Paris: The Food

A few days ago I realized that the time for me to get in shape for the wedding has come and gone without me changing my diet or exercise routine in any way (at least not in the right direction—perhaps I have increased my pastry consumption). At this point, since I have only two weeks(!) left, there seem to be only two options: 1) go on a drastic deprivation starvation diet and begin working out like a fiend, or 2) accept that on my wedding day I will probably look exactly like I do today and start looking for the Austrian version of Spanx.

Guess which I'm choosing?

I take some comfort in the firm knowledge that when I'm looking back at the wedding pictures, while I may be wishing I had thrown in a few push-ups in the months leading up to the big day, I will certainly not be regretting a single morsel of food that passed my lips in Paris. People, I guess everyone knows this already, but damn the Parisians know how to eat. Forthwith, my faves from the trip:

Breakfast in Paris means pastries, obvs, and the best pastries we had were at Boulangerie des Deux Ponts on the Île Saint-Louis. There was a bakery right across from our hotel, so we started there, but they're closed on Tuesdays, which is why I turned to Google Maps for a nearby alternative. In Europe, Google Maps can be highly frustrating in its huge gaps of information, particularly regarding individual businesses, but in this particular instance it served us very well, serving up the best croissant amande I've ever had.

If you go to Les Cocottes de Christian Constant for lunch (and you should, immediately), I recommend replicating the experience of the posh Frenchwoman sitting next to us with a gentleman friend. Sit at the bar, start with a glass of champagne, and don't even glance at the menu. Instead, order the appetizer (entrée, confusingly, in French) du jour, the cocotte du jour (a single-serving casserole—this is when you switch to red wine) and hell, why not, the dessert du jour. I don't think you can go wrong. Then, don't be shy, finish every course with gusto—none of this "leave one bite on your plate" nonsense. After dessert, continue your conversation over an espresso (what you'll get in Paris if you order a café). Ignore the admiring stares from the Americans next to you.

I'm not ashamed to tell you that we visited Ladurée two days in a row on our trip. From the look of every single pastry at the counter, I don't think you could go wrong ordering anything there, but we stuck with the macarons, which are famous for a reason. Oh, they're heavenly. And armed only with the phrase "Je veux prendre..." and the ability to count up to eight, you can even impress your date by ordering in French.

Pistache, chocolat, cassis, citron

Based on Jordan's recommendation, we made a reservation for dinner at Refuge les Fondus in Montmartre. The food was great (although were we to go back we would order the meat fondue instead of the cheese—we were very envious of our neighbors' meal), but to be honest, I don't think it's our place. It's very crowded, which is part of its charm, I guess, but the night we went it was crowded almost exclusively with Americans, except for the Québécois couple sitting next to us who clearly were no more interested in getting to know us than we were in them. They serve their wine in baby bottles, which is undoubtedly quite entertaining. Still, hands down the best dinner we had in Paris was a bed picnic of fresh bread, oozy Brie, and red wine in plastic cups. You could do a lot worse.

Whenever I told anyone we were going to stay on the Île Saint-Louis, they invariably mentioned Berthillon, which is arguably the best ice cream in the world. What with the rain and the cold, we didn't make it there until the last day, but oh, we were glad we did. I had wild strawberry and rhubarb flavors. It tasted exactly like summer.

Boulangerie des Deux Ponts • 35 Rue des Deux Ponts, 75004 Paris • Métro: Pont Marie

Les Cocottes de Constant • 135 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris • Métro: Alma-Marceau

Ladurées • 16 Rue Royal, 75008 Paris • Métro: Concorde

Refuge des Fondus • 17 Rue des Trois-Freres, 75018 Paris • Métro: Abbesses

Berthillon • 29-31 Rue Saint Louis en L'ile, 75004 Paris • Métro: Pont Marie


  1. LMB -- Okay! Go for it! You show all the signs of a
    writer du jour! I totally went for this last blob and found your style quite compelling.
    Another helping please!

  2. We *almost* went to Les Cocottes... but it didn't fit in with the other things we had to do that day. But we did go to Berthillon. Twice! One of my favorite things was macaron from Pierre Hermé. Sweet mother of mercy, they were amazing.


Post a comment. Pretty please?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...