March 2015 Newsletter Uh, oh. I didn't realize that February was a tad shorter than the rest of the months this year. And I woke up this morning real

       
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March 2015 Newsletter

France-5

Uh, oh. I didn't realize that February was a tad shorter than the rest of the months this year. And I woke up this morning realizing that a newsletter was in order - and expected! So I'm sitting here on a cold Sunday morning in New York, where I'm working for a while (and where I'm writing this newsletter), sipping a nice hot cup of Peet's coffee (oh, the nostalgia!...), deciding if there will be anyone at the "local" farmers' market today, as the last few times I braved the cold to go over there, I was the only one there. The vendors all decided to stay home. I guess I can't blame them; no one wants to stand out in the cold, watching all their vegetables and breads become frozen solid.

Still, it's tough for me not to want to dive into food shopping, no matter where I am, and although I'm used to a glorious collection of French cheeses and breads right outside the door of my apartment in Paris, as well as a few less-savory things (thanks to a few less-than-conscientious dog owners in my neighborhood), I've found some lovely cheeses in New York, made in the state, or in nearby Vermont, nice Finger Lakes wines, and even a semi-locally made gin, which I'm waiting for the right occasion to start pouring.

Mile End Deli

Cheese, bread, and wine, we got in Paris. But one thing that you can't get in Paris, or at least a very good version of one, is a pastrami sandwich. They're one of Romain's favorite things, and it's the one thing he always requests when we're in New York. (We did go to a rather awful American-style restaurant in Paris, and the pastrami sandwich they brought him had one thin, wan slice of mediocre beef between two pieces of bread. He brought it over to the kitchen, and presented it to the cooks, explaining to them that the sandwich is supposed to be packed with meat.)

So I took him to Mile End Deli, which is a hipster/Canadian deli with very tasty smoked meat sandwiches, and giant dishes of excellent fries, which were hard not to polish off. He wasn't convinced about the Dr. Brown's black cherry soda I like with my deli sandwich, but someday I'll spring a Dr. Brown's cel-ray (celery soda) on him, just to see the reaction.

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Other foods I've been indulging in have been Korean bbq - which had excellent pajeon, a superb Mexican lunch, and sublime Japanese ramen and seafood. Had an OK Chinese dinner, although I need to work on a good list of Chinese restaurants, including dim sum houses, which will compare to the ones in San Francisco that I know and love. I know they are out there, in Brooklyn and beyond - but I guess it's going to take some trial-and-error (and traveling) to find them. Send any tips here, s'il vous plaît.

I have, however, quickly adapted to reduced bureaucracy - I lost an official document and although I went in with a big file of paperwork in order to replace it, preparing for the worst, I was in and out of the New York City government office in 7 minutes, with the clerk giving me his direct number in case the document didn't arrive shortly. (It came within a week.) And my French other-half is always amazed when we go to return something, and it's always pas de problème.

So it's been fun eating around New York, doing some shopping (and returning stuff, just because I can...), eating bagels and pastrami, and indulging in the great multicultural restaurants that are part of the American dining landscape. I do miss the two women at my market in Paris that make sure I am well-stocked in the fromage department. The North African butchers in Belleville, that are no longer perplexed by l'américain who asks for unusual cuts of meat. And the clerk at my local bakery, that used to give me a hard time because I wanted a baguette that was bien cuite (well-cooked), who now goes through all the baguettes in the basket, to make sure I get one that I like. (Although I still need to make sure I have exact change when I go in, to avoid getting on her bad side.)

But there are good chocolates from my friends at Nunu. A Tunisian woman in our neighborhood sells fresh - and sustainable! - fish. (And she speaks French, so I don't get rusty.) And there is a friendly breadmaker at the outdoor farmers' market who makes and sells spectacular breads - including a wonderful, crunchy baguette. Now if the temperature would just thaw out a bit here, she'd come back. Because we're missing our baguettes.

- David

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Favorite Recent Posts & Recipes On My Blog

dulce de leche cheesecake facebook
Love dulce de leche, and love cheesecake? Why not combine the two in a fabulous dulce de leche cheesecake?


Rich, dark chocolate pudding is the American version of mousse au chocolat.


A quick, one-pan meal in just a few minutes - Chicken Marsala.


Your search for the perfect Paris bistro ends at Chez Dumonet. (Go for that extra-crisp duck confit!)


Keep that bread off the table!

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And before I go...I've just confirmed some upcoming appearances, including stops in San Francisco, Charlottesville, New York City, and even lovely Ireland. Check my Schedule page for details - stop by and say hi! - dl

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