Tag Archives: Paris

Paris Cafe – Ibrik for “Weird Coffee!

Outside, Ibrik looks like this

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Inside, you will fin very fine Middle Eastern food, and beverages. And the coffee?

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Dave Lebovitz writes

Riding the wave of places focusing on good quality coffee in Paris, Ibrik serves traditional coffee drinks (even though the sign outside says “Weird coffee for weird people,” which may be why I like it), but also makes “Café Ibrik,” Turkish coffee brewed up in an ibrik (or cezve) the traditional metal pot that it’s made in.

But how is it made?

After mixing the coffee together, the pot is buried in hot sand whose slow heat helps coax out flavors of the coffee.

Very cool! And btw, Dave writes that the food here is outstanding.


Choosing Your Big Mamma in Paris

Before you get the wrong idea

The Big Mamma Group was started by Tigrane and Victor, two Frenchmen with a love for Italian food. They opened their first restaurant – Mamma Gorda – in the south of France but quickly aspired to break into the Parisian dining scene. While Italian restaurants are a-plenty in Paris, the Big Mamma Group brought something different to the table: a 100% Italian trattoria, with fresh products brought in from Italy, and a 100% Italian staff’. They even rented 20 apartments to house their staff!

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To put it mildly, the Big Mamma Group has been successful. So much so, that you have a choice of big mamma places in Paris. The Hip Paris Blog offers guidance on this tricky topic.

Here is a view of their Pizzaria Populare

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Italian food in Paris? Why not?

I’ll Have a Kouign-Amann with My Renovation

A Houign-Amann, if you didn’t know is

… a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, originally made with bread dough (nowadays sometimes viennoiserie dough), containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin-shaped, caramelized croissant.

It looks like this

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So, what does it have to do with renovation? It was a staple of the Dave Lebovitz kitchen while he didn’t have a kitchen.

Yes, we are talking renovation. That process of slow torture that many of us have endured. But not so many have endured this in Paris. Dave has written a book about how it went.

Clue: It was not easy.

Art Deco? Paris? Then Hotel Bachaumont

Not everyone likes art deco. Some think it over done. Too much style.  Not “lived in”.  Then again, in certain institutions, like a hotel, and in certain places, like Paris, art deco seems normal.

Enter Hotel Bachaumont. Here is an image

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I could see myself toddling down that hall. And I would be comfortable here

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Food Republic has a positive review.

Traveller lists it as one of the best new boutique hotels in Paris.

Time to give it a try?


Paris: The Return of the Brasseries!

BI informs us that

Unfortunately, brasseries—informal restaurants where iconic French dishes are served alongside a wide selection of drinks—have fallen off the to-do lists of traveling foodies in recent years, who now gravitate towards the city’s chic bistros, wine bars, and even the rising street food scene.

Hmmm …  I am glad to know that not all is lost. Here is a list of a few brasseries that merit a place on a foodie’s to do list.


When Natalie Clifford Barney Met Oscar Wilde

Barney, you may know, was an expat American writer who lived in Paris. She held a famous salon for over 60 years at 20 rue Jacob, and championed some radical causes.

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I find this story to be rather charming

When Barney was five years old her family spent the summer at New York’s Long Beach Hotel where Oscar Wilde happened to be speaking on his American lecture tour. Wilde scooped her up as she ran past him fleeing a group of small boys, held her out of their reach then sat her down on his knee and told her a story.[7] The next day he joined Barney and her mother on the beach, where their conversation changed the course of Alice’s life, inspiring her to pursue art seriously, despite, years later, her husband’s disapproval.[8] She later studied under Carolus-Duran and James McNeill Whistler.[9] Many of Alice Pike Barney’s paintings are now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.[10]

Barney was indeed, quite a character. And her residence at 20 rue Jacob was quite a place

The pavillon at 20, rue Jacob, Paris. For over 60 years, Natalie Clifford Barney hosted a literary salon, a weekly gathering at which people met to socialize and discuss literature, art, music and any other topic of interest. Barney strove to feature...

It was a magical place

What made No. 20 a kind of miracle on the Left Bank was its garden, a small oasis in a jungle of tightly packed streets, and a remnant of the great seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gardens which once stretched from the rue Jacob down to the Seine. It contained a tiny Doric “Temple d’Amitie,” now decreed a national monument and probably built during the First Empire or the Restoration, and a disused well which Natalie Barney never bothered to explore. The Germans cleared it out during World War II and found that it led to an underground cave and a passage going underneath the Seine to the Louvre.

Here is an image from inside

The most popular biography of Natalie is called “Wild Heart“.

She is included in Nomadic Matt’s tour of “Paris in the 20’s”.