Monday, July 11, 2011

Tapas, Art, SW French Wines

If delectable tapas, contemporary art, and robust SW French wines are things you love consider coming with me to the marvelous Pays Basque in October. Check out my Basking in the Bounties of the Pays Basque intimately scaled guided tour in San Sebastian, Bilbao, Biarritz, Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz and more. We have openings for two more guests. Maximum of six so this is small and flexible, fun and delicious!

Excellent new Paris bistro

A foodie friend in Paris confirmed recent buzz about Septime, a new and already beloved bistro in the 11th, 80 rue de Charonne. Septime is in an interesting, gentrifying corner of the 11th, where lower rents attract talented chefs and creative shops. Bertrand Grébaut is the chef at Septime. You may remember his cooking at L'Agapé. Septime is located in a nicely renovated, loft-like setting and there is a small garden area for good-weather outdoor meals. The style is cuisine du marché and menus change frequently. Lunch menus in the low and mid twenty euro range, dinner runs more a la carte.

I plan to enjoy Septime personally when I am back in Paris in October!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hot and Hip in the 'Haut' Marais

Just in case you have a craving for tacos, tostadas and freshly made guacamole during your next gastro-swing through Paris, stop in at the tiny (10-12 seats) taqueria Candelaria on the rue Saintonge. There is Mexican food in Paris but most Mex-fans would not rave about it's authenticity or quality. Candelaria is the real deal and is gaining quite the local following. There is a 9.50 formule and you can also order a la carte as you wish. The chocolate brownies are rumored to be very good too.

This area of the Marais has been steadily getting hipper and fuller of new shops, bistros, interesting places. Candelaria is a great addition to that mix.

Candelaria. 52 rue Saintonge, Paris 3. Metro: Filles Calvaire
Open 7 days, 12PM-11PM Sunday to Wed., 12PM-12AM Thursday to Saturday

Friday, July 1, 2011

Notable Summer Festivals In France

The summer cultural scene in France is robust indeed. Music, film, art, cultural festivals abound often held in magnificent historic settings.

Here is a small sampler:

Les Fetes de Bayonne. July 27 through 31. Concerts, street dances and parades, bull runs and bull fights, and all that delicious Basque food. (If you can't make this one come with me to the Pays Basque in early October for my "Basking in the Bounties of the Pays Basque" culinary tour).

Carcassone: The medieval city of Carcassone is the magical setting for this classical jazz, and pop music, circus and commedy and theatre extravaganza. June 16-August 15.

Festival Interceltique de Lorient is an annual gathering of all things musical fron throughout the Celtic world in southern Brittany. August 5-14