While it’s been a beautiful spring week in Paris, it’s been a very eventful week worldwide. For Five Friday Finds from France this week, I’m excited to share some new discoveries including Passage Dauphine and the cherry blossoms at Petit Palais. Also, there’s a recipe for Fontaine de Mars’ Beef Tartare from their upcoming cookbook. I hope you enjoy this week’s edition of Five Friday Finds from France!
Cherry Blossoms in the Courtyard at Petit Palais
I’ve heard and read about the Cherry Blossoms at Petit Palais, but I’d never seen them in bloom. This week I had a meeting in the 8th Arrondissement and afterwards decided to check and see if they were blooming yet. Thanks to the relatively mild spring we’ve been having in Paris, about half of the trees were flowering. It was a very bright spot in my week to say the least!
If you haven’t been to the Petit Palais museum before, it’s worth a visit. It’s just across the street from the Grand Palais and was built for the 1900 Exhbition Universelle. The museum and permanent collections are free, and the building is stunning. There’s also a nice café and courtyard that just so happens to be filled with cherry blossoms. I’ll definitely be adding it to my list of places to see early spring flowers in Paris!
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream
I’ve never really understood the point of hand cream. I get why you need a specific face cream. Also, I (unfortunately) I now realize the importance of eye creams. But doesn’t body lotion cut it for the hands?
Although I still don’t have the answer to exactly why hand cream is important, I’ve started using Caudalie’s Hand and Nail Cream and really like it. It’s super smooth and not at all greasy. The cream also and smells pretty amazing. I think it’s the perfect little treat for my hands after doing the dishes. In short, I’m now a believer in hand cream.
Fontaine de Mars’ Beef Tartare Recipe
No Five Friday Finds from France would be complete without something food-related. If you’re looking for traditional French food done right and a classic Parisian atmosphere near the Eiffel Tower, Fontaine de Mars is the spot. The restaurant is truly an institution and a must-try at some point on a trip to Paris. Luckily, they have a cookbook coming out this month with 50 recipes so we can all attempt Fontaine de Mars at home.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of the release of A Parisian Bistro: La Fontaine de Mars in 50 Recipes, Do It in Paris posted their Beef Tartare recipe. The recipe is in French for those who want to practice. However, if you’d like the English version, see below:
Fontaine de Mars’ Beef Tartare
- 1 cup Chopped Shallots (150 g)
- 1 cup Chopped Onions (150 g)
- 1 cup Chopped Cornichons (150 g)
- 1/2 cup Capers (50 g)
- 1/2 bunch Basil
- 1/2 bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
- 6 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 6 Eggs – yolks only
- 200 ml Sunflower Oil (you could use all olive oil or substitute for a lighter oil)
- 200 ml Olive Oil
- 5 tsp Ketchup
- Worcestershire Sauce
- 2.2 pounds Freshly Ground Beef (quality is very important for raw beef – don't skimp!)
- Chop the shallots, onions and pickles. Chop the basil and parsley. Drain the capers. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. A wooden salad bowl is best if you have one!
- In another medium bowl, mix the mustard with the egg yolks, add the sunflower oil and the olive oil, then whisk until you get the consistency of mayonnaise. Add the ketchup. Add salt and pepper. Finish by adding Worcestershire sauce and tabasco to taste.
- Mix the contents of the two bowls, then add the ground beef and put the bowl on ice.
- Place a portion of the beef tartare on a cold plate. Top with a few capers. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with very crisp homemade fries and a simple salad sprinkled with a dash of olive oil.
I’m always discovering new things in Paris. However, I’m always a bit baffled when I stumble across something I should’ve noticed a long time ago. So you can imagine I was surprised to find the entrance to Passage Dauphine in between Rue Mazarine and Rue Dauphine.
Good things come to those who wait and I’m glad I finally found Passage Dauphine – it’s such a charming little passageway right in the middle of Paris. Since posting this photo on Instagram I’ve gotten a lot of comments saying to try the tearoom, L’Heure Gourmande. I have a feeling it will be a new go-to spot in Paris!
Asian Grocery Stores in Paris
Lately, Romain has been very interested in making his own sushi. As a result of this new hobby, he asked if we could visit a couple of Asian grocery stores in the 2nd Arrondissement last weekend. First, we went to Kioko, which is a smaller Japanese specialty grocery store. He found everything he needed there to make his sushi except for the fish.
Afterwards, we went to K-Mart where he found his salmon and I found some spicy peppers. K-Mart is a lot bigger than Kioko and has a fish counter, a butcher, prepared foods, and lots of Asian foods. Although different, both stores are good places to know about in the center of Paris.
So, we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months with COVID-19. Certainly a lot could change. Most importantly, I hope everyone stays healthy. But for now, that’s it for Five Friday Finds from France!
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