Le Bar à Soupes

Le Bar à Soupes

Laurence, one of my best friends, works at the Opéra Bastille, and sometimes has to work Saturdays. She had joined me a few times for lunch close to my office, so I decided to return the favor, and met her during her lunch break this past Saturday. We had an hour, so fast food was the way to go. In its healthy trendy Parisian version of course!

Le Bar à Soupes, as the name implies, serves mostly soup. You can buy it to take away or sit in the tiny restaurant, like we did. It offers a daily selection of six flavors, comfortingly classic or wonderfully inventive, prepared with seasonal products supplied by a local producer (a Mr Démerisse). The soups are accompanied with little loaves of bread (plain, sesame or poppyseed) made by the organic baker Moisan (just like at R’Aliment). They also serve cheese or charcuteries plates, as well as a few simple desserts.

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Walnut Butter from the Monastery

Crème de Noix du Monastère

[Walnut Butter from the Monastery]

I take bus 67 to get home from work every day. This bus line isn’t very crowded, and takes me from the South of the 13th to the 18th arrondissement along a very pleasant route. You can usually find me sitting by a window, reading, writing, or just gazing outside and observing. At one point, in the 4th, the bus drives up the rue du Pont Louis Philippe, a typical Marais street, lined with small and arty store windows. They all intrigued me very much, but it never seemed to be a good time to get off the bus and explore, so I never had.

But when I was out shopping in that area last Saturday, I finally walked up that street and spent some happy time going in and out of these beautiful – if pricey – stores : home decoration, jewellery, clothes, paper and calligraphy supplies, japanese earthenware and kimonos…

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An Index Of C&Z Recipes

I have worked on building an index of the recipes I share in this blog. It will allow you to browse through them in alphabetical order, sorted by date, or by category of dish.

It will of course be updated automagically as I add new recipes, and you will find a link to it in the “About” section on the left navigation bar…

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Petit Gâteau Chocolat Noisette

I was out in the Marais area this afternoon, doing a little Christmas shopping (ok, a lot). And shopping, as you know, is a form of strenuous exercise. Especially ten days before Christmas. Especially in the Marais. That is why I entirely deserved a nutritious goûter, and I found just what I needed at a chocolate store called “Cacao et Chocolat”. I already knew that this Aztec-themed store sold excellent chocolates, ganaches and truffles, but I had never tried any of their pastries.

This little cake immediately caught my attention in the window, it looked so good. And you know how sometimes a pastry looks perfect, but when you bite into it, you’re a bit disappointed and find it somewhat lacking? It was not the case here, this cake was every bit as delicious as it looked. A small chocolate cake, of exactly the right ratio of crusty to moist, topped with crunchy caramelized hazelnuts and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. It had an Aztec-sounding name I forget, but I will make it my personal mission to go back, make a note of the name, and buy another one. I know, I know, don’t mention it. My sense of duty knows no bounds.

I would also love to reproduce this in the privacy of my own kitchen…

Cacao et Chocolat
36 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris

L’Avant-Goût

L'Avant-Goût

From time to time, my dad offers to come and treat me to lunch on a weekday. My company offices used to be located in Nanterre, a cheerless suburban town, where we had to make do with an ordinary brasserie randomly called “L’Européen”. But last summer, to everybody’s relief and joy, we moved to the 13th arrondissement of Paris, close to the Parc Montsouris and the Butte-aux-Cailles and the Place d’Italie. A much much much better environment, it goes without no saying, and a great opportunity for me to discover an area of Paris I knew very little.

Last Tuesday, my father asked me on one of those father/daughter dates I enjoy so much, leaving me the choice of the restaurant. I accepted with glee, and in a heartbeat suggested we went to “L’Avant-Goût”.

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