I’m missing Paris like crazy these days. It’s been a while since I’ve been back and my heart is literally aching. I’m dying to put on a fabulous dress and just wander the streets until I get hungry enough to sit down at a café and promptly devour an entire baguette and wheel of Camembert by myself. I want to take le métro to the flea market where, upon arrival at Porte de Clignancort, I’ll have to lift the little latch in order to exit the train. I want to dip my fries into my poulet rôti au jus at Brasserie Lipp. I want to drink red wine until my French just rolls off my tongue.
Paris is where I feel most at home. I find myself gravitating towards anything that connects me with my favorite city. Here are some of the rituals and goodies that help keep Paris in my heart until I get the chance to return again.
I simply adore everything about Balthazar (except the tourists). My favorite time to go is breakfast because I like to sit at the bar and enjoy my eggs while reading a magazine. It reminds me of my mornings at Café de Flore, where the women look fabulous sipping their coffee in their Louboutins. I’m usually wearing yoga pants, which seriously detracts from my fantasy, but sometimes I put on real clothes—with zippers and buttons—and feel hyper contente. I love to sit on the benches outside with a café au lait and just watch the world go by.
Comptoir des Cotonniers
This is hands-down my favorite French store. It might be one of my favorite clothing stores ever. I have been shopping at Comptoir des Cotonniers since college and I still wear the clothes I bought my junior year abroad when I lived in Tours, France. Every time I traveled to Paris I would stock up on classic pieces—tailored coats, leather bags, simple little dresses. It was a happy day when Comptoir des Cotonniers opened stores in New York City! All of the pieces from their Spring line would look fabulous at Balthazar.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that La Colombe serves the best coffee in NYC. If you’re ordering yours to stay, they serve it to you in a beautiful Turkish-inspired coffee cup, which of course makes it taste better. The line is around the block in the mornings, so you know it has to be good (because New Yorkers don’t wait in line for anything, unless it’s a new iPhone or a Shack Burger). The taste transports me to Paris dans un instant.
I hardly ever travel above 23rd Street, but when I have to work on the Upper West Side my heart literally skips a beat—an excuse to eat at Bar Boulud! I pretty much love everything about it. It’s a great place to meet up for a cheese plate and a glass of wine. It’s the perfect dinner spot after an evening at Lincoln Center. You should also check out Épicerie Boulud where you can get un jambon-beurre to go.
Madewell has the cutest little Spring dresses right now that are tellement chic. I’m especially in love with this one, conveniently called the “Bistro Dress” (I kid you not). Add a little trench and a beret et voilà!
Although I like to think of myself as fashion savvy, the truth is my fashion muscles atrophied the day I put on my first pair of stretchy yoga pants. I’m not proud of this, but the UGGs call to me. What I love about Saint James is that you can create an instant outfit with one of their striped shirts. Throw on some Ray-Bans and Chucks and you look instantly put together.
Balthazar photo by Melina Hammer