Gerard Mulot
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"We arrived on Friday, and got settled in our apartment which was right behind the St. Sulpice church Located in the 6th Arrondissement. Our first stop of the day, every morning, was my girlfriend’s favorite patissierrie, Gerard Mulot (with the best pastries of the entire trip). Luckily, it was just a few steps from our apartment! We always started with the Tart Au Citron."

picnic
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"On Saturday, we got an early start and visited some local shops for a picnic on the Jardin de Tuileries after we visited the Louvre. The picnic lunch became a favorite, and we kept getting better at it!"

farmers market
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"The next day, we went to the Farmers market on Rue Raspail in the morning (we planned on cooking in our flat that night due to some warnings from local Parisians about possible riots after the election results!). We picked up radishes for a salad, potatoes and some great looking duck breasts which I seared and served with a pan sauce I made from a local farmer’s hard cider. As for the riots, there were police everywhere… but ultimately no commotion."

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Étoile
4 of 10
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The "Fish & Chips" at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Étoile.

"On Monday, we had a lunch reservation at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Étoile, a two Michelin star restaurant by the lauded French chef Joel Robuchon. The food was tasty, but I am glad we went for lunch—it was a fairly casual concept for a two star, and a good portion of the seating was at the counter. It was fun to watch the kitchen during lunch (but maybe not for dinner). One of the highlights was the mashed potatoes, which we were informed are 50% potato, 50% butter, by weight."

meat market
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"The next day, we took a day trip to Versailles, which meant another picnic lunch in the palace’s vast gardens. We visited a few markets and created quite a lunch! Foie Gras pate, pate de campagne, parma ham, miniature chorizos, epoisse cheese, fluer de maquise cheese, Terrine de Tete (head cheese), fresh cherries, and a baguette, of course!"

tower
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"Wednesday was our last full day in Paris, so we did some more sightseeing including the obligatory pic in front if the Eiffel tower. The tower was nice and all, but l was way more excited about our dinner that night at Michel Rostang, another two Michelin star establishment. The restaurant was a bit stuffy, and very old school. One of the patrons at a close-by table actually fell asleep while being presented food. One of the standout dishes was a roast pigeon breast with sesame caramel, pigeon liver mouse, and roast pigeon leg wrapped in shaved asparagus."

Valence, France
7 of 10
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Valence, France

"On Thursday, we drove to Lyon (I would not recommend driving in Lyon) and indulged in a wine tasting at E.Guigal, a massive Rhone valley wine producer. We spent Friday driving south towards Valence, France along the Rhone river and valley. Such beautiful wine country through Cote Rotie and the Northern Rhone! We got lost looking for the first winery, and almost drove the car off a steep vineyard hill…"

macarons
8 of 10
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Colorful macarons in Valence.

"We had lunch in Valence, a beautiful little city with lots of cool shops where we found, naturally, more pastries! After lunch we headed to our second winery, Domaine Graillot in Les Hermitage and had a nice time chatting with the winemaker’s son, Maxime Graillot."

foie
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"After eating way too many macarons, we drove back to Lyon to rest up for our dinner at Magali et Martin, for which we had 8 pm reservations. We arrived promptly at 8 pm, and found that the restaurant was closed! At 8 pm on Friday! Just a little note on the door! Luckily, we remembered another restaurant recommended by the wine maker earlier in the day, Les Potager des Halles, and were able to score a table. Apparently, 8 pm is REALLY early to eat dinner in France. The food at Les Potager was great, one of our better meals, with very fresh flavors, and of course, plenty of foie gras!"

Guy Lassausaie
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Fillet of red mullet roast, fricassee of mushrooms and walnuts, thyme jus and orange oil at Guy Lassausaie

"On Saturday, our last full day in France, we had a great day shopping in Lyon. Lyon has a WAY younger vibe than I was expecting (read: lots of kebab and gyro restaurants) and a very lively night life! We had reservations at another two Michelin star restaurant that night, located a bit outside of Lyon in Chesselay, called Guy Lassausaie. This was one of my favorite meals, a very modern restaurant that had a younger crowd than our other Michelin-starred meals. We arrived for our reservation at 7:30, and were the first to arrive (again, the French dine late!). We went for the Degustation menu (of course) and it was five fish courses with one white meat course, as well as a cheese course, two dessert courses and wine pairing! Whew! We were on of the last tables to leave, around midnight. An amazing last supper!"

Gerard Mulot
picnic
farmers market
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Étoile
meat market
tower
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Valence, France
macarons
foie
Guy Lassausaie
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