Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lorilee Foley

A genuine smile and an honest face she looked right at you -- and sometimes through you. Her laugh was sincere and full of life. But then so was she.

Rue Mouffetard

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Girl Scouts of Rhode Island Fund Raiser

Just a few images taken at the annual fund raiser for the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, held at the Johnson & Wales Inn in Seekonk, MA, this last Monday. In addition to a tasting of 13 desserts prepared by local restaurants, there was a silent auction, as well as a book signing by Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia fame on PBS. And of course Miss Rhode Island dropped by to share here smile with everyone.

Susie and the Girl Scouts

This past Monday Susie and her two assistants from Gracie's, Danielle and Carlo, participated in a fund raiser for Girl Scouts of Rhode Island. The event included a tasting of some 13 desserts, all donated by local restaurants in the greater Providence area, followed by a silent auction. A grand time was had by all at the Johnson & Wales Inn in Seekonk, MA.

Really, you should've been there:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rue Mouffetard

Pretty much everything you need to know about the "Mouff"!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jardin des Plantes

rue Saint Dominique

Susie ogling the pastries and baked goods along one of many boulangerie and patisserie dotting this wonderful little street.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gracie's, Waterfire and living in Providence

It's been absolutely and I mean AAAAAAAAAAbsoooooooooloooooootely gorgeous here in Providence the past few days. Indian summer has arrived to be sure -- and the wonderful weather takes our mind off the fact that it's been barely two months since our anniversary celebration in Colorado and barely a month since we were cruisin' the backstreets of Paris looking for great food and even greater pastries -- two goals that met with resounding success I must say.

Work has been good for both of us -- and in this market that's been a stroke of incredibly good fortune. Nothing is forever of course, but right now we've got health, a little money in the bank (dwindling but still something is there, I think), and, to paraphrase a wise mountain man, "we're just happy to be here."

While most of the country goes about its daily routine this particular weekend is a major holiday in New England. Over on Federal Hill, along Atwell's Avenue, what has been euphemistically styles as "Little Italy in Providence," saw a major festival kick-off yesterday and running through today. Lots of tacky things for sale and tons of vendors hawking sausage and pepper sandwiches -- country music blaring up and down the avenue.

Susie had a long day Saturday so I caught up with her late in the day and as we were sipping wine at the bar we thought, "Hey let's just eat here." Sitting right at the bar and enjoying the moment and the ambiance.

So we did. Susie had the Maytag salad and gnocchi and I had the rigatoni -- hands down my favorite. Incredible meat sauce and just the right amount of heat to make you understand why god made peppers in the first place -- for the taste. And when mixed with mouth-watering sausage -- stand back!

And last night was a major Waterfire event in Providence, a huge fund raiser for breast cancer research and prevention. Now for those of you out of the loop, Waterfire is a BIG DEAL in this part of the country -- a major tourist attraction for Providence believe me and a blast to boot. Which is fascinating since it is basically thousands of people staring at huge braziers of roaring fires strewn in the middle of a river running through downtown Providence.

Enjoy the show:


Wish you were here and maybe you will be one day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Evening of Art

Here are just a few images I shot last Friday evening at Maria Thomas' exhibit of her "Zentangle" art in one of the newly remodeled buildings of the old Whitin machine works shop in Whitinsville, MA:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Paris dining, September 2008 update

Using Clotilde Dusoulier’s wonderful guidebook to the culinary and gastronomic world, Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris (Broadway Books, 2008), Susie and I spent nearly 10 days in Paris in September of 2008 having our own “edible adventures.” With Clotilde’s book in one hand and a good arrondissement guidebook in the other you can not only find some incredible food but also see much of the city’s side streets and back roads. We did.

I should point out that only twice did we order a bottle of wine with dinner – or lunch for that matter. So many wonderful wines were offered by the glass we rarely thought about ordering any other way.

1st Arrondissement

Isse, Japanese, 45 rue de Richelieu. CROSS STREET: rue des Petit Champs. Mº Pyramides or Palais Royale-Musee du Louvre. PHONE: 01 42 96 26 60. HOURS: Mon-Sun, 10:30-15:30, Mon-Sat 18:00-midnight. (Clotilde 16)

NOTES: Lunch on 9 September. “Menu tempura.” Delicious. Service friendly and prompt.

2nd Arrondissement

Kintaro, Japanese, 24 rue Saint Augustin. CROSS STREET: rue Monsigny. Mº Quatre Septembre. PHONE: 01 47 42 13 14. HOURS: Mon-Sat, 11:30-22:00. (Clotilde 18)

NOTES: Supper, 12 September. Noodles, gyoza, and “riz cantonnais,” very tasty. Inexpensive.

Stohrer, pastry, 51 rue Montotgueil. CROSS STREET: rue Marie Stuart. Mº Sentier or Etienne Marcel. PHONE: 01 42 33 38 20. HOURS: Mon-Sun, 07:30-20:30. WEBSITE:

NOTES: Very well known in Paris. But what can you say about a guy that puts a postcard rack outside his shop that has nothing but photos of him giving an enormous egg to the queen of England?

Café Etienne Marcel, café, northern corner of rue Etienne Marcel and rue Montmartre. Mº Etienne Marcel.

NOTES: We ate lunch here in 2007 and returned in September of 2008. Great location with one of the better outdoor seating locations I have seen in Paris (another favorite is the Café Gran Corona at the Place de L’Alma). Lots of pretty spectacular people watching here; pick a spot near the very corner itself to catch traffic going in all directions. Always good food and very friendly service at reasonable prices.

3rd Arrondissement

Pain de Sucre, pastry/bakery, 14 rue Rambuteau. CROSS STREET: rue du Temple. Mº Rambuteau. PHONE: 01 45 74 68 92. HOURS: 09:00-20:00. Closed Tues & Weds. WEBSITE:

NOTES: Small, intimate but very stylishly laid out pastry shop. Worth a stop – extremely pleasant and hardworking couple producing wonderful treats – we ate ours sitting on a couple of cement stanchions next to the Pompidou Center.

L’Olivier, 15 blvd du Temple. CROSS STREET: rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Mº Filles du Calvaire. PHONE: 01 42 77 12 51. HOURS: Mon-Sat, 12:00-15:00, 1800-21:00. WEBSITE: Reservations taken online.

NOTES: Dinner, 05 September. This small, unassuming Greek restaurant was recommended to us the very day we arrived in Paris. We stopped in at Goumanyat, one of Paris’ oldest spice shops, and recommended by Clotilde. After meeting the owner and sampling some of the spices they put together we asked for a suggestion for dinner and they recommended L’Olivier, just a few minutes’ walk away. Food was creative take on Greek cuisine (I had what amounted to Moussaka but in a gratin with custard on top). Moderate, friendly and nice wines by the glass.

Goumanyat, spice shop, 3 rue Charles Francois Dupuis. CROSS STREET: rue Beranger. Mº Republique. Phone: 01 44 78 96 74. HOURS: Tues-Fri 14:00-19:00, Sat. 11:00-19:00. WEBSITE: www.goumanyat,fr

NOTES: Friendly and helpful family run business specializing in a wide variety of their mélange of spices, but particularly in saffron.

4th Arrondissement

L’As du Falafel, casual, 34 rue des Rosiers. CROSS STREET: rue des Ecouffes. Mº Saint-Paul. PHONE: 01 48 87 63 60. Sun-Thur noon-midnight. Fri noon-18:00; closed Friday night and Saturday. (Clotilde 34-35)

NOTES: We are here in 2007. Delicious to go food in a wonderful part of the old city.

5th Arrondissement

Les Delices d’Aphrodite, Greek/casual, 4 rue Candolle. CROSS STREET: rue Daubenton. Mº Censier-Daubenton. PHONE: 01 43 31 40 39. HOURS: Mon-Fri noon-14:00, 19:00-23:00 Sat-Sun noon-15:00, 18:00-23:00. (Clotilde 39)

NOTES: Lunch, 14 September. Outdoor seating just a stone’s throw from the rue Mouffetard; very friendly staff, bistro seating in and out. Moderately expensive. Spent two hours eating and chatting, then strolling to the nearby Jardin des Plantes, found a park bench to snooze away an hour or so enjoying a beautiful Sunday in Paris.

Les Papilles, wine bar/restaurant, 30 rue Gay-Lussac. CROSS STREET: rue Saint-Jacques. Mº Cluny-La Sorbonne or RER: Luxembourg. PHONE: 01 43 25 20 79. HOURS: Mon-Sat noon-14:00, 19:30-22:00. WEBSITE: (Clotilde 39-40)

NOTES: Dinner, 10 September. “Eat in a wineshop.” Fixed menu, no options, incredibly good. €31 per person. You can order a bottle of wine off the shelf for dinner and pay a small corkage fee. Reservations strongly recommended.

6th Arrondissement

Le Comptoir du Relais, neo-bistro, 5 Carrefour de l’Odeon. CROSS STREET: rue Monsieur le Prince. Mº Odeon. PHONE: 01 44 27 07 97. HOURS: Mon-Fri noon-18:00, Sat noon-23:00. No reservations. (Clotilde 49-51)

NOTES: Dinner, 06 September, quite good but had to wait in line and in the rain for 1.25 hours, and had to sit outside. Food good, service friendly and prices moderately expensive.

Cuisine de Bar, lunch, and Poilane, bakery, 8 rue du Cherche Midi. CROSS STREET: rue de Sevres. Mº Saint-Sulpice or Sevres-Babylone. PHONE: 01 45 48 69. HOURS: Tue-Sat 08:30-19:00. No reservations. (Clotilde 60)

NOTES: Lunch, 11 September. Delicious tartines, reasonably priced and the service was pleasant (at least our waitress was).

7th Arrondissement

Les Cocottes de Christian Constant, casual, 135 rue Saint-Dominique. CROSS STREET: rue Augereau. Mº Ecole Militaire. PHONE: None. HOURS: Mon-Sun, 08:00-22:30. WEBSITE: No reservations. (Clotilde 64)

NOTES: Lunch, 08 September. Both had “crispy cod” cocottes, essentially small casseroles, and for dessert I had a basque hard cheese with homemade blackberry jam and Susie had a delicious mirabelle clafoutis. Incredibly tasty food. Seating is either at a bar counter or high tables in the back. Very casual, very slick interior. Well-organized and the service was friendly.

8th Arrondissement

9th Arrondissement

La Taverne, cafe, 24 blvd. Des Italiens. CROSS STREET: rue de Gramont. Mº Richelieu Drout. PHONE: 01 55 33 10 00. HOURS: every day until midnight. WEBSITE:

NOTES: Aperitif. I mention this place because we liked it so much. That’s pretty much it. Friendly service, very comfortable and cozy interior.

10th Arrondissement

Du Pain et des Idees, pastry/bakery, 34 rue Yves Toudic. CROSS STREET: rue de Marseille. Mº Jacques Bonsergent. PHONE: 01 42 40 44 52. HOURS: 06:45-20:00, Mon-Fri.

11th Arrondissement

Le Bar au Soupes, lunch, 33 rue de Charonne. CROSS STREET: rue des Taillandiers. Mº Ledru-Rollin. PHONE: 01 43 57 53 79. HOURS: Mon-Sat noon-15:00, 18:30-23:00. WEBSITE: (Clotilde 100-101)

NOTES: Lunch, 9 September. Homemade soup, made fresh every morning. Small but cozy, airy interior. Delicious food: I had chickpea soup with raisins and Susie had tomato-ginger soupe. Very pleasant service – Anne-Catherine, the chef/owner is very friendly and aims to please. Good value, inexpensive: less than €10 per person for a formule of soup, fresh bread, salad and drink and dessert. Highly recommended.

Le Refectoire, casual, 80 blvd Richard Lenoir. CROSS STREET: rue Saint-Sebastien. Mº Richard Lenoir or Saint-Ambroise. PHONE: 01 48 06 74 85. HOURS: Mon-Sat, noon-14:00; Mon-Sun noon-14:00, 20:00-22:30; Sun noon-16:00, 20:00-22:30. (Clotilde 105)

NOTES: Dinner, 13 September. Very funky, bistro atmosphere. Pleasant service and very good food. Reservations recommended, although we got in without them.

Bar Bat, dinner/bar Corsican cuisine, 23 rue de Lappe. CROSS STREET: rue de la Roquette. Mº Bastille or Ledru-Rollin. PHONE: 01 43 14 26 06. HOURS: 19:00-23:30. WEBSITE: Free Internet access.

NOTES: Dinner. Very comfortable seats, lots of room inside and out, which tend to flow together. Located on the rue de Lappe a serious food street. Very friendly service, delicious food. Moderately expensive.

Maison Rouyer, pastry/bakery. CROSS STREET: Place Leon Blum. Mº Voltaire.

Notes: Delicious pastries, incredible girl choir behind the counter – and at least one of the most pleasant young women you will ever meet in Paris.

12th Arrondissement

Ble Sucre, pastry/bakery, 7 rue Antoine Vollon. CROSS STREET: rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Mº Ledru-Rollin. PHONE: 01 43 40 77 73. HOURS: 07:00-19:30.

13th Arrondissement

14th Arrondissement

15th Arrondissement

Des Gateaux et du Pain, pastry/bakery, 63 blvd. Pasteur. CROSS STREET: rue Mizon. Mº Pasteur. PHONE: 01 45 38 94 16. HOURS: Weds-Mon, 07:30-20:30, closed Tues.

NOTES: More like an upscale jewelry store than a pastry shop or bakery, the staff was rude and the layout sterile. Bread was delicious though.

Le Quartier du Pain, bakery, 270 rue Vaugirard. CROSS STREET: rue Maublanc. Mº Vaugirard. PHONE: 01 48 28 78 42. HOURS: Mon-Sat, -5:30-20:00.

16th Arrondissement

17th Arrondissement

18th Arrondissement

Arnaud Larher Patisserie, pastry/bakery, 53 rue Caulaincourt. CROSS STREET: rue Juste Metivier. Mº Lamarck-Caulaincourt. PHONE: 01 42 57 68 08. HOURS: 10:00-19:30 Mon-Sat. WEBSITE:

NOTES: Gorgeous shop, very airy and colorful. Located along the tree-line rue Caulaincourt just a stone’s throw from Montmartre cemetery. Delicious, creative pastries and very friendly staff.

Coquelicot, bakery/lunch, 24 rue des Abbesses. CROSS STREET: Place des Abbesses. Mº Abbesses. PHONE: 01 46 06 18 77. HOURS: Tue-Sun, 07:30-20:00.

NOTES: We ate lunch here twice, once in 2006 and again in 2007. Outstanding pastries. Seating inside cramped but friendly staff.

Le Comptoir Colonial, spice shop, 22 rue Lepic. CROSS STREET: rue Cauchois. Mº Blanche. PHONE: 01 42 58 44 84. HOURS: Tues-Wed and Fri-Sat, 08:45-13:00, 16:00-19:30; Thurs 16:00-19:30 and Sun 10:30-13:30. WEBSITE:

19th Arrondissement

La Boulangerie par Veronique Mauclerc, bakery, 83 rue de Crimee. CROSS STREET: rue Manin. Mº Laumiere. PHONE: 01 42 40 64 55. HOURS: 08:00-20:00; closed Tues. and Weds.

20th Arrondissement

Sucre Cacao, pastry/bakery, 89 Avenue Gambetta. CROSS STREET: Place Gambetta. Mº Gambetta. PHONE: 01 46 36 87 11. WEBSITE: