September 2014 Newsletter It's here! The all-new Paris Pastry app! I couldn't be more excited. Me and my partner, Heather Stimmler-Hall of Secrets o

       
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September 2014 Newsletter

Paris pastry app

It's here!

The all-new Paris Pastry app! I couldn't be more excited. Me and my partner, Heather Stimmler-Hall of Secrets of Paris, spent the last six months working to redo that app, making it as tasty-looking as the stunning pastries of Paris. We crossed all of Paris, and circled back again (and again), scoping out what's new and notable, what's worth revisiting, and how we could make the app even better.

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iTunesStore

It's been rebuilt from top to bottom, with a sleek new interface. The app conforms to iOS7 specifications, and most functions work perfectly without an internet connection.

To launch it, it's being offered at a very special price - just 99¢!

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iTunesStore

The map feature will tell you what's nearby. And once there, the app will tell you what to get. There are now over 700 color photos of my favorite pastries, chocolates, ice cream and hot chocolates. So even if you're not coming to Paris, the app is the next best thing!

There's more information at my blog, and some FAQs in case you have questions. But hurry - the 99¢ special ends this Friday!

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Paris Brunch and Booksigning

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Question: Who is the most excited person about brunch at 13-a baker's dozen restaurant?

Answer: Me.

If you're interesting in joining me for brunch at the new 13-a baker's dozen café and restaurant of my friend Laurel, who is featured with a recipe in My Paris Kitchen, it'll take place on Sunday, October 5th at 1pm. There are just a few spaces left, and the price include a personally signed copy of My Paris Kitchen. Sign up here!

And from Noon to 1pm, I'll be signing books for the general public and am happy to sign one for you. The restaurant will be selling books (and you're welcome to bring copies of previously purchased books) - so stop by if you're free that day. 13-a baker's dozen is at 16, rue des Saints-Pères (7th), tucked away in the courtyard of the building.

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September Paris Food Fêtes + Festivals

Yes, it does seem like everybody in Paris is either eating, or talking about eating. So why not celebrate it? A few food festivals are happening in Paris this month. Just a note that most events of this kind are well-attended. So prepared to do some grazing, rather than heavy-duty eating : )

-Street Food Temple: They're turning the newly renovated Carreau du Temple into a street food temple. No word on how they're going to get a street in the building, so let me know if you go! (Sept 12-21)

-La Fabuleuse Fête du Manger Local: "Bring a basket" they say, to fill with local products. Twenty-five local food producers and artisans will be on hand for this festival on the Seine. (September 13-14)

-Les Marchés Flottants du Sud-Ouest: The floating market pulls into Paris, with foods from the southwest, ie: confit, foie gras, prunes, and, of course, wine - stock up! (September 19-21)

-Fête de la Gastronomie: Everything from artisan beer, a dégustation of insects, to local farmers and ice carving will be presented in Paris, and nearby. (Sept 27-28)

-Paris by Mouth: A list of wine and liquor tastings, and other events happening during the month of September.

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Paris Restaurant News

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When a friend suggested we try Chameleon, I wasn't quite so sure. Some of the new restaurants in Paris have silly names, like Blue Valentine, Bloody's (for a meat restaurant) or "Streets", that don't exactly entice me to want to try them. But when I checked the website for Chameleon (a rare restaurant in Paris with an excellent website, that's updated frequently), it stressed that the food was made with well-sourced, fresh ingredients, which are two key phrases that often chef's boast about, but rarely practice. In fact, the restaurant is named "chameleon," because the food is always changing, according to what's fresh.

The first thing I liked was the wine list, which had a full page of reasonably priced wines by the glass, carafe (50ml, about 2/3rds of a bottle), or bottle. I like the option of being able to try a couple carafes of wine, rather than have to go with a whole bottle. There's been an unfortunate trend of loftier wine prices as modest restaurants in Paris, so it was a relief to see wines priced sensibly.

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I started with Truite de Banka (above), thickly cut slices of sustainable rainbow trout, with cubes of watermelon, and nasturtium flowers, then an outstanding onglet of beef that was cooked so it was crusty on the outside, and tender, perfectly medium-rare within. Beef isn't always wonderful in Paris and this was one of the best steaks I've had. So I asked where they got their beef, and the server told me if was aged beef, from noted Boucherie Nivernais.

After dinner, my friend and I split a plate of six different cheeses, all terrific, although we decided that it would have been better just to have two or three, so we could concentrate on the flavors of those without all the competition. The other dessert was a milk chocolate mousse with big chocolate crumbled and little éclats of sea salt. My friend found it quite rich, but I scraped it up. And wanted more.

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Septime pics

The hottest reservation in town is at Septime. And I can make the boastful claim that I was there before Beyoncé and Jay-Z made international headlines for dining there. In spite of their fame, the food is just as good - if not better - than when I first went there back in 2011.

The rough wood tables and the excellent staff are still there. Prices, of course, have gone up, but we had a sensational 3-course lunch for €30, plus a couple of glasses of wine. (Lunch clocked in at €78 for two of us.) My excellent first course, dorade cru (raw) was served with a tangy, exciting rhubarb marinade, with smoked pickles and bits of sheeps' milk cheese. My friend, visiting from San Francisco, had prawns with sea beans and tiny nasturtium leaves that she loved. (I didn't taste hers because I didn't want to share mine!)

We both had pork belly that was infused with a intriguing herbal flavor, along with a spoonful of anise-scented basil sauce (...so good!), sautéed red spinach, and grilled zucchini and fennel. The only misstep was the zucchini was very thickly cut, so although charred on the outside, it was mostly raw. But I'm a Californian, so I can't complain about crunchy vegetables. Can I?

Dessert was an Île flottante, a cloud of meringue drifting on a deep pool of lemon verbena crème anglaise. We both floated out of there, on cloud neuf. Septime is still one of the top restaurants in Paris, and perhaps anywhere in the world, and although it's hard to get in, they do take online reservations. And lunch is easier to get into than dinner, fyi.

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le bon georges

There's been a lot of buzz about Le Bon Georges (45, rue Saint-Georges, 9th, Tél: 01 48 78 40 30), so I thought I'd give it a try with my always-happy-to-eat something houseguest from San Francisco. The staff and the owner welcomed us warmly and were terrific the whole night, racing around the dining room, taking care of customers. Perfect examples of the new generation of (some) French young people, proud of what they are doing, and working hard. We were seated in the the very warm dining room, and the owner said he couldn't open the windows because all the cigarette smoke would waft inside. (Not his fault, but why do people still smoke?)

The rabbit terrine we started off with was great, and the fry-up of cèpes we also ordered needed salt and pepper (and a touch of vinegar at the end, perhaps) - but was otherwise very good. Beef was well-sourced, the éléveur who raised it Polmard, was proudly listed on the chalkboard. Romain's carpaccio was made with that top-quality beef, but needed a bit of salt, and - in my opinion - should always be made with the best olive oil you can afford, as that makes the dish. The beef cheeks I shared with my friend were absolutely delicious, and came with house-made French fries, that needed to be salted just when they came out of the fryer, so the salt fuses to them. (When you add it later, it doesn't have the same effect.)

The "tart" of well-cooked Mirabelle plums on a slab of shortbread didn't rouse us to finish it, nor did the baked figs, which could have used a boost of flavor (spices? absinthe? lemon zest?) with a dab of vanilla ice cream, which the three of us also left unfinished. But the welcome was warm and genuine, the quality of ingredients was top-notch, and the Chablis we chose from the well-priced wine list made it a friendly destination. My friend from San Francisco loved it and said she's certainly recommend it to friends. So there ya go.

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Favorite Recent Posts On My Blog

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-We took a big road trip in August. Our Tour de France and Our Tour de France, Part 2 recounts all the fun...and the food!

-Corn season may be winding, but this smoky Corn Soup recipe is worth making if you can get your hands on it.

-Ricotta is the base for this sweet, creamy ricotta ice cream, perfect with candied cherries, inspired by a trip to Sicily.

-If you're looking for a great, spicy, easy sauce, Chermoula is it.

-Paris isn't know for great Chinese food. However some of us gotta have our fix. Tricotin is perhaps the best place in Paris for dim sum, should the craving strike you, too.

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Well, that's it for this month. Thanks for subscribing to the newsletter and visiting my blog. (And enjoy the all-new Paris Pastry app, too!)

A bientôt.... David

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