September 2015 Newsletter What a summer it was! Man, I wish it would have lasted even longer than it actually did. The rentrée ,as they call the retu

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September 2015 Newsletter

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What a summer it was! Man, I wish it would have lasted even longer than it actually did. The rentrée ,as they call the return to everyday life after vacation in France, means that we've all got to go back to whatever it is that we do, now that it's fall. I had a super time in the states this summer, and I wrote about my time on Cape Cod here, with some bonnes adresses.

Blueberries! Lobster! Fried clams! Iced coffee! Rainbow sprinkles on soft serve! Yes, I had 'em all.

I had a pretty hard time coming to terms with the end of fresh corn on the cob, basil, and heirloom tomatoes, which I ate almost every day while in the states during my break. I got so used to always having fresh, heirloom tomatoes around that it'll be a little tough weaning myself off them.

Back in Paris, we're gearing up for apples, pears, and quince, along with the grapes, figs, and the reemergence of gooey Mont d'Or, and other fall and winter cheeses. And, of course, there's always French chocolate...le sigh...

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While away, Romain learned the joys of Triscuits, especially the rye-caraway ones (although I had to explain what caraway seeds were - or carvi), and I rediscovered the joys of iced coffee. After some times lounging on the beaches of Cape Cod and eating our fill of lobsters (which I didn't think was possible), it was onward to New York. A bit further down below in the newsletter are a few bits and bites from places that we ate at.

One thing that I forget about the states is the lack of cigarette smoke, and butts, everywhere. It's something that, after many years in Paris, is still not easy to get used to. It's a cultural difference for sure. (A reader recently wrote to tell me that their café waiter in Paris was emptying full ashtrays from the tables into the nearby gutter.) There were lots of signs posted around Cape Cod and in New York, requesting that people extinguish their cigarettes in their proper place - not on the streets and sidewalks, which people seemed to respect.

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The good news is that the city of Paris is trying to get people motivated to not drop their mégots (cigarette butts) on the streets, as there are 350 tonnes of cigarette butts left on the rues and sidewalks each year in Paris. (According to the Google calculator, that's over three-quarters of a million pounds.) Each cigarette butt pollutes up to 500 liters (quarts) of water, so I do wish them luck in their earnest campaign.

This summer, the city of Paris gave out 15,000 portable ashtrays to people in Paris, but I think it's going to be a while before they can effectively curb that behavior and let's hope the city keeps it up. #keepparisbeautiful

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Speaking of Paris, when people ask when the best time to come for a visit is, I always say "October and May." While it's true that those are often the "on strike" months, it's when the weather is at its best. (People ask me why I don't do chocolate tours in the summer and I remember one tour I did in June, which at that time was unseasonably hot, and everybody's chocolates melted, which they discovered when they made it back to their hotel.)

Fall is a particularly lovely time in Paris as people have wound down from their summer break and the markets are filling up with fall fruits, as well as root vegetables, and eventually briny oysters from Brittany and sips of Beaujolais Nouveau, which isn't to everyone's taste, but is certainly a harbinger that wine-harvesting season wasn't that far off.

I'll be around town for a while, working on a book, scheduled to be released in 2017. It seems pretty far away, but is keeping me pretty attached to my keyboard...and my kitchen. - dl

New York Dining Addresses

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Here are a few places that I visited in New York this summer:

Ice & Vice: Wild and wonderful flavors, but delicious ice cream. I wrote more about it here.

Butter & Scotch: My favorite place for an afternoon break in Brooklyn, this bar/bakery melds my two favorite things together, perfectly. Check out my story, coming up this month on the blog.

Upland: California-born chef Justin Smillie has created a farm-to-table style restaurant, that might make you feel like you're back in California. (Except the crowd is a little more upscale, and well-dressed.) The whole, crispy hen-of-the-wood mushroom with cloumage (lactic curd) was excellent, as were the baby carrots with salsa verde and romesco. Love when restaurants do vegetables well! The five-lettuce "Caesar" made me think twice about going back to the original (this one also had Bordeaux radishes on it), and the crisp duck wings with olive oil and yuzu had me flying home, a happy man.

Baohaus: Massive slabs of pork belly in between puffing lotus buns. I wanted a little more sauce in mine, and the pork was a bit oversized for the bun, but a good, casual spot for a hefty snack.

Momofuku Ssam Bar: The pork buns here are perfect. We had a shrimp toast: I was expecting the deep-fried version, out came one with spicy mayo and heirloom tomatoes. Lovely seafood main courses, and friendly service. No reservations so go early as it gets packed.


Luigi's: Lots of arguments in Brooklyn over who makes the best pizza, but I'm loyal to Luigi. He uses fresh mozzarella on some pies, brocollini on others. I'm partial to pepperoni, ever since a French friend told me he had about the spicy sausage, too. (And it stuck in my brain!)

Robert: Overlooking Columbus Circle with a spectacular view, I like to start off with a stiff cocktail, then relax and enjoy the lux space, which is always jumpin'.

Silver Rice: This counter service sushi joint offered up beautiful sushi rolls. I had hamachi with scallions and tuna (line-caught) with pickled daikon. Wish they would open on my street - I'd eat here every day!

Grand Sichuan: The food here can be up, or down, but it's hard to go wrong with their soup dumplings, which are usually very good. I also like the dry-fried green beans.

(People recommend The Bao next door, but when we tried to go, the air-conditioning was broken. Although we're used to no AC living in Paris and accustomed to it, we didn't dine there.)

John Brown Smokehouse: Like pizza, people get riled up about barbecue. I'll let them argue because I'm happy just to relax and enjoy, which we did here after being turned away at the local Moma PS1 museum trying to have lunch there. (They said they couldn't let me in to the M. Wells Dinette because there was a music concert starting in two+ hours and they were afraid I would try to "sneak in" to it. Um, I'm 56 years old. My days of music concerts are definitely over.) Anyhow, we did really well at this smoke house in Long Island City. Burnt tips (of beef) were little bits of tasty meat, charred on the outside, fatty and moist inside, pulled pork was tender and delicious, and the spiced fries were outstanding. Museum schmooseum…

Café Sabarsky: This Austrian tearoom is meant to evoke Vienna, which it does beautifully. (And although we went to the museum/gallery that it's adjacent to, there was no hassles getting into the café before we bought our museum tickets.) Didn't try the savory food, but the grilled sausages the people next to us looked good. We opted for the Viennese desserts; kaiserschmarrn (diced up "pancake" with poached apples) and Klimttorte, named for the famous painter whose works are featured in the museum, a nutty/chocolate cake which was very, very rich, but was served with a generous piping of whipped cream. A nice experience if you're looking for a genteel break from the hecticity (a word I just made up) of Manhattan.


Favorite Links from Around the Internet

Interesting perspective from a long-time blogger about all the changes online, who may be calling it quits.

Often people think of Paris as a city of majestic beauty, where women are "effortlessly chic" and only model-like men roam the streets. (If only!) The New Yorker photographs the people of Paris and France, that are not often observed from the outside.

My friend Anne wrote this excellent essay about how, and why, you should differentiate yourself from the online pack.

Need a new phone? I turned to friends on Facebook who recommended Gazelle and Swappa. I got an unblocked iPhone6 in almost new condition for quite a bit less than the cost a new one. (Hundreds less.)

No, There's No Baguette Shortage in Paris is a on-the-ground report responding to stories about - mon dieu! - stories about the lack of baguettes in Paris in August.

Be careful taking snaps of the Eiffel Tower at night and posting them! (Spoiler: The illuminated tower at night is copyright protected.)

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Favorite Posts from My Blog

A swanky lunch at the Bristol Hotel in Paris.

A grilling expert teaches me how to make Grilled Deviled Chicken.

Blueberries make a swirl in a lemon-accented Blueberry Buckle.

Spiced Indian Corn is a great way to finish off the summer crop.

See you next month!

- David

My Paris Kitchen hi res
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