Friday, February 12, 2016

Tea at Le Dali, Hotel Meurice

On Wednesday food writer Meryle Evans invited me to join her for a special tea at Hotel Meurice
Le Dali restaurant. 228 rue de Rivoli 75008 One does not refuse such an invitation.
The salon de thé is sumptuous, elegant yet pleasently intimate.
We ordered the Dali's Tea Time menu
With lovely foie gras sandwiches, scones, jams and a long list of unusual teas, even bleu tea.
But we were here especially for top pastry chef Cédric Grolet's absolutely amazing desserts.
Every few months a special fruit is featured in the salon, deconstructed to it's purest form.
February you can catch The Lemon. We were lucky to have an expert guide for our tea.
M. did the honors cutting The Lemon like an action movie
Chef Grolet, in dialogue with hotel chef, Alain Ducasse have created a dessert with the least amount of sugar and salt. Their objective - to attain the purist experience of lemoniness.
Subtraction is key. Everything is lemon, rather than adding in any other flavors.
A thin white chocolate shell protects a layer of lemon mousse. 
In the center a confit of lemon and something called 'lemon caviar'
From Australian finger limes. An utterly unique experience in the mouth.
Last month's dessert specialty was noisette (hazelnut). Now you can taste it as a mini tartelette.
Coco Jobard discovered the noisette.
On to the dessert of the district, the classic gateau Saint Honoré, created just a few blocks away by Maison Chibouste around 1850.
Too beautiful to eat
Almost...
Then a return to the traditional 'wheel-shaped' Paris Brest adorned with hazelnuts and hazelnut pastry cream inside. By this time Meryle had fallen by the wayside and was resting.
Until pastry chefs came around with hot-from-the-oven trays of divine melt-in-your-mouth honey madeleines
Irresistible. They do this several times during afternoon tea service. Miam
Thank you Merle for a spectacular tea at Le Dali!
My pumpkin was outside waiting to take me home...
I'm still floating on air.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Paris Valentine and Feb Sketch Letter

Judy asked me if she missed receiving the February Paris Sketch letter.
She did not.
The Feb Paris letters went out Monday and Tuesday. 
Bugs suggested I do a kiddies Paris map letter. No thanks Bugs. Getting out two letters a month keeps me Very busy.
Here's how Paris does Valentines day...take a wander around town.
The big hearts are those 'bouchée', every French girl is supposed to eat instead of lunch. I don't think so. Love the chocolate tablet with raised hearts from de Neuville.
Dalloyau has a big heart with a keyhole in their vitrines. Check out Jill's Paris valentines post to find out what's inside.
Another locked heart diary from one of my favorite papeteries on the island, Marie Tournelle, 5 rue de deux Ponts.
The dearest little red shop. You shouldn't miss it.
Hearts and cards galore.
Everything for the  Parisienne romantique.
I bought the temptation (tentation -6,50€) sign in the window of another island shop
Maison Moinet45 rue St Louis en l'Ile has a variety of old/new candy tins and the traditional French Vichy lozenges to put inside.
Patisserie des Reves does splendid holiday windows no matter the occasion - they're currently obsessed with candy apples (pomme d'amour) 
Diptyque has piles of pink note books in the window for Valentines???
I fell hard for this pink nite light on rue Clément, my Valentine of choice.
While you're waltzing around Paris don't miss the windows at perfumer Annick Goutal, Place St. Sulpice.
Their latest addition to the collection - Rose Pompon.
Perfect to wear with pink ballerinas earrings from Les Nereides - Printemps.
More perfection - pink baby roses outside fleurist Patrick Allain, rue St.Louis en l'Ile
My Paris valentine -we met last night as I passed by.
Was it Karmic destiny?
I hope you enjoy your February Valentine Sketch letters.
No sugar hearts included. Just Paris paper souvenirs.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Where is Bear? Perspective and the February Chocolate Map

Yesterday over a scoop of Berthillon lait d'amand ice cream, PBer Peggy asked me,
"Where's Bear?"
Bear has been Extremely busy
Running from chocolate shop to chocolate shop all over Paris for the February Map (it went out yesterday by the way).
Have you been to Foucher on 134 rue du Bac? It's one of the oldest luxury chocolate shops (from 1918) and trés charmant.
Not so far away, Maison du Chocolat on 19, rue de Sevres has colorful Saint Valentin windows. Bear was best pleased.
For Valentines Maison du Chocolat has beautiful red heart boxes instead of the usual brown.
Bear has become quite fearless. He browsed deluxe Patrick Roger of the renown turquoise bags at 108 bd St. Germain.
Nearby Bear stopped in Une Dimanche à Paris, 4-5-6 Cour du Commerce St. Andre.
Not only a big selection of Valentines goodies
Une Dimanche offers pastry and chocolate classes! YUM
Bear browses the windows at La Patisserie des Reves, not exclusively a chocolate shop
But such pretty Valentines windows and they let in dogs so bears must be welcome too.
Looking for something affordable in a luxury chocolate shop?
Go for the 'bouchées' - a big mouthful of rich chocolate usually priced under 5€
I was delighted to find all top Parisian luxury chocolate shops offer smaller-sized 'tasting' boxes like La Mere de la Famille.
Pierre Hermé has always had a small box on offer for 11,50€ - you choose the chocolates.
La creme de la creme of Paris chocolatiers, Jacques Genin
Genin has an adorable metal box of 8 chocolates for a mere 11€.
There is affordable 'haut couture' chocolates for everyone in Paris.
Do not be afraid to enter and buy a few. Me too. 
SVP tell them Parisbreakfast sent you ;))
Regarding perspective on the Paris map letters...hmmm. My landlord came to dinner and drew me a one-point perspective lesson on his napkin. I've never been any good at perspective and  probably things won't change much in the future, but I did make the crowd of French chocolate shoppers gradually get smaller for his sake. Voila!
February's Paris chocolate map is not one street but all Paris.
I may have missed a few - they will show up in next year's map. There are SO many chocolate shops in Paris! Perhaps more than anywhere else on the planet.
Bear has eaten way too many chocolates this month doing researche for you :((
If you are a new 6/12 month subscriber or renewer you can have a watercolor of Bear inside a Patrick Roger bag, the next best thing to eating a Patrick Roger chocolate.