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Food, Drink and Art in Paris

November 5, 2013

Now for the fun part.

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I’ll try to forget that I am trapped at yet another crappy Marriott hotel (this seems to be happening too often this year, but at least this time it’s free). That should be easy to do, because this is Paris after all.

One find worth noting is the Bistro a Vin (aka Paris Gourmand) gem in 14th close to the awful Marriott Rive Gauche. They have no website and tripadvisor sucks, but I have been there and the duck confit and citron tarte were out of this world. Very simple, authentic French cooking done properly. It beats the hell out of eating at the Marriott! (Well, I assume anyway. After one “croissant” there I didn’t eat another scrap of Marriott food.) The owners are very friendly.

Paris Gourmand (aka Bistro a Vin)

Paris Gourmand (aka Bistro a Vin)

In the mixology department, the bar that started everything in Paris is called the Experimental Cocktail Club. It is superb. Late on a Sunday evening after a delicious relaxed meal, we stopped in for a drink or two.

ECC stock photo.

ECC stock photo.

Barman Maxine Potfer was happy to play, willing to chat, and all around just a great guy. Mad mixing skills as well, with a particularly impressive pour. I have an appropriate Experimental Beverage made as follows:
cucumber (muddle)
2 cl Amer Picon
2 cl Salers Gentiane Apéritif (look here)
2 cl Gin (London style)
3 cl Genever (bols)
1 cl port wine
2 dashes French absinthe
Muddle. Shake. Serve on the rocks highball fashion.

Great. Now I have to get some Salers!

Sadly, a second visit only confirmed that Salers is hard to work with. It has a very large bicycle tire attractor.

Also of note was this.

Iron Maiden's  Bruce Dickinson geeks out.

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson geeks out.

Eddie is much more dangerous.

Eddie is much more dangerous.

Way more striking than Eddie.

Way more striking than Eddie.

In restaurant land, I was taken by some foodie friends (from Minnesota no less) to Benoit for a very nice upscale meal. Very nice Pheasant. Supremely great desserts. A well stocked wine list (we had a Cote Rotie). Though it apparently has its ups and downs, Benoit has been around since 1912.

I ventured out i the drizzle this afternoon to find some Amer Picon to take home and ended up at a corner “supermarket” run by a Moroccan. He was very nice, but my broken French and his broken French met at right angles. Enter a friendly Mauritanian to translate, and lo and behold, we found 3 dusty bottles. I bought a bottle of wine for the Mauritanian for his trouble, happy to find the elixir I must bring back home. Smiles all around.

Later in the trip I enjoyed meals at the new, small and mostly secret Chez Edgar (which is in a superb looking boutique hotel), Le Souffle (just do it), and the absolutely incredible Spring (a Daniel Rose place). Americans win, hands down. In Paris. What is the world coming to?

Mortality? Why certainly.

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And then there is the Louvre.

Gorgeous day for a stroll though the Louvre.

Gorgeous day for a stroll though the Louvre.

Obligatory Venus

Obligatory Venus

Hermaprodite 1

Hermaprodite 1

Hermaphrodite 2

Hermaphrodite 2

How dare you think that.

How dare you think that.

Best painting at the Louvre.

Best painting at the Louvre.

Wow.

Wow.

Mona Lisa scrum.

Mona Lisa scrum.

Lunch across from Napoleon.

Lunch across from Napoleon.

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Good dog.

Good dog.

An then there was shopping. Computer bags, coats, shoes. You name it, all picked out with Pascual and Stefano. Their style trumps mine!

Prescription cocktail club is fantastic. Much noisier (with a DJ) than ECC. But fun spread over two floors. Master barman Yann Tesnier has created the very fresh Mary Action
1/2 tomato juliee
2 dashes celery bitters
2 cl lime
2 cl simple syrup
4 cl tequila blanco
1 spoon reduction of balsamic vinegar
+ pepper (on the top)
Serve on big cubes.

Paris rocks.

4 Responses to “Food, Drink and Art in Paris”


  1. […] Subway Vivaldi witnessed with 2 friends on the way to dinner. […]


  2. […] evening in Boston, I owed Josey Packard a bottle of Amer Picon. It was delivered last night almost direct from Paris. That really got the (snow) ball rolling. By the end of the evening we had an avalanche on our […]


  3. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!


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