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Archive for the ‘Dining out’ Category

Let me just start this blog post by saying, Paris was good to me.

Really, really, really good to me.

It’s not very often that you can go into a foreign country, (let’s be honest) not knowing the language, with little to no contacts, with just 3 months to spare, and actually make something of yourself.

I managed to do just that.

Call it luck, call it happenstance, call it the place where I’m meant to be…it. was. pure. bliss.

The sequence of events, from one point to another while living in Paris was so fluid.  I almost can’t explain to you why or how, but I can certainly show you some of what I did.

About two weeks in to my stay in Paris, I got a call from Marie Puleo of Paris Magazine (a new Anglo magazine based in Paris) asking if I would be interested in shooting their January feature about the “Best Restaurants in Paris of 2009″…are you kidding me?…my assignment, to photograph chefs and restaurants (some of which have a wait list months long)…someone pinch me!

It. was. fabulous.

And now that the issue is out on Paris newsstands, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite shots from the assignment.

Chef Gregory Marchand of Frenchie

5 rue du Nil, 75002

M: Sentier

Caffé dei Cioppi

159 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 75011

M: Faidherbe-Chaligny

Owner/Chef Stéphane Delleré of La Cave Beauvau

4 rue des Saussaies, 75008

M: Saint Augustin

Chef Yariv Berrebi of KGB

25 rue des Grande Augustine, 75006

M: Saint Michel

Chef Aymeric Kraml of L’Epigramme and Chef Daniel Rose of La Table 28

Chef Daniel Rose prepping his famous rotisserie meal.

La Table 28

28 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, 75009

M: Anvers

Le Meurice

228 rue de Rivoli, 75001

M: Concorde

Au Boeuf Couronné

188 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019

M: Ourcq

Husband and Wife team, Chi Wah Chan and Adeline Grattard of Yam’Tcha

4 rue Sauval, 75001

M: Louvre

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If you have been to Paris, it is likely you visited/experienced, Angelina.

If you didn’t, well, then you must book a flight back immediately.

Famous for their “De L’Afrique” Chocolat Chaud, they’ve been perfecting this wonderful cup of hot chocolate since 1903 – and boy, do they have it right!

Best.

And I mean, BEST.

…Hot Chocolate you will ever taste. (period)

This is both a blessing to find, and a curse…because now every other hot chocolate I try, tastes like sugar-water.

Another wonderful thing about Angelina – their pastries.

One in particular, that I was required to try: the Mont Blanc.

A meringue base, filled with whipped cream, and covered with chestnut paste.  Very unique, and not as sweet as you might think.

I wouldn’t say it was the ‘perfect’ paring with my chocolat chaud, but it was certainly a treat!

I came home with the worst sugar headache EVER after all of that.

But I went back for more a week later.

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A sampling of some of my Parisian breakfasts:

moulin

I went to Moulin de la Vierge, where I’ve been told is the best place to try this dessert, Mille-Feuille (“a thousand sheets”).  Almost too sweet for my taste, but delightful none the less.

plumtart

This plum tart, is made with a ‘special’ Parisian dough.  I could have eaten the whole pie.  A mixture of sweet, tart, and savory.

croissant

The classic croissant, buttery, flaky goodness – paired with yummy, thick chocolat chaud.

chocolate_chestnutteehee, and yes, it’s true…I did in fact eat this chocolate/chestnut cake for breakfast as well (note the candied chestnut on top)…perfect for anytime of the day I would say!…you only live once.

Found at La Petite Rose.

 

Luckily I have to walk up a million flights of stairs to go to bed at night…

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moulinrougeIt was a very “Seattle” like day in Paris on Sunday.  The rain made it a bit of a challenge when I went out in search of the Moulin Rouge, but I found another familiar “Seattle” site while I was there…if the lighting fixtures don’t give it away, I don’t know what will…

 

Yay for Chai Tea Soy Lattes!

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After having a lovely happy hour meal at Pesos Kitchen on lower Queen Anne, Janea and I waddled our little stuffed and tipsy behinds to Metropolitan market with the grand idea of buying ingredients to create fresh tequila bliss at home. All we needed were the limes! (the rest of the necessities were conveniently in our cupboard at home – including a choice of tequila)

Janea made the simple syrup (sugar and water), and I was in charge of squeezing the limes. Giada from the Food Network (love her!) taught me this trick where you roll the limes with some light force on the counter before cutting them open – I believe it is to help loosen them up a bit inside, to get the juices flowing – it worked pretty well. We only needed about a lime each for our drinks, and quite honestly, we had some ingredients left over…no complaints here, just means more for later 🙂

charity-burggraaf_seattle-food-photography

Now, in my humble opinion, the margarita is all about two ingredients: limes and salt. Tequila, yes…but if it is not tart and salty, then I’m not impressed.  I always ask for LOTS of salt when I order a margarita.

Limes_marg

salt_detail

charity-burggraaf_lime_seattle-food-photograper

Quite refreshing on a warm summer evening in a west facing window apartment!  I used up the left over ingredients the next day, except that time it was enjoyed out of a mug…I hope that is not too weird.

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Last weekend the BF and I played ‘tourists’ with his parents in St. Louis.  We went to the sculpture park, visited the animals at the impressive free zoo, cheered on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, and ate lots of ice cream/frozen custard…is that the thing to do in St Louis? eat frozen custard?…still not sure about that one.

Highlights of the trip?!  A huge eye ball, the penguin habitat (smells like home!), meeting and sitting next to the only other Mariner – ball cap wearing – fan at the Busch Stadium (safety in numbers?), and yes, the ice cream/custard.

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me-with-eyeIt’s Me!  photo by BF

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Is it bad that my favorite shots taken at the sculpture park are of the park’s seating area?…

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_MG_0178Although these pretzels were NOT the highlight of my trip…given that they were stale and $4…it’s still food…I had to document it.

_MG_0157Frozen Custard – tasted like soft serve ice cream – nothing wrong with that!

_MG_0198And this is what The Crown Candy Kitchen calls a “Fruit Salad Sundae” (I requested the addition of chocolate sauce) …I have to admit, I was expecting blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries…basically my normal Cold Stone creation.  But, this was fine too, just a little more candied than I am used to.

Good times.

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A few weeks ago the BF and I tried out one of the many buffets that you will find in Springfield proper.  It seems people don’t like to be told when it’s time to stop eating around here…

It was a Middle Eastern buffet called ‘The Holy Land Diner’.  One of the smaller buffets that we have encountered here thus far, their selection of food was very simple and to the point – salad, olives (yes please!), soup, pita bread and hummus, a vegetarian dish, rice, and two meat dishes, + dessert (didn’t try it).  Not a lot to write home about.

What made this buffet worth it? – aside from the all you can eat kalamata olives…(Zoom in on my purse full of olives.  Kidding!)…the meatballs.  Think Ikea, but all you can eat.  These guys were melt in your mouth, ‘I’m so glad I can go get more’, yum!

meatball2

meatball

I’d go back just for another ‘healthy’ helping of that deliciousness…paired with about 5 heaping bowls full of olives.  Don’t judge me.

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