Saturday, May 30, 2015

A good family-run bistro in Paris

As our readers will know, John and I love a family-run restaurant. Our hosts in Paris know this too and they recommended Le Bougnat in the Haut-Marais.
We found it on the rue de Saintonge just off the rue de Bretagne.
 To call this tiny eatery charming would be an understatement.
We were obviously the very last of the lunch crowd.
Our waitress recommended the roast beef with frites and a pichet of Faugères red wine.
 Both were delicious!
The proof is in John's grin.
Of course we finished with espressos and a piece of dark chocolate.
We love new discoveries.
We were all smiles as the lady of the house rang up our bill.
There is no doubt that the family at Le Bougnat will become familiar with our faces at lunch time!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mid-century Modern Furniture, Paris

File this post under "Secret Paris". If you didn't know that this discretely marked door at 5, rue des Taillandiers was a furniture showroom you would never ring the bell.
 Bill and I had been told about it by our hosts in Paris, so Bill rang the bell.
 The large black door opened onto this light-filled space. 
The interior architecture was designed by Jean Nouvel. That is the staff area up the stairs at the back. 
 We wanted to see more of the furniture designed by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret which we had seen at the Le Corbusier exhibition at the Centre Pompidou.
 This desk set is by Pierre Jeanneret, 1955.
A Pierre Jeanneret bed, circa 1955-56.
 The wall lamp was designed by Le Corbusier in 1956.
Here's the lamp having over a single bed by Charlotte Perriand, circa 1959.
Perriand bed, detail.
Here's another Perriand piece -- a bench with storage from 1958.
 This fabulous lamb was designed by Serge Mouille in 1950.
Another Mouille lamp, also from 1950.
 The gallery had a very handy binder, with notes on all the pieces.
Even their card is a gorgeous piece of design. Gallery info here.
We'll leave you with this vintage architectural floor plan and head back out the door into the ever-so-hip Bastille neighbourhood.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Red Scorpionfish at Chez Janou

The service is friendly and welcoming under this awning at Chez Janou in Paris's Marais neighbourhood -- a very comfortable place to unwind over lunch.
 William Kimber and I ordered the filet de rascasse à la niçoise. All we knew of the rascasse is that it is a white fish. Later, at home, we learned it is called the Red Scorpionfish and looks like this.
We were in no hurry as we snacked on olives and settled into the house Côtes du Rhône.
 Bill thought our waiter looked rather like the popular French actor, Romain Duris -- perhaps it was Duris, doing research for a role as a Parisian waiter.
 Duris delivered the fish on a bed of tasty fennel bulbs à la niçoise.
It came with a lime wedge.
The flavours were very delicate. The meal was very light, but satisfying.
Having no commitments, we felt like we had all the time in the world.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Richard Lenoir Market, Paris

 John and I are very lucky to be living very near to the fabulous Marché Richard Lenoir especially now that I'm often cooking our dinner at our apartment.
The market starts at the Bastille monument
and runs up the Boulevard Richard Lenoir.
 The market sells clothing, but
 specializes in fresh produce from around France. Watermelon. anyone?
I always get fresh spinach ( L'épinard, in French) for sauteing and salads.
 We like to have pears mixed with strawberries in our morning yogurt.
John and I love the produce sellers
 and fellow shoppers in the morning bustle.
 There are always free samples.
I've been getting terrific pork chops from one of the butchers.
 There's a fountain at the center of the produce stalls where other types of merchandize are often sold.
 The fish produce is always beautifully displayed.
 You can also find prepared foods like this rhubarb nectar,
these seafood snacks,
 and this tempting paella to take home for lunch!
 Maybe with some vanilla flan for dessert.
 We never leave without at least one fresh olive baguette for dinner
 as is obviously poking out of John's bag on the way home.
Last week we took home a lovely little bouquet of
lily-of-the -valley.
No more to be found now!