by Sylvie Bigar As a teenager growing up in Geneva, Switzerland, I loved spending Friday nights at my friend Michelle's house. Following the Catholic tradition of meatless Fridays, Michelle's father joined the multitudes of Swiss families who prepared cheese fondue. At home, we never ate the dish; my dad was on orders to avoid rich, fatty foods. While the rest of Switzerland happily stirred the gooey mix, our family lit the Shabbat candles and sat down to my Parisian mother's boeuf à la mode. Perhaps that's why, as I entered my rebellious teens, I set out to rectify this gap in my Swiss education and try as many types of fondue as I could. Keep reading »
When I spent five months living in Paris in 2000, I fell in love – with loose, fluffy omelettes stuffed with gruyere; creamy paté slathered on crispy baguettes; and pillowy, sweet pain au lait that I picked up each morning at the patisserie on my way to class. After my return Stateside, I made it my mission to find solid approximations of these and my many other edible French amours, and though it took some hunting – I tried many a leaden croissant – New York City ultimately supplied my fix. Even better, the Grande Pomme knows no closing times; the City of Light is available any time of day in the City that Never Sleeps. Here's a 24-hour guide to eating French in New York. Keep reading »
I thought I was sulking because of the thick knit tie and madras jacket I was being forced to wear on that stifling August night, but the real reason for my snit, though I couldn't articulate it at the time, was that Paris seemed so excruciatingly out of reach for a 14-year-old boy from suburban Connecticut. Instead of following my parents through the Louvre or visiting Napoleon's tomb, I wanted to be kissing someone on the banks of the Seine or sipping champagne on a terrace.Still, I was hungry when we all got to the cozy bistro in St-Germain-des-Prés, and the smell of sautéing shallots made my mouth water. I loved the pungent scent of the Gitanes a woman at the next table was smoking, and the saucers of radishes and sliced sausage the waiter delivered with our menus. I devoured the bread, a baguette with a crackling crust and lacey interior web of tangy crumb. Keep reading...
by Alexander LobranoI'm a dyed-in-the-wool fan of old-fashioned Paris bistros, most of which are located in the heart of the city. But I also love the new generation of contemporary bistros that have opened within the last ten years or so, many of which can be found in quiet residential arrondissements, like the 11th and 15th, that are quite a hike from the city center—and are well worth the journey for their innovative and typically reasonably priced menus. Here, a guide to my favorite Paris bistros, old and new, with a slide show of images, and a useful map. See the full gallery »
The crispy bits and juices left in a skillet after frying steaks make a delicious base for a creamy, cognac-laced pan sauce. We based this recipe on one in Daniel Young's The
Bistros, Brasseries, and Wine Bars of Paris (HarperCollins, 2006).