C&Z’s Second Birthday Party: a Recap

C&Z's Second Birthday Party

Many many thanks to those of you who attended the second C&Z birthday party on Wednesday night!

The party was held at L’Homme Tranquille in the 18th, and fifty of us managed to fit in the rather small room. It looked a little ambitious at first, and as guests were pouring in, apéritifs being frantically served, it seemed like we would have to start standing on tables or invading the kitchen (which I’m sure none of us would mind). But soon enough we sat down to eat, a little crowd migrated to the sidewalk — the weather was on our side — and it all became much more manageable.

About half of the guests were friends of mine — old friends or new friends I’ve made in two years of C&Z — the other half being readers (French, American, Canadian or British) whom I was delighted to meet and hope to see again. The party went delightfully well, good food, good wine (a Premières Côtes de Blaye), lively conversations, happy faces, budding friendships… I had a wonderful time.

For the menu we had chosen a few of our favorite dishes from the restaurant’s regular selection, which is a lovely medley of cosmopolitan influences. We started with liver and port terrine, a salad with goat cheese and fresh fruit, and Chilean empenadas with salsa. The main courses were a lamb and apricot tajine served with couscous, and carbonades made with Coreff (a beer from Brittany) and served with mashed potatoes. For dessert, the restaurant had prepared its signature fondant au chocolat, an apple crumble and a quetsche crumble, Pascale had brought fabulous mini-muffins, and I had (of course) made my Chocolate & Zucchini Cake!

I had organized a little raffle, and everyone was to bring a small gift, edible or not, homemade or store-bought (but for less than 5€). I was very pleased to see that everyone had participated with much care and enthusiasm, and after dessert we drew numbers and redistributed the presents. This was fun, and very well suited to the birthday party of a two-year-old, no?

Many thanks also to Cathy and Antoine at l’Homme Tranquille, for working with us to organize and pull this off!

Since I’m not much of an events photographer, I simply took six pictures with my cell phone. (If you’re on one of these and would rather not be, please let me know and I’ll remove it.)

L’Homme Tranquille
81 rue des Martyrs
75018 Paris
01 42 54 56 28

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  • Margaret

    Thank you so much for organising another excellent birthday party! The food was excellent, the atmosphere was as friendly and international as last year, and the present swap was an inspired suggestion. We’ll definitely go back to the Homme Tranquille again – that tajine was fantastic!

    Thank you very much to whoever made the delicious chocolate truffles au fleur de sel (which Mike has agreed to share with me, not that he had much choice) and for the sweet and sour zucchini, which we’re looking forward to trying – very appropiate on both counts. What did everyone else go home with?

  • I am in the first picture!

  • Paz

    Sounds and looks like a good time was had by all. Congrats on the 2nd birthday.


  • Sounds like it was a great birthday with lots of yummy food and great company. I raise my glass to you and wish for you for many more years of wonderful blogging!

  • Narelle

    I am an Aussie who also lives in the 18th …and was out that night …having Pizza at the popular Pulcinella’s on rue Eugene Sue….can you tell me the address of L’Homme Tranquille…because my mouth is watering for the lamb dish mentioned!! Merci beaucoup!

  • Looks like a fun party. Happy birthday.

  • Hi Clotilde,
    Every thing was perfect.
    A lovely hostess, a very excellent menu and so nice friends : I had a wonderful time too :-)
    A bientôt. Nawal.

  • Meg

    Wonderful party – I was honoured to be a part of it. And congratulations on two wonderful years of fantastic writing and exquisite photography!

  • Have a great party!

  • I just discovered Chocolate & Zucchini, and I can’t thank you enough for your devotion to it. I used to be a chef, and now am a writer. You feed my appetite for both good writing and good food!!

  • Great menu choices, and what a perfect venue, looks like a grand time was had by all. Your a bette revent planner and photogrpaher then you think!

  • David

    Thanks for a great party. There’s even a photo of me ! Of my best side (the back.. what everybody likes to see best).

  • victoria

    God, those pictures make me miss Paris.

  • It was a real privilege to attend C&Z’s 2nd birthday party. Yes, the restaurant was crowded, but we seemed to fit once we all sat down to eat! I met some wonderful people there, ate some delicious food, and walked away with a very special raffle gift: your own pear jam (with cacao nibs! Yum!)

    Thank you for organizing a wonderful evening of camaraderie.

  • bekbeka

    Thanks Clotilde for organising the party & a good night out, and for posting the recipe for the carbonade – I`ve been requested to make it this weekend, so you have saved me from having to do some inspired (i.e. hit-or-miss) cooking.
    Also thank you to whoever made the confiture of apricots & orange peel that I received. It has a lovely sort of lemon curdness about it.

  • Alisa

    It was a great party! Thank you so, so much!
    Gros bisous!

    Margaret, I happen to know that the chocolates you received came from Michele at

  • Caitlin

    *sob* Another birthday party I’ve missed. Sadly, I don’t think my parents would send me to Paris TWICE this year, but I’ll be there soon so I can’t complain. I hope a good time was had by all!

  • jessi

    you have somehow summed up my lifes essence in a single dessert- i had no idea that such a thing as a chocolate and zucchini cake existed, but feel the world is a much more promising place having found out. my friend introduced me to your site- we have just moved to paris from atlanta and live in the 18th, if you can pass along any great dining places, we would love it. good luck with the wonderful writing!

  • It looks like it was a lovely party.

    Reminds me of a wonderful summer stay in Paris over a year ago–dinner with friends every night–wonderful food and drink with great people to enjoy it with. Makes me quite nostalgic.

    Congratulations on two years of posting on your terrific food blog and good luck with the book!

  • Kathy Douthit


    I LOVE your website…and so I hate to contradict you. The subject is polenta. I don’t know when it became such an esoteric exotic dish, but like so many peasant foods that have become the rage, it has been exagerrated out of proportion. IT IS CORNMEAL !!! We have had it all my life in the United States. I was a personal chef in So. California, and it’s true that I have spent time since I’ve lived in France trying to locate specific ingredients (real Mexican are the hardest !) However……polenta (cornmeal quoi !) I have been able to find for some time now. I think that at Leader Price (the low cost markets owned by Casino) they even have it in two grinds. What I would really like to find here is hominy grits and poblano chilis….and the list goes on. What I love to do is improvise and combine element from similar cuisines (Mexican-Italian, for instance).

    I want to congratulate you on your blog…that I find absolutely fabulous! You are an inspired cook. I wish I was in Paris to see all the places and things you describe. I am here in “la France profonde”……and very happy…..but it’s fun to come up to Paris from time to time and see the incredible variety !!

    Thank you so much……..

  • Thanks for the lovely evening Clotilde. Kudo’s to Antoine for the cuisine and his announcement that his wife’s expecting and he hopes his ‘son’ will continue the family run resto. So happy to meet C&Z posters especially the cheesecake girl and her artist boyfriend…how will you top this next year?

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