Paris- Hemingway Bar & A Tale of Two Duck Confits

After our amazing lunch at La Condesa we toured around that area and then up to Montmarte, a large hill in the 18th Arrondisment known for the beautiful Basilica of Sacre-Couer and some of the most charming streets in all of Paris.

The weather was absolutely perfect so we spent the day walking around and enjoying the sunshine until it was time to meet up with friends at Bar Hemingway in the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

This famous bar where Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway spent much of their free time was almost exactly as I imagined it;  small but elegant with leather cushioned seats, tiered silver platters on each table and a list of classic Hemingway cocktails including the Picasso Martini, Serendipity and French 75.

Of course being such a small, special place the prices fit the atmosphere with cocktails starting at 30€.   I was a little shocked at first but once I received a lovely peach rose in my drink everything seemed quite justified :)

After Hemingway Bar we parted ways wi…

Paris- La Condesa

It's always hard to choose our dining spots in Paris.  There are so many places the decision seems absolutely overwhelming.  However after a ton of research online and fantastic advice from the great people on Chowhound, I settled on La Condesa and it ended up being one of the best decisions of the entire trip.

We were the first ones to arrive for the lunch and although we were incredibly early they welcomed us warmly with a seat at the window overlooking some beautiful flowers and a lively street in the 9th Arrondissement.  

La Condesa has no set menu; guests simply choose the 3, 4 or 6 course tasting and everything is left completely up to the Chef.  Since we were planning to spend most of the day eating we decided on the 3 course tasting and kicked things off with some Cremant as the parade of food began.

Amuse Bouche~ Crispy Corn Galette with whipped corn mousse

Amuse Bouche~ Mushroom Tempura with Sorrel mayonnaise

1st Course~ Tomato Confit with cucumber sorbet

2nd Course~ Gelber Be…

Paris- Poilâne Bakery & Pierre Hermé

Paris mornings mean one thing when we're visiting~ pastry time at two of my favorite spots Poilâne Bakery & Pierre Hermé.  I almost always begin at Poilâne for a fresh loaf of sourdough bread and a cinamon dusted Apple Tart.

Then over to Pierre Hermé for a glazed Rose Croissant, Raspberry Tart and my absolute favorite the 2000 Feuilles studded with praline & hazelnut. 

These delightful parties are always fantastic but enjoying them on our patio underneath the bright blue sky just made everything seem even that much better.
Poilane Bakery 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi 75006 Paris, France
Pierre Herme 61 Rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris, France

Paris- Harry's New York Bar & Willi's Wine Bar

After our wonderful wine excursions in Bordeaux we hopped on a train to Paris for the final leg of our European vacation.  Mr. T and I have been Paris quite few times now and the energy is so similar to NYC it always feels a bit like coming home. 

We got in late afternoon and leisurely walked around the bustling St. Germain and Ile de la Cite before landing on the quiet island of Ile Saint- Louis.  This is the perfect spot to relax at one of the many outdoor cafes with a bottle of wine and a view of the beautiful Seine River.

After that we made our way through the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe and over to Harry's New York Bar.

This kitchy spot is said to be the birthplace of cocktails such as the French 75, Sidecar and Monkey Gland. 

So of course a round of drinks including all three was absolutely necessary for the sake of history.

Harry's is covered in old college pennants and somehow we found ourselves right below our alma mater St. Bonaventure; which is such a tiny school I would …

Bordeaux- Chateau Guadet, Logis de La Cadene & Chateau Canon La Gaffelière

Day two of the Bordeaux wine tour was also my birthday and it was absolutely perfect.   We began in St. Emilion; an amazing medieval town on the Right Bank of Bordeaux with breathtaking views from every angle and one of our favorite winery's of the trip Chateau Guadet. 

This small vineyard is one of only two wineries in the heart of St. Emilion and owned by the famous Petrus wine family.   The vineyard consists of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc grapes, merlot being the prominent grape grown on most Right Bank properties.

We started our tour upstairs to learn about the cement vats Guadet uses to vinify their wine.  Then we took a steep ladder down to the massive cellar where miles of limestone quarries had been created for storing wine.  This was easily the best part of any wine tour I've experienced.  The cool, dark caves winding beneath the Chateau were astounding to behold; it was almost an entirely new city underground.

We then stopped into the Barrel Room and continued ove…

Bordeaux- Brasserie Bordelaise

Usually on European vacations I'm obsessed with getting Steak Tartare in every form possible. Which was still true on this trip, it just took a serious back seat to Mr. T's vacation duck obsession.

Duck Confit to be exact but since that dish isn't available in most restaurants other forms of duck would  have to suffice.  Mr. T had already enjoyed a classic Duck Breast at Gordon Ramsey the day before but now we moved onto to Brasserie Bordelaise; a bustling spot right in the heart of the city.  

When the meal begins with a complimentary tin of pate you just know the meal is going to be something special.

The Duck Breast arrived perfectly scored on the top with their signature red wine bordelaise sauce for drizzling.  This was rich and juicy with just enough fat to melt into the meat and make it incredibly tender.

It was served alongside a huge bowl of frites that was more than ample for the entire table.  I was still full from our big lunch at Le Saint Julien so I ordered what …