Eating, Drinking & Seeing: 5 Favorites in November

10 December 2014

November always feels like a test of patience. Thanksgiving steals the spotlight every year and the days leading up to this big feast feel like filler, distraction from the turkey countdown. This time, however, the days were swift and sweet. Here are the highlights in the run up to the big, indulgent holiday: Hosting Fathom’s First Paris InstaMeet  Fathom is one of my favorite collaborative travel websites (I’ve previously contributed Paris content here and here) so naturally I was honored when they reached out to me with the proposal to co-host their first Paris Instameet with Rome-based writer Erica Firpo– essentially a get together among active Instagrammers in the city. Get the lowdown on the Paris Instameet HERE and see Fathom’s gallery of photo highlights HERE. Warming up with cortados at Cream  Two former Ten Belles baristas ventured out on their own to open CREAM this month, a new coffee bar in the Belleville neighborhood that serves excellent pour-overs, sandwiches and a short but sharp selection of cakes. Given their location and history working under the tutelage of Ten Belles lead Thomas Lehoux, it’s of little surprise that Joe and Maxime roast Belleville Brûlerie beans exclusively. CREAM 50 rue de Belleville […]…

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Wide-Eyed in Paris

28 November 2012

In the enduring spirit of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but express my gratitude for friends. As somewhat of an early holiday gift, I received a visit from someone I used to clown around with at Hebrew school each week as a kid, share my angst-ridden tribulations with during high school and with whom I talked through my existential quandaries throughout college. With him, I have that coveted friendship that no distance, absence or difference in lifestyle can dull. A trip to Europe was his gift to himself to celebrate passing the boards and accepting a position as an assistant district attorney- a stop in Paris was a non-negotiable. I would be his dutiful guide but the prospect was daunting. Would he glean even a jot of the city’s brilliance in only 36 hours? Could I do it justice for a first-timer? Judging by the wide-eyed wonder with which he approached our weekend, I think I can say with confidence that I succeeded. In fact, the last time I saw such cartoon hearts float above the head of a new visitor it was that of my father- one grandiose turn of the corner after another left him transfixed. And let me tell you, […]…

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Eat Boutique Apéro {a Thanksgiving Giveaway!}

7 November 2012

Growing up with vegetarians, a hearty turkey dinner was never the focus of our Thanksgiving celebrations. There was family, food and loads of laughs but no elaborate spread nor visitors from out of town. I anticipated the holiday more for its day-off perks than the all-day cooking and eating affair it entailed. But after six years of celebrating amongst nostalgic expats in Paris, I have gradually become more invested in making the holiday a special moment with friends. Beginning in September/October, plans are hatched, edible contributions are assigned to an enthusiastic group and recipe-scouring (mostly for dessert) takes precedence over other tasks. And while there is invariably a substitution to be made – a chicken instead of turkey due to oven capacity, for one – it’s the French custom of l’apéro I enjoy most about each year’s festivities. Similar to the cocktail hour in the States, this is the moment at the end of the day when savory nibbles are served alongside seemingly free-flowing glasses of wine, beer, pastis or fruit juice for the rare teetotaler. During the work week, this ‘hour’ might spill over into an entire evening of drunken merriment, but usually serves to free us from our worries […]…

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Thanksgiving in Paris

28 November 2011

Thanksgiving in Paris happened twice and was full of: Beautifully dressed tables. Chicken. Southern biscuits. Feline entertainment and cuteness. Laughs. Friends. Champagne.My pumpkin bread.A raspberry tarte.Franco-American merriment.Frosnac wine from 1978.Turkey.Comté de Noël.Lola’s Cookies snickerdoodles + pieHappy bellies. Thanksgiving as an expat doesn’t have to feel any less warm and festive than it would back home. I feel fortunate to have been surrounded by people who were also seeking a taste of familiarity in the form of good company, obscene amounts of delicious food and welcomed lethargy. Lucky for us, we were able to share it with a handful of Frenchies who were after, more or less, the same thing.…

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A Thank-Filled Weekend

26 November 2010

{Turkey cupcakes from Sugar Daze!} Thanksgiving never used to mean all that much to me. Growing up in a family of vegetarians basically ruled out any possibility of a traditional turkey feast and so we did the unthinkable – we went out to dinner. Surprisingly, we were not the only ones committing Thanksgiving blasphemy. We went to the same, relatively formal restaurant every year for as long as I can remember. With crackling fireplaces , creaky wood floors and twinkle lights strung about, the place felt like a cozy country home which made it easier to accept that I was the only one among my friends who wasn’t sitting down to a gargantuan homemade holiday spread. The warm and inviting dining rooms were filled with families dressed in their finest and on their best behavior, smiling widely, raising their wine glasses in joyous celebration and regaling in loads upon loads of carbs. Our table, however, was a bit more dysfunctional. Since my parents never prepared meat or poultry in the house, I turned my nose at turkey (fussy eater) and usually opted for some kind of creamy veggie pasta along with the rest of my family. Criminal, really. Arguments with […]…

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