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label/Paris restaurants

Franco File Friday: Pierre Hermé

23 March 2012

Just teasing! No, the macaron master Pierre Hermé is not in the Franco File Friday spotlight today (though how fantastic would that be?) but I knew it would steal your attention. Another francophile will make an appearance in the series next week but until then, I thought I’d share my indulgence of choice in honor of spring’s sweet arrival. {Indulgence + Solidarity} For the 7th consecutive year, the first day of spring was celebrated in Paris with a macaron tasting in select pastry shops around the city. A complimentary macaron was offered in exchange for a small donation to support the foundation Autistes Sans Frontières (autism without borders). A positive initiative that doubles as a brilliant marketing strategy. Last year, Pierre Hermé doled out three macarons for the cause but dropped down to one which meant when I finally approached the counter to select my flavor, I caved. I came on a solo mission and left with a small family. The impatient sales girl whipped out a large, cellophane sachet and dangled it above the rainbow colored cookies, seemingly hinting that I’d be doing myself a disservice by opting for only one. After all, there was ample space in the sachet and […]…

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Pain et Chocolat

11 October 2011

One of the audience questions that resonated with me most at Ann Mah and Lisa Pasold’s talk on travel writing at the American Library of Paris last week was one that I’ve often asked myself. As a travel writer, do they struggle with sharing their finds with the world versus keeping some of them secret to retain exclusivity? When I stumble upon a charming restaurant or café that hasn’t yet been packaged and sold to eager tourists in major publications or websites, a part of me feels as though I shouldn’t tell a soul. That I should keep it to myself and a small group of blog-less friends to prevent the eventuality of it becoming too trendy. Too packed, too been-there-done-that, too predictable. But then the better half of me, the part that enjoys sharing with you and suggesting places that could mean the difference between a mediocre Paris trip and an exceptional one, trumps all selfishness. Both Ann Mah and Lisa Pasold felt the same – after all, what they really want is for their treasured spot to stay in business so spreading the word is key. I actually credit my friend Emily for introducing me to Pain et […]…

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Pizza Chic

21 March 2011

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) Well, not always. You can probably bet that the quality of the food at a place called “Cheaper Food”, and “Very Nice Pizza” (they really exist) are about as good as their names suggest. We learn not to judge books by their covers but do so anyway. In fact, we judge books, people, movies, cities, and even restaurants by their names and sometimes, our pre-conceived notions are upheld. But in this case, I was proven wrong. I had read multiple, glowing reviews about Pizza Chic, the New-York style pizzeria in 6th, prior to trying it out with Ann Mah for the first time a few weeks ago. I couldn’t help but be circumspect of a place that had the audacity to call themselves chic and wondered how good the pizza really could be. Surely not better than Caldo Freddo, my longstanding favorite. By the end of the night I came to see, however, that the name, although staggeringly trite, was a suitable label. Owned by Julien Cohen, son of Marie-France Cohen, founder of upscale shops Bonpoint, […]…

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