Paris in September

A few photos from Paris…can’t believe this was just , it feels so far away.

It was mom and dad’s first visit so we redid a bunch of things I did on past visits. But there were many new experiences as well. We stayed with family in Versailles. I met a bunch of cousins for the first time. One of them is my age…only she was so much more chic and spoke French, English, and Vietnamese. With a Spanish boyfriend to match! Clearly I am behind :)

Foie gras salads at Le Comptoir du Relais…

…I also love their hachis parmentier…

…served with some greens for balance ^_^

…and wish there was just one place in NYC that does a Salade Niçoise this well.

But for steak tartare, I prefer .

Next door to the restaurant is L’Avant Comptoir where you can stay for a meal at the tiny, stand-up only bar or get crêpes for takeaway.

Plain butter and sugar is my usual order…though that photo above is my sister’s chocolate and banana crêpe.

We also ate A LOT of Vietnamese food on this trip. We’re Chinese but my parents were born in Vietnamese. Growing up we ate this mishmash of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Hawaiian food. Pretty neat, now that I think about it.  and pho for dinner was not unusual.

Most of the Vietnamese restaurants in Paris are congregated around this one patch in the 13th arr. and my uncle took us to a few of his favorites. Rainy night meals of bò lúc lắc and big bowls of bún bò huế. So comforting, and so good to be around family :)

Mom and dad concluded that the Vietnamese food in Hawai’i was much better…

…but none of us would turn down an offer for chè. Especially when it’s the hot banana and sesame one.

My aunt made spring rolls for dinner one night. Naturally we ate that with foie gras followed by durian and cheese for dessert.

We spent way too much time at the supermarkets and my sister lugged back a suitcase full of pâté for her semester abroad in London.

We’ll be back soon ^_^

Del Posto, Part III

Shots from a recent, decadent lunch at Del Posto.

Meals here only get and  with each visit. Warm bread with butter and whipped lardo.

Bitter herbs and lettuces with a truffle dressing…

…veal agnolotti, sweet pea, espresso and grana padano…

…cacciucco, burrida and sweet shrimp alla buzara…

…Sardinian lamb, Roman artichokes, bruised mint, and saffron potatoes.

A palate cleaner of chestnut and apricots followed by…

…a supple brown butter panna cotta with roasted apples…

…torta di zucca with sage gelato and candied pumpkin (Sugar Rush’ed here)…

…and maple semifreddo complete with apricots and plums.

But that wasn’t all! The mignardise arrived next. Count eight bites. My favorite is the olive oil gelato dipped in dark chocolate. Mini-bomboloni is a close second.

A chocolate tree! Truffles and crisps. Wild. Here’s a different tree if you’re curious.

A Italian cookie explosion. One of those had-to-be-there-to-see-it moments ^_^

Pâtisserie by François Payard

A little preview inside the new flagship location of Payard. It’s set to open next week on 74th St/3rd Ave…conveniently right across the street from Maison Kayser.

Check out these savory macarons!
 – Foie Gras and Chocolate
 – Blue Cheese with Fig Chutney
 – Squid Ink, Cream Cheese, and Olive Tapenade

I live near the Houston Street Payard, but would prefer visiting this location for three reasons: the ice cream counter, a larger selection of desserts exclusive to this location, and the salon de thé. It’s way in the back of the shop, cozy and oh-so French. Proper omelets, salads, and croque monsieur on the menu.

P.S. Those familiar with Payard’s original location on Lexington (closed in 2009) will recognize the light fixtures in the salon de thé. They’ve brought them back ^_^

Afternoon Tea Party with Le Palais des Thés and Flour Bakery

Scenes from a Sunday afternoon tea party hosted by  and Le Palais des Thés. Does this space look familiar? It should. We’re at the James Beard House.

Here’s a peek in the kitchen. That’s Joanne Chang-Myers on the right (gorgeous and talented) and her crew from Boston. At the bottom left are her famous sticky buns. Three trays! Here’s the recipe.

Equal parts sweet and savory, beautifully displayed and constantly replenished. I’m noting down the entire menu…good inspiration if you want to host an afternoon tea.

Savory

  • Miniature Buttermilk Biscuits with Sage and Parsley
  • Miniature Breakfast Pizzas with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, and Quail Eggs
  • Country Ham–Vermont Cheddar Hot Pockets
  • Miniature Egg Sandwiches
  • Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Tartines
  • Bite-Sized Quiches
  • Tea Sandwiches:
  •  – Roast Beef and Crispy Onions
  •  – Roasted Lamb and Goat Cheese
  •  – Hummus and Sprouts
  •  – Chicken and Jicama
  • Wheat Berry, Feta, and Walnut Salad with Organic Greens

Sweet

  • Miniature Banana Breads with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Miniature Sticky Buns Miniature Pavlovas with Cream and Fruit
  • Assorted Tartlets:
  •  – Lemon Curd
  •  – Chocolate Truffle
  •  – Caramel–Nut
  •  – Milky Way
  •  – Fruit
  • Miniature Lemon–Ginger Scones
  • Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Bean Cream Puffs
  • Chocolate–Butterscotch Pudding Parfaits
  • Miniature Croissants
  • Miniature Brown Sugar, Oatmeal, and Cranberry Muffins
  • French Toast Soufflé Bites
  • Miniature Pop-Tarts
  • Miniature Cinnamon Cream Brioche
  • Miniature Homemade Oreos

Whew! Can’t believe we ate all that ^_^

Cocktails to drink. Champagne, lemon, Peychaud’s bitters, fresh raspberries, and a bit of Flour Bakery’s raspberry syrup. Fun fact: the syrup was “invented” from the extra crushed raspberries used in their Lemon-Raspberry Cake.

My favorite bite was the mini French toast soufflé on the bottom left.

The meal was paired with three teas from Le Palais des Thés:

Am off to make  for dinner – hope everyone has a good Sunday night.