Paris Est Amour: 3 Cafes We Loved

LES DEUX MAGOTS

Cafe Deux Magot
Cafe Deux Magot – Paris

 

The name originally belonged to a fabric and novelty shop at nearby 23 Rue de Buci. The shop sold silk lingerie and took its name from a popular play of the moment (1800s) entitled Les Deux Magots de la Chine. Its two statues represent Chinese “mandarins,” or “magicians” (and “alchemists,” depending upon one’s philosophical point of view), who gaze serenely over the room. These two oriental gentlemen are the source of the name for one of the great cultural landmark cafes of Saint-Germain des Pres. “Magot” literally means, “stocky figurine from the Far East.”[3] In 1873 the business transferred to its current location in the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1884 the business changed to a café and liquoriste, keeping the name.

Auguste Boulay bought the business in 1914, when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, for 400,000 francs (anciens). The present manager, Catherine Mathivat, is his great-great-granddaughter.

It was frequented by famed artists such as Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, Hemingway and Andre Breton.

Les Deux Magots is one of Paris’ most famous (and most touristy) cafés, but it’s a fun scene to sit and have a coffee out front if the weather’s good. Located in the formerly artsy and now trendy and espensive Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, Les Deux Magots is mostly famous for its prestigious clientele over the years, including Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso, Albert Camus; the list goes on and on  It’s a great feeling to sit enjoying a coffee and think about the brilliant folks who used to used to do the same thing in the same place.

6, place Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 75006 Paris

AU PETIT FER A CHEVAL

Cafe Paris
Cafe Au Petit fer a Cheval

A Marais institution, the Little Horseshoe is a pocket-size cafe-bar with an original horseshoe-shaped zinc bar from 1903. The place overflows with regulars from dawn to dark. Great apéro spot and great WC – stainless-steel toilet stalls straight out of a Flash Gordon film (actually inspired by the interior of the Nautilus submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea ).
30 rue Vieille du Temple4e

Au Petit Fer A Cheval means “little horseshoe” in French. The inside bar is shaped like a horseshoe. The place is petit. I passed it a few times without even realizing it. But this is one of the reasons why it has so much character. If you can find a seat at the bar you can eat or drink. They serve a reasonably priced menu and serve coffee and wine. There is seating outside but its limited. If you get the chance there is also a few tables to sit and dine behind the bar. If you are walking through the Marais I highly recommend it.

The name of Au Petit Fer Cheval is very appropriate. It is small, very small. The tiny entrance, bordered by few tiny pavement tables, leads into a very tight bar area, bringing people and waiters together and forcing conversation.

Interior of cafe Au Petit fer a Cheval
Interior Au Petit fer a Cheval

Past the bar is a dining area where the tables are so close that you will hear your neighbour breathing and possibly what they are thinking. You can have lunch and dinner throughout the day from Noon to 1.00 am.

We arrived about 2.00pm and managed to get a table. It seemed impolite in such a tight crowd to take photos of our meals. We chose the blackboard specials of veal (€12) and fish (€18) and a small carafe of wine (€12). All meals are served from a small servery that also doubles as the door to the kitchen.

meal at au petit fer a cheval
Tarte Tatin at Au Petit fer a Cheval

The chef, Pierre Beco, is also known for his duck confit and Aubrac beef sirloin served with fried potatoes and green vegetables. Tarte Tatin with fresh cream is also a speciality of the house.

The service was prompt, professional and friendly. All in all, a lovely atmosphere, good food and classic Parisian vibe. Be sure to check out the stainless-steel toilets inspired by the interior of the Nautilus submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

If you’re looking for authenticity, you won’t get much closer to Paris than Au Petit Fer à Cheval. If you can get a seat outside, you’ll have a prime view as Marais is all about people-watching.

Open for over a century, the early horseshoe was bought in 1990 by Xavier Denamur. With its latest dining room hidden counter-shaped horseshoe and its terrace overlooking the comings and goings of one of the most exclusive streets of the capital, this tiny bistro has quickly acquired an excellent reputation. The simple and authentic cuisine of chef Pierre Beco, the particularly warm friendliness of the place and all stainless steel toilets participated in the sit lasting notoriety of the former Café Bar Brazil.

Au Petit Fer à Cheval

30 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004 Paris
+33 1 42 72 47 47
Hours: 9.00am to 2.00am (every day); kitchen open from Noon to 1.15am.
Metro: Saint Paul, Hotel de Ville, Pont Marie. Bus: 69, 96, 76, 67

AU ROCHER DE CANCALE

This cafe in the busy market street of Rue Montorgueil seems to be busy from morning to dark.  Its rich history and sheer location in one of the most interesting streets in Paris makes the wait for a table worthwhile.  A crowded street, loud voices of the fruit vendors, tourists and well heeled Parisians fill this space with an amazing almost palpable energy.

Sitting watching the many different folk pass by, there is a real sense of history. The cafe was a favourite of Novelist Honoré de Balzac and again it is such a luxury to feel like you are sitting where these now famous people once also sipped coffee. Open since the mid 19th Century, if you can take a moment to enjoy the ambiance of this cafe will be most grateful.

78 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France

+33142335029

Got a favourite cafe in Paris?

 

 

Paris Est Amour: Our 3 Favorite Pastry Shops

Here at Dello Mano, we’re such advocates of handmade luxury food and products. While Dello Mano style is about refined rustic cakes and produce, Paris contines to provide us with inspiration in our commitment to handmade edible luxury. Paris is everything we dreamed about and more! The Parisian flair for creative artistry and distinct taste for opulence are such great influences, that we decided to share with you our love for the city of lights in a series we’ll be calling Paris est amour. Let’s get started with our favorite pastry shops:

LADURÉE

Laduree Entrace
Entrance to Laduree in Paris

Brief background:

In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller founded a bakery. After a fire, the bakery was transformed into a pastry shop in 1871, with popular painter Jules Cherét in-charge of the interiors.  With a combination of Parisian-style cafés and French patisserie goodness, the company opened a tea room for women and became one of the pioneers in the area. Ladurée brand further rose to fame when Pierre Desfontaines (grandson of Louis Ernest Ladurée) thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with ganache filling. The recipe for the ‘double-decker’ has not changed since then. Ladurée has been recognized as a French luxury sweets maker and the brand has also branched out to chocolates (Marquis Ladurée) and candles and home fragrances (Beauté Ladurée).

Fun Fact: The sweet treats Kirsten Dunst was eating in the film Marie Antoinette were from Ladurée, as chosen by director Sofia Coppola.

What we loved: The elegant interiors showed true Parisian flair. Together with the dainty packaging and fine china, it was a very luxurious experience. Of course, the  delectable sweets are amazing. The Strawberry cake in the picture below has to be one of the most precious edibles we have ever seen. We loved too the secrecy. With much fuss about no photography it has to be one of the most photographed food shops in the world.

Must-try products: strawberry tarts, pistachio pain au chocolat, St. Honoré, world-famous macarons (flavors like Fleur d’oranger, licorice, cassis and chocolate yuzu)

Locations: Ladurée Houses can be found in several countries across the globe and is increasing as I type this note. For a complete list of locations click here.

Laduree Interior
Laduree – the glamorous interior
Laduree strawberry
Laduree – most exciting cake.
laduree raspberries
Laduree Raspberry cake enjoyed by team Dello Mano

Continue reading “Paris Est Amour: Our 3 Favorite Pastry Shops”

15 Ways You Know You Are A Brownie Snob

1. Your child’s favorite snack is brownies and milk.

2. Your wedding cake was made of brownies.

Dello Mano Wedding Cake
Shane and Tammy Stefanutto

 

3. To you, brownies don’t just make for great snacks or desserts; you also know that they make any other dessert better.

Dello Mano Brownie Sundae
Dello Mano Brownie Sundae

4. You know exactly which brownie flavor goes best with coffee….. or beer

Beer and Brownie
Beer and Brownie Tasting

 

 or champagne or wine

Continue reading “15 Ways You Know You Are A Brownie Snob”

5 Kitchen Mishaps That Changed Food History

Kitchen accidents happen now and again. But the results aren’t always burnt food or inedible concoctions. Take a look at the humble beginnings of 5 food items now enjoyed worldwide:

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies

The delicious cookie recipe came about in 1930, when Ruth Wakefield, ownder of Toll House Inn substituted baking chocolate with smashed pieces of semi-sweet chocolate bar for the cookies she was baking. The result was a scrumptious batch of cookies with chunks of chocolate that soon became a hit in the Whitman, Massachusetts area.

Dello Mano chocolate chip cookies

2. Popsicle

Did you know that this frozen treat has been around since 1905? As the story goes, Frank Epperson was making a soda water mixture. He accidentally left the mixture on the back porch overnight, with the stirring stick still in the container. Epperson was amazed to find the frozen soda water on a stick that he shared his creation with his friends. These days, popsicles come in so many formulations. But perhaps the best thing about it is that we all can make them at home!

3. Sandwich

Continue reading “5 Kitchen Mishaps That Changed Food History”

Luxury Is A Red Door

I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a red door that I didn’t like.

Dello Mano
Our beautiful Dello Mano Red Doors

The RedDoor Bali is a magnificent escape, the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa is an indulgent retreat, those red doors in Scotland are simply pleasing to the eye.

RedDoor Bali

 

A peek at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa

 

Suffice it to say, I find red doors quite fascinating, inviting and majestic—for some reason. What is it about red doors that make it so luxurious? I did a little digging and here’s what I’ve found…

In Chinese tradition, red is the color of luck and happiness.

In Feng Shui and in early American tradition, a red front door means “welcome”.

Continue reading “Luxury Is A Red Door”

5 Ways To Spoil Mum on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is that one special day of the year when the most important women in our lives are celebrated. It’s always nice to give our supermums a restful break. After all that our mums have done (and keep on doing) for us, isn’t it about it we give back?

We’ve rounded up 5 ideas you might want to try. Take a look:

1. Start the day right with a great meal.

As a child, my siblings and I would let mum sleep in and bring her breakfast in bed. Sure we left the kitchen in a big mess and we served her a burnt toast (or two) but she loved it nonetheless!

Check out some recipes at myrecipes.com

When was the last time you made mum a meal? Bring out that inner chef in you and whip up something extra special for the most important meal of the day. Not a kitchen wiz or don’t have the time? Don’t fret, treat mum to Dello Mano Cafe for breakfast or lunch instead. She’ll love the ambiance and the meals that are fit for a queen.

Crepes anyone?
Eggs Benny with spinach and prosciutto

2. Schedule a spa date

Nothing says pampering like a relaxing retreat to a spa. Let mum soak up the stress and worries away, let the massage and treatments take her mind off the daily hustle and bustle—make her feel beautiful and cared for. Continue reading “5 Ways To Spoil Mum on Mother’s Day”

15 Chocolate Facts

Oh chocolate ! It is undeniably one of the most loved food in the world–from bars, luxury brownies, chocolate dipped strawberries and gift boxed chocolates–everything just seems better with chocolate, don’t you agree?

But did you know that chocolate actually has a very rich history? Take a look at some of the most amazing facts about our favorite sweet treat:

1. The scientific name of cocoa tree is Theobroma Cacao, Greek for “food for the Gods”. But the word chocolate actually comes from the Aztec term “Xocolatl” meaning bitter water.

cocoa bean
Deb our Brownie Master went to Africa – obsessed with learning everything about chocolate and brownies

2. Chocolate has been very valuable through history. The Aztecs believed that the cocoa beans are gifts from their god Quetzalcoatl and used them as currency (10 beans = a rabbit, 100 beans = a servant). In the American Revolutionary War, chocolate was used to  pay the soldiers.

3. The first chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry. His company Fry & Son eventually merged with Cadbury.

4. Most of the world’s chocolate supply comes from Latin America (15%), Asia (17%) and Africa (68%). 33% of the global supply actually comes from Côte d’Ivoire in Africa.

Continue reading “15 Chocolate Facts”

Tempt Your Tastebuds—5 of the World’s Most Expensive Desserts

As an old saying goes, “Always save room for dessert“. But have you heard that there are desserts we might have to save money for just to enjoy? It’s true! Just take a look at 5 of the world’s most expensive desserts:

Golden Opulence Sundae ($1,000)

New York City’s Serendipity 3 is known for great treats but this product is their most opulent on their product list. Recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2007 as “World’s Most Expensive Sundae”, Golden Opulence Sundae is so exclusive, reservations must be made 48 hours in advance.

Here’s a quick look at what goes into the Golden Opulence Sundae:

  • Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream
  • 23-carat gold leaf
  • Medei Porceleana chocolate and Chuao chocolate
  • gold dragets
  • grande passon caviar with fresh passion fruit

Brownie Extraordinaire ($1,000)

Continue reading “Tempt Your Tastebuds—5 of the World’s Most Expensive Desserts”

Feast Your Eyes On 5 Of The Most Expensive Chocolates In The World

5. Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle ($250)

Forbes Magazine recognized Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle as one of the priciest chocolates in the world. This decadence is made from a rare French Perigord truffle (which is worth $1,000 a pound) and a rich chocolate ganace (of heavy cream, Italian truffle oil, sugar and 71% single-bean Valrhona dark chocolate) and very fine cocoa powder.

The packaging is equally extravagant as the chocolate comes in a silver box with sugar pearls. Each Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle is made to order and has a shelf life of 7 days.

4. To’Ak Chocolates ($260)

Luxury is often equated with exclusivity. Exclusivity and the finest ingredients is why a 1.5 ounce bar of To’Ak Chocolate is considered to be the world’s most expensive pure chocolate bar. 574—this is the number of To’Ak bars produced in 2014. It is a small number for chocolate, mind you.

To’Ak is an 81-percent dark chocolate (ordinary chocolate contains just 5%) that is Fair-Trade and USDA organic. The name comes from the To’Ak cacao bean, which is found in the center of the chocolate. The beans are rare because the 1,000-acre forest where the beans come from is the only survivor of a 1916 “Witch’s Broom” disease.

Presentation and novelty is anything but your usual with To’Ak chocolate as it comes in a wooden gift box that has an Arriba Appelation map and wooden tongs (used to eat the chocolate bar).

3. DeLafée of Switzerland’s Gold Chocolate Box ($331.50)

The DeLafée Gold Chocalate box is part of the company’s line of edible gold creations. The set is a silk-draped wood box that contains 8 Swiss chocolates hand-decorated with 24 karat edible gold and an antique cold collectible (from the Swiss central bank from the years 1910 to 1920 valued at $133).

2. Golden Speckled Egg ($11,107)

In 2012, William Curley was awarded the Guinness World Records for his masterpiece—the Golden Speckled Egg—the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Egg (non-jewelled).

The egg was about 3×2 feet tall and weighed 50 kilograms. It was made with Amedei chocolate, edible gold leaf, 12 smaller couture chocolate eggs, 20 mini chocolate bars, and 5 white flowers. The outside looks delicious enough but the inside is equally luxurious with chocolates of different flavors (like muscovado carame, juniper berry and rosemary).

The record-setting chocolate creation took 3 days to make and was sold at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, UK, on March 20, 2012.

1. Frrrozen Haute Chocolate ($25,000)

Serendipity 3 is known for delicious desserts and comfort food. But perhaps with a price tag of $25,000, this hot chocolate would be the most comforting of all. This combination of haute couture and chocolate is made from 27 cocoas from different locations around the globe, Le Madeline au Truffle shavings, and 5 grams of 23 carat gold to name a few.

The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate is served in a goblet lined with edible 18 carat gold crown and diamonds, and it comes with a golden spoon too.

These chocolates sure delight the senses, don’t they? But if you like luxury you can enjoy without the massive cost (and cost of travel too), why not try something from Dello Mano? We’ve got truffles, cakes, luxury brownies and so much more.

Here’s a little sneak peek just for you. 😉

Confession Time: 3 Secrets Behind Our Luxury Brownies

Since we started in 2006, we always get asked “Why handmade?” and “What makes your brownies so delicious?”

Dello Mano has stood the test of time. And we know that it’s our clients, who share the same passion for excellence as we do, that really have helped to get us to where we are now. Today though, we thought it might be fitting to let you in on a few of our secrets.

1. Handmade with love

To us “Dello Mano” is more than just an Italian translation for “of the hand”.  It means the magic of careful craftsmanship, ingenuity and dedication to quality. Each product that comes out of the Dello Mano kitchen is a reflection of our values, our commitment to creat nothing but our best.

We take pride in coming up with our own special recipes, handpicking what goes into the treats and wrapping them up perfectly. The whole team–every single member of the Dello Mano family is responsible for bringing to you each flavorful bite.

From the flavor and recipe development, to cooking and baking and up to the moment you open the elegant packages–we keep the promise of excellence you can taste.

2. Premium quality ingredients

Only the finest, freshest ingredients go into Dello Mano products. The base of luxury brownies for instance, make use of Redland Bay free-range eggs, the highest-quality Belgian chocolate, and Australian butter (from grass-fed cattle).

Continue reading “Confession Time: 3 Secrets Behind Our Luxury Brownies”