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Delicious spirit

  • May 27, 2008
There are an awful lot of general guides to Parisian caf├ęs, shops, and restaurants -- I know because I've read a bunch of them this year. But few ... no, I take it back, none of the others have the flair, the personality, the brio (what's French for "brio"?) of "Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris" by popular blogger Clotilde Dusoulier.

"Edible Adventures" is like those other books insofar as it can be rough sledding to try to sit and read 250 pages of restaurant descriptions from end to end. Far better, I think, to carry this along with you as you plan your own edible adventure and concentrate on an area that interests you most. But while so many of those other books affect the high-toned loftiness of a historian or museum docent, Clotilde's combination of exuberance and expertise makes for a much warmer and more inviting guide. I think the New York Times reviewer quoted on the back cover nailed it with her (his?) description of the author as "the Parisian friend we all wish we had." I was told recently, by someone in a position to know, that publishers demand books like this include recipes. Clotilde doesn't let us down here, either. I was surprised by the apparent complexity of some of these (sea bass in almonds and caper crust? pork and swiss chard terrine?), but you can't argue with their authenticity.

I read through this book very quickly, and admit to skimming many of the restaurant descriptions. I know, though, that barring having the author herself to take us around, this book is one I'd want to have along on our theoretical Parisian vacation.

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About the reviewer
Andrew S. Rogers ()
Ranked #362
Mostly, I'm a moderately prolific Amazon.com reviewer who's giving Lunch a try as another venue for my reviews.
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About this book


Dusoulier (Chocolate and Zucchini) combines the best of easy-to-page-through travel guides with the friendly, immediate feel of her charming blog and other Internet resources to provide the ideal foodie's guide to Paris. Dusoulier's inquisitiveness, sharp observation and affection for list-making serve her well in making this culinary heaven seem manageable. Her restaurant recommendations for each of the 20 arrondissements feel fresh and personalized, like tips from a friend, and most are relatively affordable if one follows Dusoulier's advice for when and what to eat. She also includes a welcome range of cuisines, unlike many Paris guides; boxed sections feature Japanese, Indian and Chinese quarters of the city, with food from numerous other nations sprinkled throughout, but she doesn't neglect classic brasseries and neo-bistros. Nearly as valuable as the lists are Dusoulier's pointers on reading menus, how to treat the staff and French restaurant quirks. The book's second half features judiciously selected markets, bakeries, cheese shops and other specialty outlets; again, international travelers will be gratified by her attention to non-French stores as well as those selling the best escargots, honey and wine from around the country. Topping off the book, a dozen intriguing recipes.(Apr.)
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ISBN-10: 0767926137
ISBN-13: 978-0767926133
Author: Clotilde Dusoulier
Genre: Travel, Business & Investing
Publisher: Broadway
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"Delicious spirit"
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