Hopper…the Whitney…NYC–

The gringo senses there is more to this guy than just ‘Nighthawks’…mmhhmmm.
Human moments captured for our contemplation…what are we all doin’ here anyway?
Hopper knows that we all stare out the window wondering, ‘wtf?’
The gringo lost in the meatpacking district…send help pleeeezzzzzz.

BAM! There is an Edward Hopper exhibit happening at the Whitney here in New York Citaaaaay right now…you should check it out if you can…

…it ends on March 5…

…so you should get over here RIGHT NOW…

…or any time before March 5.

Hopper is quite the artist…there is much more to him than Nighthawks…much to my surprise.

He can draw really well…he can paint really well…keen eye for moments of human activity and cityscapes that draw you in and make you go, ‘wow, woweewowow…what are we all doin’ here anyway?’

The Whitney is on Gansevoort Street in the meatpacking district of Manhattan,,,

…wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon…

…so much to see and do in the Whitney…lovely…

…just be careful when wandering around outside down here…

…the Louis Vuitton store is close by, and the sales people are working hard to get us to buy a bag covered in polka dots…

…we must resist…

…or not if polka dots are your thing…

…you do you.

It’s lovely out there.

#1 steak joint…Paris–

Let’s eat some meat!
Pork terrine…quite possibly the most delightful one I have ever gobbled–jaaaa! The owner approves of my choice.
Cote de boeuf for two…cooked saignant (rare)…absolutely delicious.

BAM! Here we are at a joint called Severo in the 14th arrondissement of Paris…we want to gobble some beef, and this is the place to do it.

Severo is considered by some to be the top steakhouse in town, and I find it hard to disagree with this…the meat is absolutely top-notch, supposedly the only place in Paris that ages their meats, and the preparation is as good as it gets…it feels like this is the way beef is “supposed to be cooked.”

A dude called William Bernet owns Severo…his is a butcher descended from a long line of butchers out in the countryside. He butchers all of the meat personally…then hands it off to his chef to be cooked.

The chef is a dude called Johnny Beguin…we can see his bald head in the kitchen behind the high zinc bar we are seated near…he cooks away while we enjoy a glass of champagne and a pork terrine.

Ah, the pork terrine…you can see it above…prepared by this humble crew in-house…it is wonderful. Fragrant, bright, crisp and oh-so full of porky flavor…this is quite possibly the tastiest and most delightful pork terrine we have ever had–BOOM!

Then we move on to our beef…we go with the cote de boeuf for two, a generous hunk beef with a substantial rib bone attached…William slices it off of a larger hunk of beef, hands it to Johnny…Johnny cooks this baby to perfection–“saignant” is the French word for this…it literally translates to ‘bloody’…we gringos refer to this simply as rare-to-medium-rare.

After cooking, the meat is allowed to rest for a good amount of time as we sip champagne, devour our pork terrine and select a bottle of wine that is opened so it can breathe a bit before our meat is brought to us.

The cote is delivered to us as you see above, sliced, full of meat juices and ready to be gobbled. . .

. . .and gobble this thing we do…it is soft, juicy, full of flavor and absolutely delicious…we love it.

We wash it down with a Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, Chateau Meylet…wonderful.

I skip dessert after this…

…I…just…can’t…fit anything else into my belly…I am satisfied…all is good…I can skip the sweets just this one time.

We love this joint for outstanding steak…but it is important to note that Severo is small–a ‘petit coin’ (little corner)…tiny…only 20 seats or so…

…this means you eat, digest a bit, pay the bill and move on…

…not a lot of atmosphere…

…though the owner chats with all patrons in a warm and familiar manner.

Maybe if we eat here 2 or 3 more times he will chat with us…

…this might be fun at some point.

But for now all you need to know is that this is a serious meat joint…only come here if you really want to experience beef in a deep and gobbly way…if you don’t want to go with the program here, then you might have a less-than-enjoyable time.

Now I gotta go take a nap and let this meat digest. . .mmm, aaaahh!

It’s lovely out there.

Paris tidbits–

Sunrise is the right time for love and joy and magic in Paris…or anywhere, but especially so here.
Luxembourg Gardens have a calming influence on the gringo…niiiiice.
Buttery langoustines at Dumonet also calm the gringos…and make us go, “YUM!”
Strolling Rue Saint-Dominique…always a jaw-dropper…tres jolie.
Souffle avec Grand Marnier at Dumonet…another jaw-dropper…mmm, aaaahh!
Post-lunch cognac at Dumonet…soothing. Can we eat here every week for the rest of our lives, pleeezzz?!
We find Maupassant’s grave in Montparnasse Cemetery on the stroll home…priceless.

This town seeps under our skin a little more every day…woos us…sucks us in…deeper and deeper until we moan, “ok, we will stay forever and ever.”

The sunrise kisses us as we drink morning coffee…

…the parks tickle us as we do our morning walkies…

…the streets paw at us as we search for our next lunch spot…

…the food warms us deep into our souls as we gobble the day away.

There is seemingly something important to see around EVERY corner.

We walk through a cemetery on the way home from lunch. Paris is a town that moves one to do this occasionally…

…the cemeteries here are gorgeous…

…everything here is gorgeous…

…we are drawn inside.

Important people are buried here, there and everywhere…

…we just stumble upon favorites without really trying: for example, Guy de Maupassant is buried in this spot in Montparnasse Cemetery…WOW! Author of Bel Ami and Pierre et Jean…two wonderful novels…written by this dude, buried right here…a skilled novelist, student of Flaubert, lover of life, women, food, drink, writing, breathing and being alive. Keep resting peacefully, Guy, and thank you!

We continue on wandering through Paris…

…knowing that so many more ‘heroes’ of ours worked here, dined here, drank here, lived here…

…and died here.

We are humbled and gratified to walk in the footsteps of all who strutted their stuff throughout history in this most-lovely of towns.

Come here…check it all out…

…Paris is always ready to welcome and charm the heck out of you.

It’s lovely out there.

Lunch at a classic joint…Allard–

The gringo is ready to gobble…jaaaa!
Frog legs in a bubbling cauldron of butter and herbs…extremely delicious!
Sea bass…crispy skin, succulent flesh, soothing mushrooms–wonderful!
Rabbit moutard stew with perfect potatoes…amazing!
Our favorite profiteroles ever? Maybe…
Thank you, Chef Laetitia Rouabah…you are superb!

BAM! Time for lunch here at Restaurant Allard…a classic bistro of Paris–jaaaa!

This joint has been around since 1932…you enter facing the kitchen…heat from the stoves hits us–mmm, aaah…we are soothed.

We are greeted warmly…efficiently we are shown to our table…tiny…cozy…across from the bar…classic bistro seating.

Start with glasses of champagne…lovely.

Time to order…let’s do frog legs, rabbit stew with potatoes and a sea bass pleeeeeezzzzzz.

Frog legs are bubbling in a cauldron of butter and herbs…this dish is delectable.

Rabbit stew is in a mustard sauce/broth…amazing.

Small potatoes are perfect…just perfect.

Sea bass is expertly cooked…crispy skin, succulent meat…served on a bed of well-seasoned mushrooms…yummy.

We wash everything down with a solid Pouilly Fuisse…crisp, dry, scintillating.

For dessert we do the Allard profiteroles…the chocolate sauce is thicker here than we typically see in other places, and we love it. This could be my favorite profiterole experience to date…mmhhmmm!

Lots of gringos eat here–ugh…but don’t let this put you off. . .

. . .you just settle into your little table with your favorite partner, let the atmosphere seep into your soul and enjoy a lunch that will sooth your spirit.

We love Restaurant Allard…you will, too.

It’s lovely out there.

Superb lunch in the 11th…Paris–

Let’s do some lunch…this joint is full of good stuff…mmhhmm!
Pate en croute…possibly my favorite one I have ever eaten–wonderful!
Tuna tartare topped with delightful veggies…fabulous!
Wild boar with truffles and a lovely jus…delectable!
Tourte de pigeon…amazingly good!
Cauliflower and inner bits of the boar…totally delicious!
Icy fruit and sweet crunchies…perfect ending.

WOW! We are having lunch at a joint called Vantre out here in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, and it is stupendous!

Folks have told us to eat here…we are giving it a try, and it lives up to all of the hype we are hearing.

For this meal we start with a pate en croute–maybe the most interesting I have ever eaten…and a tuna tartare topped with delectable greens and veggies and loveliness–this thing is wonderful.

Then we do a wild boar with shaved truffles and a tasty jus–magical…

…and a tourte de pigeon (pigeon pie) that is totally delectable.

The boar comes with a confit of inner bits and cauliflower…wildly gobbleworthy!

Everything is washed down with a soothing Macon blanc…mmm, aaah!

Dessert is a fruity icy crunchy concoction that makes us go, “JAAAAA!!”

We love this place. . .the chef is a Japanese guy who cooks like a mad genius. . .

. . .we want to eat here again and again and again.

Check it out some time, you will love it, too–I gar-ron-taaaaayy!

On to our next meal…

…it’s lovely out there.

The home of Mbappe, Messi, Neymar etc.–

We are ready for some football, aka soccer…jaaaa!
Tickets, oui…now ou la entree?
Safely inside and seated…now GO MBAPPE!

BAM! It’s the first Ligue 1 game since the World Cup ended…

…and it is our first time attending a Paris Saint-Germain match here in their home stadium: Parc des Princes in west Paris.

Excited to be here…

…though the stadium is a bit rough-hewn…

…industrial exposed concrete construction…

…surprisingly small bathrooms…

…looooong lines for snacks…

…military-looking police with assault rifles stationed everywhere…

…but we suck it up and settle into our seats for the match against Strasbourg…

…and chant with everyone else: ICI C’EST…PARIS!

Mbappe plays well…

…Neymar displays moments of magic–though gets a red card for diving in the penalty area…ugh…

…and Messi is still down in Argentina celebrating the World Cup win, so he’s a no-show.

Nevertheless, Les Rouge-et-Bleu pull out the win with a penalty kick by Mbappe in the final minutes…

…the crowd goes crazy…

…the current world’s best player does it again…

…c’est bon!

What an honor to be here watching some of greatest footballers in one of the greatest cities on the planet…

…check this joint out some time…you might like it.

It’s lovely out there.

Art show?…Paris?…YES!

She hung with the big boys…most-definitely worthy of our attention.
Large pieces of abstraction…mmm, aaaah.
Joan Mitchell…uhm, badazz.
She reflects, we reflect…what is this all, this mysterious existence? No one knows, just do your work and enjoy.
Comparisons are intriguing between these two titans…great show!

Here at the Louis Vuitton Foundation museum in Paris a retrospective of Joan Mitchell is happening right now.

Her work is on display alongside works by Claude Monet…a comparison that is quite jaw-dropping.

Monet is, well, Monet…lots of great stuff–waterlilies, cathedrals, landscapes, etc. in abstraction and some quite representational.

Joan Mitchell’s work is contrasted and highlighted alongside Monet’s…she often takes Monet works to another level of abstraction…lovely and fascinating to take all of this in during an afternoon.

We highly recommend this show if you are in Paris over the next month or two.

But beyond this timeframe we give huge thumbs-up to the Louis Vuitton Foundation museum itself…

…designed by Frank Gehry–fun building…

…located in west Paris inside the huge Bois de Boulogne park–giant, wild oasis of nature…

…loaded with wonderful spaces packed with wonderful artworks–WOW!

So, see the show if you can…

…if you can’t, then definitely visit this museum some time…

…you will love it–I gar-ron-taaaay!!

It’s lovely out there.

Lunching in Paris…pas de probleme–

Holiday energy everywhere in Paris…lovely. Now what’s for lunch?
How about Chez Andre? Yes, a fabulous choice for lunch…mmm, aaaahh!
Or how about La Fontaine de Mars? Yes, another wonderful choice…we approve!
And the chef approves, too…merci, chef…sante!
And a post-lunch beverage at Harry’s…not a bad idea at all–jaaaa!

Lunching in Paris is endlessly fun, delicious and delightful.

We prefer lunching around town because a solid mid-day meal works best with our energy and digestive routines…

…plus it’s daylight, we can stroll around, search for other future lunching joints, pop into cafes or bars for a quick cocktail, hit a museum, window shop on wonderful boulevards, visit parks, check out cemeteries (Paris has amazing cemeteries) or just roll back to our hotel and prepare for the next day’s lunch.

You gotta plan…you gotta do a little research…you gotta make reservations…

…don’t roll into any of these great joints without a reservation, you will only find rejection and disappointment.

We love Chez Andre…smooth, chill, crackling with energy and great grub.

We like La Fontaine de Mars…efficient, crawling with gringos, good grub.

We endured Harry’s…total gringo joint, lovely decor, glory and intrigue passed long ago…

…have a drink, snap a photo and move on.

Now we press ahead in search of our next lunching destinations…

…meanwhile, you keep eating well.

It’s lovely out there.

A Paris Xmas–

Carr de l’Odeon twinkles with holiday energy…mmm, aaaah!
Holiday oysters make us twinkle with delight…jaaa!
Le Dome…table romantique…holiday lunch our way…magic.
Holiday decor…champagne lighting…c’est bon!
A little dessert pour monsieur?…uhm, YES!
It certainly is…for the holidays or any time…sante!

Paris on Christmas Day is hard to beat…lovely…just lovely.

Lights are twinkling even though it is rainy and cool…

…wet streets are shining as we stroll here, there and everywhere.

People are bustling about…

…we are floating through this timeless cityscape…

…happy to be alive right here, right now.

We sip white wine…

…gobble delectable oysters…

…pick at tasty crabs…

…slurp down soothing snails…

…and enjoy the passage of time.

Viot in Marche Saint Germain takes care of us…

…Le Dome in Montparnasse welcomes us…

…and Relais Saint Germain invites us to stay for as long as we like.

WOW, what an honor to be here…

…at a magical time…

…in a magical place…

…feeling magic all around us…

…and sending joyous vibes to you and yours.

It’s lovely out there.

NOLA…naughty ‘n’ nice–

Champagne makes the room wait bearable…cheers!
Gotta have a balcony in NOLA…who dat!
Friday Lunch at Galatoire’s…laissez les bon temps roulez!
Bloodies and coffee start the day off right…mmhhmmm!
Don’t forget the gumbo with your brekky…Stanley still does it right–jaaaa!!
C’mon now…always magical.
Happy Holidays from NOLA, y’all!

New Orleans is special every day of the year, but we love being here during the ‘holiday season’…wreaths everywhere…cool temps…no crowds…tons of joy in the air…mmm, aaaahh!

Great things to do here this time of year include dinner at Sylvain, Friday Lunch at Galatoire’s, beignets at Cafe du Monde, strolling through an empty Jackson Square Park in front of St. Louis Cathedral, sipping beverages on a hotel balcony in the French Quarter, breakfast at Stanley, etc. and so on…

…magical all year ’round, but specially so NOW.

Be sure to keep enjoyin’ everything you can wherever you are…

…this mysterious existence is short and stupendous and kooky.

Happy happy!

It’s lovely out there.