dordogne, May 2014

With help from CH members and other sources, our visit to Bordeaux and the Dordogne produced the following findings during our recent stay.
In the city of Bordeaux, we had only one night which was our day of arrival from the U.S. We had pre-booked Le Bistrot du Gabriel, on the Bourse, for it's prix fixe dinner (43 euro pp). They gave us a lovely table right in the front next to a half-round window overlooking the fountain.
Everything about the meal was perfect for an arrival evening. A few amuses, including a watercress soup, started us off. Entrees, a delicious house-smoked salmon for me, lovely and sizeable salad nicoise for DH. DH followed by duck while I had a wonderful veal dish. But the hit was the desserts served from a trolley. Mine choice was an eclair-type pastry filled with both pistachio cream and raspberries, DH selected a lighter than air coconut cream and fresh pineapple layered dish. We'd return and recommend.
Next night in St Emilion, we followed a CH recco for L'Envers du Decor, which was casual and fit the bill perfectly for us. There are two indoor dining spaces plus outside. It was too cold for outside and the owner tried to shuffle us to the back (English speaking?) room, but we protested and received a table in the front, more interesting, room.
The decor is funky and has attitude. Once again, we ordered the prix fix menu (salmon, duck, veal) with wines by the glass. In retrospect, I would have preferred the ALC sweetbreads with morels (particularly after seeing them at the next table.) Apparently, this is also a wine retailer, and some patrons were buying bottles to take with them. I liked this place. And it was just a short walk from our hotel, the Logis du Remparts. Very, very convenient. And close to the Maison du Vin of St Emilion, which sells bottles at what must be the lowest prices around. You won't find everything there, but what they have is well priced. DH selected a 2000, a 2010 plus another. And the Tourist Office on the same street has some nice souvenir choices. Reservations at L'Envers du Decor seem essential as many were turned away.
Next day, lunch in Bergerac. This was a Saturday, market day in Bergerac, so we selected La Table du Marche Couvert. Contemporary decor and presentation were it's strong suits. But this was not a memorable meal, except for our impression that it was a bit overpriced.
Our rental house in Dordogne was in the tiny hamlet of Envaux, just across the river from St Cyprien. So our restaurant choices were nearby.
First on this list was the Auberge a la ferme just outside Tremolat, Les Truffieres. We had read about the owner, Yanick, and were prepared for a man of character. This was a fun place and the food was good and generous. The decor is totally quirky, with memorabilia of all types. Yes, that's a ladder next to the piano. Yanick, who speaks a limited amount of English wants to know exactly where you live and pulls out maps for you to show him. Our visit was on a Sunday afternoon and the customers were us, a couple from Great Britain, and a small group of local men. (However, I'd certainly advise reservations!) It's a no-choice menu, but generous slabs of foie/pate, followed by an enormous duck breast, salad with edible flowers, and a welcome aperitif and wine. Nothing fancy, but we'd definitely return here for a leisurely lunch. Just looking at his collection of memorabilia was a hoot. (Apparently he was a commercial architect/interior designer at one time.)
Next up was the "tapas" weekday lunch at Le Vieux Logis. This Michelin starred resto at the Relais and Chateaux hotel of the same name was the most "formal" experience of our trip. Beautiful dining room and dinnerware/glassware. Be prepared for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
To call this "tapas" is a gross understatement. At 45 euros pp, it's a wonderful tasting menu. We lost count at 13 dishes, most divine, though our 4 diners had their favorites. Lovely outdoor terrace tables, too, though we felt indoors was more comfortable that day. Book ahead. Just do it.
Then lunch at Le Moulin a Huile de Noix outside the Lot town of Martel. This was a drive of over an hour from our house and frankly wasn't worth it. A "ferme auberge" that makes walnut oil, it seems to specialize in lunches for bus tour groups (in a separate dining room).
Fixed price lunch (40-something euro, without wine) included a pot of radish-leaf soup, a green salad with either pate or foie on the plate (foie at suppl.) and confit or fried lamb shoulder chops with a ton of potatoes to share. Overly generous cheese course (entire cabecou pp plus two others) and walnut cake. The owner, Madame Castagne, is lovely and quite a character -- we'll remember her, if not the food.
Would not return.
Serendipitous finds along the way: In Beynac, Restaurant Maleville, directly on the river. We were sightseeing, and without lunch reservations we headed into this place. We figured we get a passable pizza or sandwich. Boy, were we wrong. Very casual resto on several levels overlooking the river. Inside or outdoor dining. A 20-something euro menu (other prices available, starting at 12 or 15 euro, plus ALC dishes including burgers as I recall.) We did the menu and were not disappointed. One in our party ordered the steak as his main and DH, who is always reluctant to order steak in France after some bad experiences, had "beef envy" when he tasted it, saying it was one of the best in France. Large portions, all surprisingly great.
The owner of our rental house recommended the nearby "Le Bistrot d'Epicure" in Castel, near St Cyprien. This was our only dinner "out" as we concentrated on lunches out, dinners in. Very friendly and casual service . Foie gras ice cream? Come here for it. Mainly local customers. "hip" decor. The kitchen will exceed your expectations.
The waitress speaks fluent English and will explain the entire menu.
I recommend.
In Castelnaud la Chapelle, we chose La Table Basque/Restaurant le Tornepique/Chez Antoinette as a change of pace. Yes, it looks touristy. It's right on the river, great view.
Many ALC Basque specialties and a few menus of tapas. I had the tapas menu, but should have gone ALC. Not being familiar with Basque cuisine, I took the coward's way out. Other dishes being served in the dining room looked better. If you find yourself in the area at lunchtime, it's worth a stop. The owner does the cooking in an open kitchen. Limited English spoken. Inexpensive.
We wanted to buy foie gras in cans to bring home. The owner of our house recommended FOURNET in St Cyprien (just down the hill from the little fountain, but also at the Sunday St Cyp marche and the Sarlat marche). We served a can of his block foie canard this past weekend and it was a total hit.
We had also read about Arvouet (sp?) in Buisson d Cadouin (retail shop on main road), but haven't tried this one yet. Both sell duck and goose foie in various forms.
And after reading postings on this forum, we bought Carrefours Reflet du France whole foie in jars to bring home. (not yet tried) Thanks for this tip!

Jun 10, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Daring versus safe versus boring French food: is there more to be said?

Actually, the menu was in Japanese, which I don't read. All I understood from the server was "shrimp." I later learned about the "dancing" part from a NY friend who has seen it at Nobu.

May 28, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Daring versus safe versus boring French food: is there more to be said?

In a similar vein to Parigi's most daring experience, when I ordered an assortment of sushi in Tokyo, it came with "dancing shrimp." How did I know that meant it was still alive?

May 28, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

David Toutain

Based on recommendations from this Board and elsewhere, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at David Toutain, in the 7th, today. We ordered the high value 42 euro lunch (billed as 3 courses, but with amuses and extras tucked in was actually 7 plates.) Amuse #1, beef carpaccio flavored with raspberry, shaped like a strawberry. Amuse #2, a spring pea puree set on a dried mint crackle (think nori). Then a single large white asparagus garnished with parmesan crackle (I know there is a better word for this) and parmesan cream, a dollop of lemon foam and a few drops of marvelous smoked egg yolk. Followed by black sesame puree topped with smoked eel. Then the main plate of salmon accompanied by fresh peas, pea sprout rhubarb, pea puree, all except the puree slightly undercooked in a very good way. Followed by tiny pieces of fresh strawberries topped with drops of hibiscus gel and parsley ice cream. Followed by white chocolate cream topped with a bit of coconut ice cream and then petit fours. All good, all unusual. The atmosphere is casual (no jacket) contemporary and organic. The staff was very friendly and amusing. Service was excellent and unpretentious. With a 70 euro bottle of wine, our bill for two was 150 euro. The wine list offers few inexpensive choices, but the ones offered seem well selected. Another time we might splurge for the 158 euro p.p. 13 or so course tasting menu with wine pairings for dinner, though there is a 68 euro menu offered, too.
In summary, the food was imaginative and not heavy - a perfect Spring lunch, and lots of fun. A few tables were occupied by Japanese couples, so they have found it, too. Thanks for helping us find this place.

May 28, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Two grocery items I cannot find in France

What about Kube D'Or? But I bought chicken base in Paris. Chef brand, Concentre de Volaille. I may have bought it in Detou. I can't make out the tiny nutritional info to tell if it's low sodium, however.

May 02, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

L'epicerie de Bruno, Paris

Oh, no! I am so sorry to hear this. In 2012, I believe, the shop was just reopening due to ill health and hospitalization. Respiratory, I think. But Bruno was with two friends and when he recognized me at the window he opened to let me in. Such a nice man and purveyor of pepper.

May 01, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Brief Opnionated Boulangerie Report

I believe you may be thinking of Frederic Lalos, who sells through about 4 different branches of "Quartier. . . . ?"
His card was given to me as the purveyor to Guy Savoy.

Apr 15, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Croque Monsieur in Paris

While not in the Marais, the cafe Nemrod on Cherche-Midi, just a block from Bon Marche, makes a good one.

Apr 15, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Dinner in St Emilion, Lunch in Bergerac

Here's where we stand for these few days. Arrival day in Bordeaux: dinner at Bistrot Gabriel.
Next day, enroute to St Emilion: lunch at Belles Perdrix/Troplong Mondot with casual dinner at L'Envers du Decor.
Next day (Friday) hit marche in Bergerac with lunch at Table du Marche. Then onward to house in Envaux.
I'd love to enjoy another ferme-auberge, but this choice seems a good rhythm. Anyone spot a problem?

Apr 01, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

I'm happy to have this input. We've had occasional luck with supermarket sales on St Barth's, which is why I posed the question. (There are really only 3 wine cellars on the island). I'm also wondering how many small wine merchants there are in the mid Dordogne. We know Nicholas. Does anyone have a wine merchant to recco?
And where? Thanks again, everyone.

Mar 31, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Dinner in St Emilion, Lunch in Bergerac

Thanks to you both! As far as two big meals is concerned, we'd be looking for dinner on Friday, lunch on Sat, followed by picnic type dinner Saturday. We'll look into St E options.

Mar 29, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Dinner in St Emilion, Lunch in Bergerac

Wow, I figured there would be some reccos on this. Nothing from you folks? Maybe a little secret or two?

Mar 28, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

Does anyone have any supermarket reccos???

Mar 28, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

CA Olive Oil recommendations

Thanks to everyone! Having now returned, I can report that local friends arranged a tasting at Round Pond (Napa) for their oils ($42/head, with some wine and veggies, etc for tasting purposes.) A bottle of their Blood Orange oil came home with us. But we really enjoyed stopping at DaVero in Sonoma, which is due to the reccos here. Great stuff.
We were able to get the Nuovo plus two bottles of the Meyer Lemon that had just come back for sale and was on "allocation" only 2 bottles per customer. The kind folks there told us that Batali no longer buys from them as they simply can't keep up with the quantity he demands. Love the small producer! Thanks again, folks!

Mar 24, 2014
ScottnZelda in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

Thanks, Kerriar. Definitely will do. I'm looking forward to it.

Mar 24, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

Remembering the CA cabs from the 60's/70's that were once our house wines (BV was a big label then), it was a shock to see the "Big Napa Cabs" selling for $100 (really?) at the vineyards. France should be a relative bargain. You've given us a good excuse to try many labels. Thanks.

Mar 24, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Dinner in St Emilion, Lunch in Bergerac

We'll overnight in St E and would love to have your reccos for dinner. Any thoughts on La Tertre? Seafood might be nice before 2 wks in ducky Dordogne. Also need a fairly quick lunch in Bergerac enroute to our rental house. "Quick" because we'll want to hit a supermarket there for provisions and visit the Maison du Vins for tasting. L'Imparfait's website seems to show only a dinner menu. Any thoughts on a good but time efficient lunch place?

Mar 24, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

Thanks, Deluca! Back "in the day" my memories of Cahors were very deep and heavy. The "Black Wine" right?
Will definitely look for Cuvee Madame from Tirecul.
BTW, are you in Napa? We were through there a few weeks ago.

Mar 24, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

Collioure, thanks for the information! You are broadening our horizon, and will be on the lookout for these. Are there any particular labels you regularly buy? I think we may rely on supermarkets for the bulk of our buys. There are definitely Cab-drinkers in our group, if any other CHounders have Bergerac cab ideas for us, too.

Mar 24, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

Certainly. I meant Monbazillac, the sweeter wine from the region (for selected foods such as foie gras and strong cheeses). Can also use a recco for the sauvignon white types for cocktail embibing. In other words, all local wines that are great values for every day drinking plus a few specials. Our male companions prefer reds. So this is really a request for "Bergerac Wines for Dummies."
Sorry Parigi, I don't know about the Barca-Real game. That one went over my head.
Thanks for asking for clarification. My spelling error.

Mar 23, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

For our May visit, we'd like to enjoy the local wines in the Dordogne and Lot. Can someone offer a few favorite reccos? Starting with general table wines under 10 or so euros and a few upward from there? What I'm really looking for is your favorite every day wines from the Bergerac region and maybe a few from the Lot. We'll be "at home" for most dinners, so will need to buy wine in some quantity to consume there.
This is a wine region that has evaded us so far. Thanks again for any assistance.

Mar 23, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Truffles in Dordogne

Didn't I read that there is some effort to replant the species of oak trees that provide the correct environment?

Mar 23, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Truffles in Dordogne

I learn so much here. You folks are really the experts.
Thanks again.

Mar 22, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Truffles in Dordogne

Pti, the NY Times article this week also discussed the advent of truffles from Burgundy. I think there is a move afoot to get AOC identification for some truffes!

Mar 21, 2014
ScottnZelda in France

Truffles in Dordogne

Thanks, Sunshine. I guess we'll have to return during winter some year! Any particular producers that you like?

Mar 20, 2014
ScottnZelda in France