TV host Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) really came to love Paris 45 years ago when she and her husband, Jeffrey, made their way across Europe with a tent and camping stove. Back then, way before artisanal was a buzzword, she discovered street-market farm stands and boulangeries, and “how extraordinary simple food can be when it’s made with really good ingredients.” Her new cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, honors that philosophy, as well as her longtime travel partner.
Reserve these tables
“For special occasions, we go to Chez l’Ami Louis. The meals (and the prices) are beyond outrageous at this bistro. ‘People cry, beg, and weep for a table,’ author Patricia Wells says.
If you can’t get in, try the chic Monsieur Bleu, which has views of the Eiffel Tower. From the burgers to elegant foie gras, its dishes are modern and delightful.
I also love Ellsworth. It’s of the “très Brooklyn” style that’s so popular in Paris right now. The food is loosely based on American cuisine but made with France’s extraordinary products.”
Paris in bloom
“Moulíe is such a classic, stylish Parisian florist. And I love that they grow many of the flowers, such as peonies and hydrangeas, themselves.”
The best Parisian carbs
“Poilâne is considered to have the best bread in town, and they’ll even FedEx their famous four-pound loaf to you for $30.
Everyone wonders if Kayser is the next Poilâne. You don’t have to wonder; both are fantastic. I love Kayser’s flûte, a baguette with so much flavor.
My favorite pastry shop is Pâtisserie des Rêves. Order the gorgeous tarte Tatin (an upside-down apple pastry) and lemon tarts.
Then try Pierre Hermé’s more unusual baked goods. The kitchen uses odd flavor combinations like peach-apricot-saffron.”
A feast in the park
“I love picking up food and eating in Luxembourg Gardens. On colder days, Jeffrey and I sit on a bench near the Orangerie in the gardens. Sometimes we bring amazing sandwiches from takeout shop Gérard Mulot.
The market that really made me want to live in Paris, though, is Boulevard Raspail Market, just west of the park. Farmers bring the most precious raspberries.
At nearby Quatrehomme, you’ll find cheese the way it was meant to be: out in the open and totally natural. Let their expert staff guide your way.”
A well-deserved classic
“There’s no ice cream in the world like Berthillon’s. The chocolate tastes just like frozen truffles. I also admire that—in true French fashion—although it’s an ice cream store, it’s closed in August!”
See all of Ina Garten’s favorite spots in Paris here.