Category: reviews

June 29th, 2011 by ptinfrance

Remember the Roast Chicken Flavored Potato Chips? That was five years ago, already! Anyway, we’ve been traveling recently and road trips mean coke bottle gummies, ice cream bars and even more unhealthy food alternatives like crazy-flavored potato chips. We couldn’t help but notice the usual suspects like BBQ, plain, Roasted Chicken Chips (Lays are good!) but there seemed to be a new kid in town: Cheeseburger Potato Chips! We couldn’t resist.
cheeseburger potato chips france french
These are…perplexingly excellent. They taste EXACTLY like a McDonald’s cheeseburger, and while I haven’t eaten one of those in so many years I don’t even know how many, I liked these (I almost hate to admit it) and was happy they didn’t give me a stomach ache like the real cheeseburgers did. So, there you have it. It does make me wonder, though, why there aren’t typical French meal flavored chips. Wouldn’t it be fun to have Croque-Monsieur chips, Cassoulet chips, Steak-Frites (in pepper sauce) chips and Tete de Veau chips? Confit de canard chips, boudin noir chips, moule frites chips, rabbit terrine chips…

Posted in food and drinks, products, reviews, shopping, travel tip, weird Tagged with: , , , , , ,

April 20th, 2009 by ptinfrance

Boudin noir? Poulet rôti? Moules Frites? Un moelleux au chocolat? How ’bout some foie gras or a nice juicy côte de boeuf? I know you’ve been dying for a tête de veau, haven’t you? When you travel all the way to Paris, does it ever occur to you to hit the pavement in search of a croque monsieur? I mean, a really, really good croque monsieur? Well, the best one in Paris has truffles in it. I would travel all the way to Paris for that. If it was really exceptional, I wouldn’t even mind if it didn’t have any truffles. At the same time, I can’t imagine going to a fancy restaurant for a croque monsieur but hey, the best club sandwich in Paris is supposedly from Georges V, and I bet it is not a bon marché. I wouldn’t want to pay too much for a club sandwich, but my sweetie probably would. He LOVES club sammiches. Anyway, on to the book.

Je me ferais bien un… is a new Paris restaurant guide book in French written by Valérie Expert and Véronique André, and is a little different from most other Paris restaurant guides. The authors made it a mission to try a significant number of restaurants (they say they tried them all but c’mon) in Paris to find the best places for the French’s 52 most favorite foods and dishes suitable for all budgets. So in many cases you can choose a dish or dessert, for example, and find the best couscous from a fancy restaurant, a mid-range bistro or a budget restaurant.
steak in france

The book is organized in alphabetical order. So during those times when you say to yourself, “Je me ferais bien un… / I feel like a…” just look for the dish in the book you feel like eating then go from there. We can’t wait to try out the recommendations! Will their listings for the best hamburger pass our test? We will see about that. Oui, by the way, the hamburger is apparently a favorite among the French.

Here’s the list of dishes included in the book, if you were wondering: andouillette, assiette de légumes, baba, bar, blanquette de veau, boudin noir, caesar salad, cassoulet, choucroute, club sandwich, côte de boeuf, couscous, crêpes, croque-monsieur, eclairs/religieuses, foie de veau, foie gras, gambas, gigot d’agneau, gibier, hachis parmentier, hamburger, île flottante, langoustines, magret de canard, mille-feuille, moelleux au chocolat, moules-frites, os à moelle, oeuf/omelette, paris-brest, pâtes, petit salé aux lentilles, pigeon, pieds de porc grillés, pizza, plateau de fruits de mer, poulet roti, pot-au-feu, raie, risotto, ris de veau, salade thaï, sole, soufflé, sushi/sashimi, souple chinoise, tapas, tartare, tarte au pommes, tête de veau, truffe.

Je me ferais bien un…

Posted in advice, books/magazines, daily life, food and drinks, news, paris, restaurants, reviews, tips, travel and places, travel tip

March 6th, 2009 by ptinfrance

michelin red guide paris france restaurants 2009 From newsweek:

“This week brought the release of the new Michelin Red Guide, prompting foodies to run and see which chefs had been awarded stars—the top honor in restaurant criticism.

The guide, whose English edition arrives mid-May, sells 1.3 million copies a year in its various editions.

Its star system rewards expensive restaurants, of course. But the guide also has a lesser-known rating for affordable restaurants. Toward the back of the guide, there’s the “Bib Gourmand” section in which Michelin recognizes places that offer excellent three-course meals for less than €35 ($44) each.

This year, 47 Paris restos are on the Bib Gourmand list—a record. Many of these spots are new additions to the list. My favorites include:

• Le Baratin,, 3 rue Jouye Rouve, 20th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-49-39-70

• Le Bistrot Paul Bert, 18 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-72-24-01

• La Cantine du Troquet, 101 rue de l’Ouest, 14th arrondissement, 011-33/1-45-40-04-98.

• L’Entêtée, 4 rue Danville, 14th arrondissement, 011-33/1-40-47-56-81

The above restaurants are not open every day of the week, so call ahead to confirm and to see if reservations are needed.”

More about The Michelin Red Guide France 2009

Posted in books/magazines, food and drinks, MOF Meilleur Ouvrier de France, news, paris, restaurants, reviews, tips, travel and places, travel tip, wine

July 16th, 2008 by ptinfrance

coiffeur et nature paris organic natural hair salonContrary to popular belief, I’m not a guy. I am not sure why people think I am. My name? Do I have a masculine way of writing? Perhaps. No matter. I suppose.

Anyway…As a GIRL, I do girly things like going to the hair salon. I love getting a good coiff every month but I actually haven’t found a solid, consistent, normal salon, a salon I can say is MY preferred place. In the nearly six years I’ve lived in France, I’ve tried many places, way too many, I’m afraid – but I haven’t found a salon I can call my “own.” Maybe I’m a little picky; I didn’t think so but most places feel forced and tense; the people seem like they are trying too hard and insincerity screams through stretched smiles and unnatural niceties; Some offer too much pampering. I don’t need pampering. Most stylists cut my hair precisely in a way that does NOT at all resemble how I asked for it to be cut. I simply need a really good hair cut, a relaxed environment and a salon that uses products that are safe and without any harmful chemicals (like Paraben and Pheoxyethanol). There aren’t any in my part of France so I started going to Paris to try different places. I just went to Coiffure et Nature, which is located near Bastille. It’s a very chill salon with rustic/chic decor. It’s not a fancy schmancy salon, so no one is going to bring you a colorful cocktail on a pillow, but it is cozy and comfortable. Actually, they do offer drinks while you’re waiting but it’s not on a pillow!

Coiffure et Nature also focuses on aromatherapy, natural essential oils, natural methods and organic hair products. Their hair color is ammonia-free and 80% plant extracts. Unlike other salons, you aren’t bombarded with perfumes and chemical smells upon entering the establishment. It’s totally unexpected but a welcomed relief.

I had a great coiff from Virginie, who not only cut it exactly how I asked (yea, that can happen sometimes!), she also really concentrated on the cut instead of trying to “entertain” me, which happens oftentimes at other salons. Phew! We did chit chat part of the time, and that seemed fine and natural.

The prices are very reasonable for Paris. I had a shampooing /shampoo, coupe /cut and brushing / styling, which cost 58 euros. Worth a return trip.

Coiffure et Nature
1, rue de la Bastille
75004 Paris – France
Phone : + 33 1 42 72 90 37
E-mail : contact@coiffureetnature.fr
Website: Coiffure et Nature
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm, Thursday, Noon to 9pm *
M: Bastille : Lines 1 – 5 – 8
Exit rue St-Antoine / boulevard Beaumarchais

* NOTE: ALL hair salons in France are closed on Mondays.

tags:

Posted in daily life, health, paris, reviews, travel and places, travel tip

May 26th, 2008 by ptinfrance

laurent le daniel patissier meilleur ouvrier de france rennes
Last week in Rennes, we ALMOST met miserable misfortune by NOT stepping into this place, Le Daniel, a patisserie. My sweetie stopped abruptly and said, “M.O.F.!”

“Wha?!”

“M.O.F.! M.O.F.! We HAVE to go into Le Daniel; he’s an M.O.F.”

“We just ate and I’m not very hungry. How do you know? And…What the heck is an MOF, anyway?”

“Meilleur Ouvrier de France! It’s on the window. He’s the best.”

By some miraculous and divine intervention of nature, my sweetie, who usually can’t find butter in the frig (when there’s only butter and nothing else in the frig), noticed the small print with “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” on the window whilst the three of us walked by briskly on our way to fnac.

“NEVER ignore an M.O.F. THAT is just crazy.”

So, we entered and sampled some things.

Before I go on with this story, I have some explaining to do about the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France.” It means “Best Craftsman (or Worker) in France” and this is a coveted award only given to the very best artisans of France every 3 years (since 1924). There’s a long list of categories so the M.O.F.. can be a pastry chef, a furniture maker, painter, saddle designer, all kinds of “craftsmen.” There’s a stringent process to earn this ranking and those who succeed keep their title for life. Their work is absolute pure quality, the best France has to offer. The people who earn this rank are all passionate about what they do and it shows in their work. So now I know that I should never ignore an M.O.F. You shouldn’t either, especially if you see an M.O.F. who makes pastries!
le daniel mof rennes france pastries

There are lots of very good patisseries in France (except near our house) but some really go beyond the call of duty and are ahead of others by giant leaps and bounds. Le Daniel was a true M.O.F. When the three of us ate our pastries, there was total silence. It was that good. I got a large salted butter caramel macaron and there are simply no words to do it justice.

We already want to go back. We have to check out his chocolates and ice cream!

By the way, do you know any M.O.F.s??? PLEASE tell me about them!

Le Daniel
13, Galerie du Théâtre
Place de la Mairie
35000 Rennes
02 99 79 33 81
Website: Le Daniel

Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, chocolate, cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, pastries, reviews, travel and places

March 21st, 2008 by ptinfrance

ma pomme tao vietnamese restaurant and apple store sarlat franceWhat do you get when you take my preferred computer platform, Macintosh – and mix it up with Vietnamese cuisine, a postcard perfect medieval French village and friendly service? Answer: My new favorite restaurant/Mac store in Sarlat!

I’m not kidding. This is a Mac Store AND a Vietnamese restaurant; yes, all in the same place. (Not an official Apple store, but a reseller.) What could be a better combination?

The awesome collective power of Mac and Southeast Asian food beckoned us to give Ma Pomme Tao a try and now a mention because it was one of those awesome and unique finds when wandering around France. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it if the food was bad, which it wasn’t. In fact, the food was exquisite.

Most of the restaurants in Sarlat cater to the tourist looking for regional specialties like cassoulet, confit de canard, foie gras and other heavy yet yummy dishes from the southwest, but the beauty of Ma Pomme Tao, is that if you are in Sarlat for more than a few days, once in a while you will need something different: say, a store that sells Macs and iPods, oh and meal-wise, something other than meat slowly cooked and drenched in goose fat. Ma Pomme Tao was the refreshing alternative and offers all that, even vegetarian dishes; what a concept! Seriously. Vegetarian dishes are hard to find here.

We couldn’t wrangle our entire party of 6 to the restaurant, so we had to order out. More points go to Ma Pomme Tao for having take out! Everything we ordered was really excellent even the xung-xa (jelly) desserts they offered us for free. (What we ate: Vegetarian nems, shrimp nems, bo-bun, beef lemon lemongrass salad, crispy noodles and vegetables, the luc-lac beef, 5 spice pork meatballs, beef sate skewers, shrimp wrapped around sugar cane.)

Highly recommended.

Ma Pomme Tao
37, avenue Thiers
24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda France
+33 5 53 59 71 88
*reservations are required*
email: tao-la-cantine@orange.fr (restaurant)
email: postmaster@ma-pomme-tao.com (store)

Related: hotels in sarlat

Posted in Dordogne, food and drinks, games/software/tech, reviews, travel and places

October 28th, 2007 by ptinfrance

A Sponsored Post:

luxury hotels france

Oftentimes when traveling, you want a different sort of hotel experience, one that is far from the typical, run-of–the-mill hotel chain . Perhaps you’re planning a very important trip, or you need privacy, or simply, your traveling style requires much more comfort, luxury and perfection. Face it, life’s too short to do that Average Joe kind of thing all of the time. You’re special, damn it, and you deserve the best.

Luxury Accommodations in France are not always very easy to come by, especially for the discerning traveler, but with the listings at Kiwi Collection, your choices are all in one place, making your luxury planning effortless. Travelers simply search the site using customized criteria based on their lifestyle, time of year, destination, interests and more. The results will be a listing of the places that suit them best. For example, if you’re looking for a Chateau experience in the Loire Valley or in Dordogne in the summer, you’ll find it here. Even if you’re looking for a luxury lodge during the Ski season in the Alps, no problem.

Depending on your needs, you’ll soon be staying at your interim home away from home, whether it’s a quaint inn hidden from the crowds, a trend-setting boutique hotel steeped in the latest designer decor, a high-end ranch or exclusive luxury resort.

Link: Kiwi Collection

————————————

Posted in Recommended Accommodations, reviews, travel and places, websites

March 30th, 2007 by ptinfrance

boutique hotels

[This is a sponsored post]

If you haven’t already planned your spring or summer vacation, you still have time to do so and it would also be a great time to plan any trips after the summer. Once you book your accommodations, whether it’s in a small hotel, luxury spa, eco resort, chateau or any number of places to temporarily call, “home,” you can then relax a little and roughly plan what you’d like to do and what you’d like to see. The latter planning is the easy part. The former, that is, finding perfect accommodations, is the hard part.

With the Directory of Hotels, you won’t have to worry too much as you can easily search for the type of accommodations you love. If you’re the kind of person that prefers to stay away from the big chain hotels where your experience is impersonal and extremely drab, this directory can steer you toward an experience with more personality. Do you need to unwind during your next holiday at a secluded spa hotel? Would you rather be in a bed and breakfast so you can experience life with the locals? Or, would you like more of a romantic, cozy, chic hotel with a postcard perfect view of the Eiffel Tower? Whatever your preferences and needs, no matter how specific they may be, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for at the Directory of Hotels because they specialize in this kind of “Boutique Hotel” experience.

In addition to a unique, comprehensive list of international accommodations from which to search, the Directory of Hotels features articles, reviews, fun facts of places worldwide, travel, product and fashion tips, and travel videos. They even offer a newsletter and a travel blog. So, perhaps for your upcoming vacation you can consult the Directory of Hotels. That is, if you’d like to find the most fabulous hotel stay for your next trip.

Link: Boutique Hotels

Posted in reviews, travel and places, websites

March 2nd, 2007 by ptinfrance

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.]
moving boxes
Every now and again, I receive email from people asking me to suggest moving / removal companies to France or from France, and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to offer much help previously. That has changed recently after being contacted by Schumacher Cargo.

If you’re looking for a company to help you ship your belongings to or from France (from practically any destination in the world), you might want to consider using Schumacher Cargo. They’ve been in business for 30 years, have a long list of client testimonials and have a multitude of options to fit your specific needs. You can get a free quote on their website, too.

They’re a one-stop moving company so-to-speak, meaning: they do everything from moving household goods and furniture, to moving cars and container cargo by your choice of sea or air. You can have your goods go door-to-door, airport-to-airport or port-to-port, or any combination therein. Flexibility seems to be a standard service.

Lastly, it looks as if you don’t need to worry too much about where your cargo is at a given moment in time, because you can track it every step of the way via their online tracking service.

Important Information you might want to know from their site:

“Schumacher Cargo Logistics utilizes insured, secured and bonded facilities. We provide warehousing, packing, crating, trucking and loading services out of our own warehouses here in the USA. * Los Angeles * Houston * Chicago * Miami * New York. We also own and operate our own companies in the UK, The Netherlands, Denmark & Norway, all other worldwide destinations are covered by our affiliated organization member companies.”

For more information:

Schumacher Cargo
Website: Moving Service to France
Email: Contact Schumacher Cargo

[Photo courtesy of Chris Schauflinger]

Posted in articles, reviews, travel and places, websites

January 24th, 2007 by ptinfrance
supermarket aisle

One of the remarkable things inside a French supermarket is the yogurt aisle. It is gargantuan with its shelves upon shelves of yogurt. Endless rows and rows of the creamy stuff; I’m not kidding. It’s enough to make you dizzy. Only second to the cheese selection, it is pretty intimidating. You’ll find so many different kinds of yogurt, you might not know where to begin. You many never even have enough time to try them all. Would you want to? There could even be as many different kinds of yogurts as there are cheeses in France; I haven’t counted.

What I do know, unfortunately, is that I’ve tasted some nasty yogurt in France during my long search for a perfect yogurt. Have you tried some that have a gamey aftertaste and you’d swear the yogurt should be called chevre (goat cheese) yogurt? I have. Yup. Gross. Others are too watery. Some are too artificially flavored with a chemical berry taste. Some trick you into thinking it has natural flavors, for example, “arome vanille naturel” but it’s in fact, artificial flavor that is supposed to mimick natural vanilla. Be careful with the tricky wording. Anyway, almost all of them are artificially flavored. Lots of them have aspartame. Some even have little specks inside the yogurt that LOOK like real vanilla bean grains but they aren’t real at all. In this case, what ARE those suspect specks? You probably don’t wanna know.

Coupled with the problematic and huge selection that I’ve discovered that I don’t like at all, is the fact that most of these yogurts are packaged entirely in plastic, which I absolute hate. Hard to avoid, and terrible for the environment.

Yes, there are some yogurts packaged in glass jars that aren’t horrible, but I found one that I really, really like called La Fermière – and it’s in a ceramic container that is recyclable or reuseable, it’s made with whole milk, and it uses REAL vanilla beans! It is amazingly delicious too. They are easy to spot in the supermarket aisle because they are the color of red clay. After you’ve tasted these, you will never, I say NEVER again want one of those stooopid plastic watery cup yogurts. By the way, they also include other flavors if you want more than vanilla. Other flavors: natural, honey-orange, lemon zest. La Fermière also makes fruity yogurts in glass jars, but I don’t really like those as much. Lastly, the only thing that could use improvement in this yogurt is the packaging on top. It’s plastic (which I wish they didn’t use but oh well) and it’s hard to open just one without lifting the lid on the other. Still, these were a great find.

Posted in daily life, food and drinks, reviews

January 7th, 2007 by ptinfrance

[Disclosure: I was contacted to write a short review of a recipe from chefs.com, so while this is a sponsored post, everything (except the actual recipe) including the opinions expressed within it are my own.]

gratin dauphinois recette

The following side dish recipe from chefs.com resembles the typical French dish called “Gratin Dauphinois” (sans “e”) but has a little bit of an English twist because it calls for cheddar cheese and single cream. It’s a simple yet necessary comfort food that should be in kitchen repertoires everywhere.

Prep time is a quick 10 to 15 minutes, and it takes about 60 minutes to bake for most cooks. This amount of time can vary depending on your oven. My oven is small and never needs the same cooking time as most recipes require, so I baked my gratin for about 45 minutes.

I have to admit: It was hard for me not to deviate from the original recipe because that is what I always do: I cannot leave a recipe alone! As is, however, this recipe is not only easy and fairly quick, it is also very yummy; you won’t be disappointed. How could you not like creamy, cheesy potato-y goodness? Exactly. Here’s the recipe (I’ve added some info fyi):

~~
Grain Dauphinoise from Chefs.com

2 oz. butter (56 grams or half a stick of butter)
1-3/4 lbs. potatoes, sliced (.8 kg or about 5 medium sized potatoes)
salt and pepper
1/4 lb. cheddar cheese, grated (about 113 grams)
1 egg
1-1/4 cups carton single cream (295 ml)
Instructions
Use half the butter to thickly grease an ovenproof dish.
Cover the base with a layer of potato slices.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.
Repeat the layers, finishing with potato and
reserving the last layer of cheese.
Whisk the egg and cream together.
Pour over the top and dot with the remaining butter and cheese.
Bake in a preheated temperature 375°F (195° C) oven for 1 hour.
If necessary, brown under a preheated grill.
Serve immediately. Serves 6.
~~

The gratins that I’ve eaten in French homes, have typically used gruyere cheese (or emmenthal) as well as a bit of ground nutmeg, and instead of cream, they used crème fraîche. Here, this recipe uses “single cream,” which is more of an English term. In the U.S. we’d say “half and half.” Since half and half doesn’t exist here in France (that I know of), I used whole milk mixed with whipping cream. This mixture equals the required fat content of single cream (half & half), about 18%.

While I’m on the subject of finding equivalent ingredients, cheddar cheese is sort of hard to find in France, at least where I live in Burgundy. But! It does exist here if you look hard enough. In the some parts of France, you can find it as “fromage Welch” or you will just see it labeled as “chédar” or even “Cheddar.”

The recipe itself, is straightforward and I had no problems with it. I’m afraid, though, that some people would want more details in this recipe. For example: how thin should the slices be? What size pan should I use?

You might be like me and use recipes as inspiration to have as a base, then work from there. If I were to spin a different variation on this recipe, I would definitely add layers of carmelized onions or leeks, use crème fraîche instead of cream and egg; perhaps I’d use different cheeses, maybe some crispy bacon on top or add small cubes of ham. I’d also add herbs. Possibilities: herbes de Provence or just some fresh thyme.

While typically this is a side dish, I think you could serve it as a main dish with a light, crispy salad on the side.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
4 stars

Recipes at Chefs.com

Posted in cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, recipes, reviews

December 17th, 2006 by ptinfrance

[Disclosure: I was contacted to write a short review about HotelReservations.com, so while this is a sponsored post, the opinions expressed within it are still my own.]

HotelReservations is an American-based online hotel reservations portal, where you can book a variety of accommodations: hotels, motels, B&Bs and condos located in nearly all countries worldwide for your next trip. Their database is quite extensive so you have many places from which to choose. Secondary to hotel reservations, are vacation packages which may include hotel plus car rentals and flight reservations. The hotel system however, seems to be the focused activity here.

Upon launching the site, I wanted to determine out how user-friendly the online experience was, so I did several different searches and queries, based on some trips I have coming up. The first thing I noticed was that the…

Read more of this article »

Posted in reviews, travel and places, websites

September 29th, 2006 by ptinfrance

Sometimes it makes sense to stay in a hotel while you’re vacationing but there will be times when you might want to mix it up a little and try something different. The great thing about France is that you have many options when it comes to accommodations, whether it is a full service hotel, or something more independent.

aupredelarbre We spent an amazing week in Sarlat, where we based ourselves strategically to have easy access to many sites of interest in the Perigord, places I’ll eventually write about.

This time we picked Au pré de l’arbre in Sarlat, which is a vacation village with 6 completely self-contained (self-catering) chalets in a forest just about a half a mile from the center of the village. Each chalet is completely equipped with all of the most necessary and convenient appliances you’ll ever need (fully equipped kitchen including dishwasher. Yay), giving you the independence and comfort to live, even for a week, in your own home sweet home.

dogsWe stayed in the house called Les Charmes, which is, of course a charming 2-story chalet that sleeps up to 4 people. There are two bedrooms upstairs and a balcony with a view of the forest. Les Charmes was one of two houses that sleeps up to four and we were very comfortable there; For larger groups, two of the six houses accommodate up to 8 people.

Oh! Most importantly, all houses are wired with high speed internet, cable TV (stations in English, German, French), CD/DVD player and even the two mascots of the village, Zora and Argos, a chocolate lab and a yellow lab. They hung out in front of our house, but if you’re not into adorable canine companions, no problem. Dogs are optional. :)

poolThe pool is a rather large one with a wonderful view of the valley and forest, and is a particularly quiet and relaxing environment to take a leisurely swim or sunbathe within a setting of pine trees softly swaying with the gentle breeze.

We were happy to get to know the owners Nathalie and Marc, who told us of of their life changing decision to sell their home in Chartres (just outside Paris) to buy land in the Perigord, move their whole family into a forest, all in order to embark on their village des vacances that officially opened in 2003. It was a huge risk that involved the most challenging of trials and tribulations but everything has eventually fallen into place and only three years later, they already have returning clientele.

We highly recommend Au pre de l’arbre if you’re in this area of southwest France, and want to use it as a comfortable, clean and independent base to explore the nearby sites as well as the village of Sarlat itself – or even just to relax. I have no doubt that you’ll find this place a pleasant base, to say the least, and you can always feel free to ask advice from Marc or Nathalie to give you some itinerary ideas, specific places of interest or even recommend wines from the region, which include some of the finest wines in France.

To view the houses: Les Pins; Les Acacias; Les Charmes; Les Ormes; Les Châtaigniers and les Chênes, and to find out more about Au pre de l’arbre and rates, click below on their website.

We loved staying Au pre de l’arbre, and will be joining the group of “regulars.”

Au pre de l’arbre – Open all year
Website: Au pre de l’arbre (in English and French)

Nathalie et Marc Pinta-Tourret
Au pré de l’arbre
Rue Lino Ventura, “Le Mas Cavaillé”
24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda
E-mail: sarlat@aupredelarbre.com
Phone / Fax : +33 5 53 59 33 33
Mobile: +33 6 73 79 12 87

Posted in reviews, travel and places

September 21st, 2006 by ptinfrance
le bistrot sarlat la caneda

Vegetarians and vegans, I salute you. Though I’ve spent the last month eating mainly vegetarian, I must admit that it is impossible for me to stay that way in France. Some dishes are just too tempting.

confit de canard

We’re visiting the Perigord (southwest France) and randomly picked the restaurant, Le Bistrot, to have lunch. I had to have the Confit de Canard, which is a specialty of Gascony, not far from where we are. It is a salted duck leg slowly cooked in its own fat. Oftentimes, like here, it is served with potatoes cooked in duck fat. These potatoes also had bits of foie gras, another regional specialty. It was sooooooo gooooooood.

cassoulet

I’d mentioned before that I hated cassoulet, but wondered if it was because I just hadn’t eaten a good cassoulet. Before I go on, cassoulet, named after the earthenware pot (cassole) in which it is cooked, is a slowly cooked stew with duck or goose fat, haricots blancs (white beans), pork sausages and confit of goose. Regional versions will vary. Didn’t I also mention it was so gross that things were swimming in duck fat? I changed my mind. This cassoulet that my sweety ordered, was intense and exceptional.

gateau aux noix

The area also specializes in walnuts and you’ll find sacks of walnuts to buy everywhere as well as wonderful walnut oil. If you have a salad in a restaurant, you’ll likely have walnut oil instead of olive oil as a dressing. You will also find walnutty goodness like this gateau aux noix (walnut cake) with creme anglaise. It was as good as it looks.

Le Bistrot
14, Place du Peyrou
24200 Sarlat
(in the center of the old town in Sarlat, near the cathedral)

NB: I’ll try do a separate post on Sarlat soon.

Posted in daily life, food and drinks, reviews