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thewishingtable

a delicious map of Paris & more or a cultural/culinary travel-concierge

Month

September 2015

Biarritz

The Basque Country is just stunning beautiful. I spent my late childbed there which was great but if I would have been fitter I would have been able to explore more. And that´s what you wanna do there cause it has so much to offer. The beautiful coast with many different beaches, picturesque villages, delicious basque cherry cakes, hikes in the Pyrenees, kayaking, horse riding…

We stayed in a townhouse in Biarritz which was just perfect and 3 min walk to the main beach and a 15min walk to the market hall. You should´t miss the market hall. It´s a cute market with fresh and local products. On the right side you have fish and fruits de mer and on the left you have everything else, both halls invite you to eat at the place. Or you just go outside and grab a bite in one of the tapas bars around the market. We had a perfect delicious dinner Le Bistro des Halles next door where they set up a table for us outside thus we have enough space for the stroller. And just stones throw away is Bonheur- La maison du Hamburger where André will welcome you with a big smile and a joke on his lips at all times while serving you a truly yummy burger. And isn´t a great burger with French Fries the perfect food after a day at the beach anyway? Furthermore he helped us to carry the stroller inside. And that´s what´s best about Biarritz : the people! They are friendly, laid back and always ready to help. There is no “vous” everybody just calls you casually by “tu” and just like that you have arrived in your holidays. Pack your towel and your Espandrilles and off you go for an easy going beach holiday. What´s pretty cool is that every beach has a food truck or bar where you can get cold beverages, coffee, wine and sandwiches/burgers. The most “expensive” coffee was 1,50€. Even the almost abandoned beach Lafitenia has on the top a food truck and some deck chairs to watch the ocean and the people paragliding here. On the beach itself you will find only a ruin of a restaurant and a shower which is still working. The beach is beautiful as the forest just hits the sand and somehow you feel like you are on a beach in Asia. But if you are at the main beach of Biarritz town (Grande Plage) don´t miss the best ice cream I have ever had in France, try the chocolate and caramel at least! And not far away just behind the Orthodox Church in Rue de la Bergerie you find many great food shops if you are planning on a beach picnic. By the way the cheese with truffles from the Cremerie St Charles was superb.

Beaches

  • Cote Basque – the famous one
  • Plage du Port Vieux – the kid-friendly one
  • Plage Lafitenia – the hidden wild one
  • Promedande de la Plage (Guéthary) – the calm one
  • Plage de la Petite Chambre d Amour – the cool one

IMG_6362 Plage du Vieux Port

The California of Europe is not only a great spot for surfers and sun worth shippers. Actually you would miss out on a lot if you just hang on the beach. We had fun watching a Pelota game at Sare where we also had the most delicious cherry cake ever from Hotel Arraya. On the way there you can stop and take the train up La Rhune which is considered to be a holy mountain in Basque culture. Instead of going by train you can hike up to La Rhune, calculate about 5h to go up there. There are many beautiful villages, mythic places,hikes, rivers for kayaking, golf courses and horse classes in the region. We did´t make it to Espalette where the famous chilli comes from. But we will be back when our baby is old enough to enjoy beaches and mountains. Actually I don´t think it´s possible to get bored there even with 4 weeks holidays on your hands.

IMG_6322 View from the village Sare

All places and more are marked in the map. Click on the marker for a short description. Red markers: restaurants/ food/ market , orange marker: sightseeing , blue markers: beaches

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The Italian Wishing-Table

Oh, Italian food… Italy, this place of nostalgia and estival dreams contributes the world with a truly delicious and diversified cuisine. Uncountable varieties of dishes with tomatoes and garlic haul out a yum of everybody´s mouth! I basically grew up with Italian food, till today my Mum makes a mouthwatering lasagna when we kids come home. That´s properly why Italian dishes make me feel homy. But I truly admire the variety of their cooking. Here in Paris my favourite places are Acquolina in Bocca where you should try the sardines with slow cooked onion rings and raisins. The pumpkin ricotta mushroom lasagna was also very remarkable. La Dispensa is my find of 2015. The menu changes all the time, they focus on umbrian cuisine. Both serve organic wines. Just this weekend I stumbled across a new place close to Place des Voges where I had the most delicious pizza with truffles and the best panna cotta with limoncello sauce ever in Paris. I will quickly add the place to the map.

Il Goto / Metro Dugommier

New upscale Italian, bit cold deco but nice food in a food desert area. High quality ingredients cooked with a twist, you will find dished like pasta with goat meat and mint leaves or black polenta with scampi on the menu. No pizza or lasagna 😉

Acquolina in Bocca ♥  Metro Saint-Ambroise

Delicious organic, homemade food, main courses under 15€! With terrace and boutique. Safe bet!      CLOSED!!!

La Dispensa ♥  Metro République 

Oh my god! This little joint is just awesome and in the run to become my favourite place of the year 2015. Food is delicious, made with love, wines are organic, decor is great, prices are fair and the service is kind with a big smile. What else can you ask for? (A dish comes for less than 15€.)

Café Martini ♥  Metro Bastille or Chemin Vert

After renovations a cosy place with Moroccan lamps and a typical Italian counter where I have had one of the best”creme deca” (coffee) in Paris. Nice atmosphere with people taking their espresso at the bar. If you are having lunch you can sit down on one of the tables. I tried an amazing pizza with black truffles for 8€ and the best Panna cotta with limoncello cream I have had in town. starters/tapas and desserts come for 7-13€ and main are between 18 and 25€. I was happy with 1 tapas plus 1 dessert. Absolutely would recommend this place, even the service could be bit quicker and attentive… especially when you are with kids. Not that they are not nice but you got the feeling they are still rookies in the business. 😉

Le Camion a Pizzas / 104 / Metro Riquet 

Great pizza for 10€

L`Osteria dell Anima  Metro Oberkampf

Homemade fresh pasta, great food, but moody service, does´t take reservations for more than 4.

Il Prezzemolo  Metro Filles du Calvaire

Nice for a sundowner, good antipasti, but packed with people. More a bar than a restaurant. Space for big groups.

I Cugini Metro Poissoiniere or Gare du l´Est

Cosy place and no disappointments, pasta, pizza and wine good and affordable, good for a lovely evening with friends or a date. Only drop of bitterness: the tiramisu wasn´t made with mascarpone.

La Gondula  Metro Oberkampf

Homy, cosy , rustic pizza & pasta place, good for lunch. Good with kids too. Pizza with Pistazzio was super good.

IMG_7678 IMG_7680 Pizza with truffle and Panna Cotta with Limoncello cream at Café Martini

Penne all`arrabbiata

Sure, you might know this dish from pretty much every Italian menu in the entire world… and you might not think of it as something outstanding, just a regular pasta dish. Sometimes you don´t need crazy, you just need really good, really savoury, a mighty meal! And it´s good to have comfort food, that does´t have to surprise you with every bite but gives you this warm feeling of security and comfort. Noodles are quick and easy to do- that´s another reason why they are the perfect comfort food. Try this “simple” pasta and you will taste and know why this dish is on every Italian menu.

  • 100g parma ham
  • 1 glas of pasteurised tomatoes ( or make the tomato sauce yourself with about 600g of tomatoes)
  • 1 bund of parsley
  • 2 chillies
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 big spoons of butter (or more)
  • salt & pepper
  • 500g Penne (for 4)
  • parmesan

Slice the parma ham, cut the onions and garlic. Boil water to blanch the tomatoes and smash them through a strainer to make your own tomato sauce. Boil water and cook the penne almost al dente. Don´t overcook- that´s important because you gonna continue cooking them in the sauce later. Place a big pan on the fire and melt the butter, add the onions and after a minute the parma ham, keep stirring, now add the garlic and chilli. Finally you add the tomato sauce. And yes it´s ok to cheat and to just add a glass (never a can) of pasteurised tomatoes. Let it simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes and keep stirring the sauce. Now get the noodles out of the water and add them to, mix well and let it cook till the noodles are al dente. Meanwhile you can chop the parsley and mix it with the penne. Add salt and pepper, take the chillis out and serve it with parmesan. So yummy!!! Nice with a good red wine…

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