Happy Friday from Paris! Currently I’m sitting on the terrasse at Le Saint Germain, one of my very favorite cafés in Paris, with my second espresso watching the world go by. I haven’t put on a mask yet today. It’s the first time since August 2020 that I’ve stepped foot outdoors in Paris without one and it feels pretty incredible. This week’s Five Friday Finds from France features an incredible book on the Hôtels Particuliers of Paris, a sushi restaurant in Versailles to try, and just in time for summer, the best ice cream in Paris from Il Gelato del Marchese.
Les Hôtels Particuliers de Paris Book
If you’re a fan of 17th century Parisian architecture, design, and interiors I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book Les Hôtels Particuliers de Paris. You’ll get a look inside several of the 500 remaining hôtel particuliers in the French capital (there were once over 2000). On the cover is the stunning Hôtel de Lauzan, which is difficult to see but so worth it (and if you’d like help arranging a visit, feel free to get in touch with me). The book is only available in French – if that’s a dealbreaker for you another great title that I’ve mentioned before is Historic Houses of Paris: Residences of the Ambassadors.
Alison Roman’s Caramelized Shallot Pasta Recipe
It’s not often that I see a recipe with 12,000 5-star reviews. When I do, I absolutely must try it. That was the case last week with Alison Roman’s caramelized shallot pasta recipe (here’s the same recipe not from NYT Cooking). It has a surprising ingredient – anchovies – that makes the dish totally delicious. You do have to be adventurous to cook with anchovies. I’ve always find they add so much to everything I use them in whether it’s caesar salad dressing or a leg of lamb. The best part about this pasta recipe is it is so easy – you don’t even have to chop the anchovies!
The Return of Vide Greniers in France
Weekend vide greniers and brocantes are open again. I’m so excited to find treasures again for myself and for La Porte Bonheur. Vide grenier translates to ’emptying the attic’ and essentially is like a garage or yard sale. You have to do lots of digging through some oftentimes very random objects, but you can find some amazing things at great prices. Last weekend I found a set of bamboo-handle cheese knives with a bottle opener that I’m so excited about. Vide greniers are a very fun weekend activity to check out when you’re in France!
The Best Ice Cream in Paris: Il Gelato del Marchese
When it’s warm in Paris, one of the best ways to cool off is with a little ice cream. Berthillon is certainly king in Paris, but I had a tip that perhaps Il Gelato del Marchese was better. It’s way better. Here’s why: ice creams are prepared daily using only seasonal ingredients. All products are ordered raw and roasted on site. Fruits are hand-peeled and seeded. There are no additives, colorings, artificial flavors or preservatives. Each recipe uses the minimum necessary amount of sugar, which is all raw and unrefined. I had two scoops: Café Royal and Caramel au Beurre Salé.
A Versailles Sushi Spot
Sushi might not be an obvious food choice while in Versailles, but last week I had a craving I could not ignore. I’m a pretty picky sushi eater and finding sushi I like in France is an ongoing challenge. Enter Kampai. It’s a family-owned restaurant. The two generations wanted to combine authentic, traditional recipes with modern, updated ones. I tried two of the more innovative rolls and they were exactly what I was looking for. Now I only wish Kampai would open in Paris!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Five Friday Finds from France. I’ll be back tomorrow with Weekend Links!
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