All tagged France

Michel Bras

I'd wanted to go to Michel Bras for a long time. Years, really. But it wasn't exactly easy to get there. When I moved to Paris, things became easier, but not by much. The restaurant is a 10-hour train ride from Paris, followed by an hour taxi. The ride back would be a night train. Aside from all that, reservations were difficult. When I called in March, they were fully booked until May. After weeks of persistence and a bit of luck, there was a last-minute cancellation. I was in. Given the distance to the restaurant, I decided to make a weekend out of it. I'd arrive Saturday afternoon and leave late Sunday night to catch the night train. This would enable me to order the entire menu pace myself to better understand the cooking of Chef Bras. 36-hours of Bras would mean two dinners, a breakfast, and a lunch. I was more than ready.

A Baguette Tour of Paris

Before I moved to Paris, I knew most of the stereotypes: cigarettes, fake dimples, accordions, and berets. And there are others, to say the least. Thankfully, with the exception of the cigarettes, they turned out to be inaccurate. One stereotype, however, was so spot-on it was comical: I cannot count the number of Parisians I've seen racing around the city with groceries on one arm and a bitten baguette under the other. The French love their bread. And they should! With the arguable exception of Tokyo, Paris has the finest bread in the world. Fine boulangeries are to France as Starbucks is to America. They're everywhere.

Think about it: a baguette is the perfect accompaniment for any course. It goes with confiture and butter for breakfast, with a "jambon fromage" sandwich for lunch, in a small bowl to the side of a glass of red wine with dinner, or with a cheese board as a snack.