bistro Archives - Paris with Scott
Vintage Clothes in the Marais

Vintage Clothes in the Marais

Jennifer was on a quest to find the best vintage clothes in the Marais.  As soon as we were planning the trip, Jennifer began researching names and locations of vintage clothing stores.  Then, she decided to narrow it to the Marais.  With that limitation, she and I could map out the stores and create a route for the day, with some culture and a snack or two along the way.

Jennifer is an expert at vintage clothing and has a collection that rivals the best shops anywhere.  Whether in New York, Miami or London, Jennifer has found exceptional quality at vintage clothing stores.  Along with clothes, she shops handbags, jewelry, shoes, luggage, and hats.

On the trip in January, Jennifer packed 3 vintage berets that she sported jauntily in our evenings out.  Also in her suitcase, she packed vintage dresses from Yves St. Laurent and Givenchy, vintage Gucci heels, vintage clutch, and bags full of vintage earrings and jewelry.  (She was stunning each night!)  Her motto is save for something spectacular and timeless, and do not waste money on trends at retail stores.  With that goal in mind, she set our mission for the day of shopping at vintage clothes in the Marais, and we were off.

Start at Saint Paul for Vintage Clothes in the Marais

Rue de Rivoli near Saint Paul

Rue de Rivoli near Saint Paul Métro

First, we took the Métro up to Saint Paul station.  After walking past some of the beautiful foods offered at shops along the way, we arrived at Tilt on the rue de Rivoli.  Jennifer went in to check out our first shop of vintage clothes in the Marais.  A few minutes later, she returned to the sidewalk without making a purchase.  Her assessment:  not high end, not really vintage, more of a resale shop.  Nice sales people that were helpful.  At the end of the day, she added that Tilt is not crammed and jammed like the ones on the rue des Rosiers (more to come about those).

Fit in a Little Culture and Some Great Food

Picasso Museum Courtyard Entrance

Entrance to the Picasso Museum – nice house!

From Tilt, we walked to the Picasso Museum and saw his personal collection on the top floors.  Then, we walked around the corner and ordered crêpes to go from Breizh Café annex – next door to the sit-down restaurant.

Park behind Picasso Museum

Great picnic spot! The other side of the house from the entrance to the Picasso Museum.

We walked across the street and had a picnic at one of the tables in the park behind/in front of the Picasso Museum.  Along with our to go boxes, the cutlery and packaging were all biodegradable.  (An example of Paris really trying to be green.)  This was a completely perfect way to enjoy a delicious Breton crêpe in the Marais!

Bio c’ Bon

Bio c' Bon

Now that we were fortified, we could start our shopping in earnest.  But, Paris has many diversions, even if it is a grocery store.  On our walk, we passed a store, Bio c’ Bon and I went in to get a bottle of water.  It turned out to be an amazing store of 3 floors of only organic products.  From brimming meat cases to stunning produce, to everything else in a regular grocery store – all organic.  A great find – and they are all over Paris.  Add it to your list.

Place de la République

Place de la Republique

Place de la Republique

We kept going up to near the Place de la République to find the shop, Nice Piece.  It was supposed to open at 12:30 pm, and we got there right at 12:30.  We looked in the window for a few minutes.  Jennifer said it looked good and worth checking out.  We waited, then walked up the street and looked at Place de la République, took some photos, then back again.  Still not open.

Onward to High-End Vintage

Time was ticking, so we walked over to the end of rue Tournelles.  Two vintage stores are down the block from each other:  Odetta and Fabri & Co.

Fabri and Co

From the outside, each one looks like a high-end boutique – small, tasteful, luxe.  Jennifer and John were in Fabri & Co. so long that I was sure Jennifer was making a purchase.  Finally, they came onto the street without a bag.  But,  Jennifer was very impressed.  She said the shop owner was super friendly, high-end vintage, the quality was great, clothes were in great condition, lots of beautiful jackets and matching skirts or pants from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  Also, handbags and some shoes.

Odetta

Next, they went into Odetta and did not spend as much time.  Jennifer said it was extremely high end with a salesman to match.  The shop is a sparse boutique with a well-edited collection.  Clothes are beautifully made, along with handbags and jewelry, all in great condition.

Café Time

Chez Janou zinc bar

As we made our way down the street, we saw a café and stopped in.  It was Chez Janou.  A café with a super-great Parisian feeling.  A beautiful rounded zinc bar, a friendly bartender, a lively crowd and an excellent looking menu!  We ordered a celebratory drink – Jennifer a glass of Champagne, John a kir and me a glass of red wine.  Maybe you wonder why celebratory?  It is Paris and that is reason enough to celebrate!!!  Plus, Jennifer was feeling especially optimistic about our next stops.  After our pick-me-ups, we started out again.

More Beautiful History

Place des Vosges winter

Place des Vosges in winter.

On the way to the next store for vintage clothes in the Marais, we had a few stops to make.  First, we walked in and around the Place des Vosges.  We sat on a bench for a few minutes admiring the amazing architecture and calming square.  Even without any leaves on the trees, it remains one of the most beautiful squares in Paris.

Snack Time

Florence Kahn Bakery

Even in cold and rain, you can sit outside at Florence Kahn Bakery and enjoy falafel.

Then we made our way down the narrow streets to the corner of rue des Rosiers and rue des Ecouffes – falafel central of the Jewish quarter.  John had been waiting for a snack here.  He got a falafel stuffed pita and we all had a bite of the falafel – deee-licious.  It is always a great place to go on each visit to Paris for a reasonably priced and delicious meal (or snack).  When making plans, remember that most of these restaurants are closed on Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath.

Kilo Shop

Kilo Shop – one of multiple.

While we were walking for a falafel snack, Jennifer saw a second-hand store, the Kilo Shop, and went in.  Jennifer’s assessment:  some vintage clothes, fur coats, men’s and women’s jackets, shirts, and jeans.  Minimal accessories and the store was packed with things.  Here, shoppers buy by weight – an interesting idea.  Later comment – Kilo Shops are all over Paris with thrift-store quality.

More Like Thrift Stores

Vintage Desir

Look on the glass storefront for the painted letters – Vintage Desir.

Another find was right off of the falafel corner.  Vintage Desir (or Coiffure – looks like a leftover sign from a previous haircutting place) is a second-hand shop and Jennifer went in.  Her assessment:  slightly more upscale thrift shop quality.  Much more wear to the clothes, both men’s and women’s clothes, everything from jackets, to bins of scarves, purses, hats.  Some hidden gems.  Kind of a free-for-all inside with the shoppers.

Free'P'Star

Another Free’P’Star is across the street from this one. Look at the piles of purses.

Free’P’Star was the last store of vintage clothes in the Marais on Jennifer’s list.  It is in the next block from Le BHV with a Kilo Shop next door.  Jennifer’s assessment:  claustrophobic, free-for-all, thrift store grade, knock-off purses by the load.  Once she got in, she had a hard time getting out.  It is two stores, one across the street from each other.  I only looked in the window and it was a mob scene.

Place de l’Hôtel de Ville

Hotel de Ville

After the raucousness of Free’P’Star, that was it for the day.  We walked to the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, satisfied our craving for a Nutella Crêpe, saw Yellow Vests marching down the rue de Rivoli, then headed back to the hotel for a nap.  No purchases, but Jennifer took us on a great tour and we found out a lot about vintage clothes in the Marais!

Take a tour of vintage clothes in the Marais, but add some spice and spend the day.  Here is a map with directions for this walking tour of vintage clothes, history, art, and food.

Tilt
8 rue de Rivoli
75004 Paris

Picasso Museum
5 rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris

Breizh Café
109 rue Vielle du Temple
75003 Paris

Nice Piece
76 rue Charlot
75003 Paris

Fabri & Co.
82 rue Tournelles
75003 Paris

Odetta
76 rue Tournelles
75003 Paris

Chez Janou
2 rue Roger Verlomme
75003 Paris

Kilo Shop
locations around Paris

Vintage Desir
32 rue des Rosiers
75004 Paris

Florence Kahn Bakery
24 Rue des Ecouffes
75004 Paris

Free’P’Star
61 rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris

Classic French Bistro – Garlic Chicken and Brabant Potatoes

Classic French Bistro – Garlic Chicken and Brabant Potatoes

French Bistro Garlic Chicken with Baked Brabant Potatoes and Salad

About this Recipe

By: Scott

Here is the bistro-style main course: Garlic Chicken with potatoes and salad on the side.  What more could there be after an appetizer of oeufs mayonnaise?  I suggest beginning with the potatoes.  When you put them in the oven, begin the chicken.  While the potatoes are cooking and the lemons and garlic are cooking, make the salad dressing.  All of the recipes are pretty easy for most home cooks.  Make sure to get lots of crusty French bread to go with the meal.

 

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 1 hour

Meal: Dinner

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 thin-sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts *
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled, mashed and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced very thinly, seeds removed
  • chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
  • black olives for garnish, if desired

* Some groceries have chicken breasts that are sold already thinly sliced.  If your grocery doesn’t sell them like that, buy regular boneless, skinless breasts and slice them in half horizontally to make thin slices.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

In a large skillet, melt butter with vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, then brown on both sides, 4-5 minutes each side. Place browned chicken on a plate and set aside. 

Brown the chicken.

Step 2

Whisk flour into the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Whisk in flour.

Step 3

Stir in wine, chicken broth, lemon slices, and garlic and bring to a boil.

Add the garlic and lemons.

Classic French Bistro-Style Baked Brabant Potatoes

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2 russet baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chopped parsley for garnish, if desired

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425.

Step 2

Spray a large sheet pan with non-stick spray or oil it generously with olive oil.  Spread the potatoes on the sheet pan in a single layer and season generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with more olive oil and toss to coat the potatoes on all sides.

Step 3

Bake, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.  Then, turn the oven to broil and brown the potatoes.  After 15 minutes, stir the potatoes and brown on the other side, about 15 minutes more.

Green Salad with Dijon Citrus Dressing

Ingredients

  • 4-5 ounces of  baby arugula, mâche, or other tender greens
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • blue cheese for garnish, if desired

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Place greens in a large bowl.  Combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Step 2

Drizzle dressing over greens, toss and serve.  Do not toss the greens more than 5 minutes before ready to serve.

A Few Favorite Cookbooks…

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle

The classic set of books that essentially brought French classical cooking to America! (read more)

Bistro Cooking

by Patricia Wells

The cult idol created this go-to, mouthwatering cookbook for every day and special occasions. (read more)

Simple French Food

by Richard Olney

Meticulous instruction from an obsessive and masterful cook. (read more)

A Parisian Style Egg Salad (Oeufs Mayonnaise)

A Parisian Style Egg Salad (Oeufs Mayonnaise)

Parisian Style Egg Salad (Oeufs Mayonnaise)

About this Recipe

By: Scott

Parisian Style Egg Salad (Oeufs Mayonnaise) is a classic Parisian appetizer.  It became difficult to find for quite some time.  But now, oeufs mayonnaise seems to be enjoying a resurgence.  Why not?  They are luscious and surprisingly filling.  Plus, they look interesting on a plate – trying to capture that in the photo.

This is part of the series on making a Parisian dinner right at home.  Again, trying to make easy recipes, with a portion that can be made ahead.  The Parisian Style Egg Salad (Oeufs Mayonnaise), really fits the ticket of ease of preparation, making part ahead and being classically Parisian.

You can prepare the eggs and the mayonnaise a day ahead and simply plate it when you are ready to begin your meal.  The recipe is for 4 servings of 3 halves each.  However, it only takes a little math to increase this for more people.  And, you will be happy to have extra if there are only two of you for dinner.

 

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 1 hour

Meal: Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, nearly hard-boiled and peeled
  • 1 c. mayonnaise – prepared
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vinegar (white wine vinegar, but could use red wine, white vinegar – probably not balsamic)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • optional – chopped chives, chopped green part of green onions, cherry tomatoes halved, sprigs of celery leaves, fresh thyme stem with leaves, any of these for garnish

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Boil the eggs (or go buy some already boiled and peeled).  Really, I am a big believer in the 6 minute boiled egg.  They come out beautifully, no dark ring around the yellow, yolky but firm, not dry and mealy.  I use the age-old recipe in many, many cookbooks for a 7 minute boiled egg, but reduce it by a minute.  Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Then, when it comes a boil – a real boil – turn the time on for 6 minutes.  Next, reduce the heat only a little and let them boil for 6 minutes.

Now that is boiling!

Step 2

Remove from heat and pour out the water. Fill the saucepan with the eggs with cold water, a few times, so the cooking stops completely.  Peel and store in the refrigerator if you are making them ahead.

Step 3

Good luck with peeling them.  I have read that if the eggs are old they peel easier.  Or, some say put vinegar in the water.  Others say peel when hot.  Just do your best.  Keep reading and you will find that we are going to hide the blemishes of these little jewels.

Step 4

Make the mayonnaise.  In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except garnish) in a bowl and mix until smooth.  It should be thin enough to spoon over the eggs, but not really thin enough to pour.  Set aside.

Step 5

Slice the boiled eggs in half lengthwise.  Place 3 halves, yellow side down, in a peace sign arrangement on a salad plate.  Spoon the mayonnaise over the eggs to cover them completely.  Garnish if desired.  Repeat on 3 other salad plates.

Serve with crusty French bread so none of the mayonnaise is lost.

A Simple French Bistro-Style Apple Tart Recipe

A Simple French Bistro-Style Apple Tart Recipe

Simple French Bistro-Style Apple Tart Recipe

About this Recipe

By: Scott

Who doesn’t want a French bistro-style apple tart?  And what cook doesn’t want a simple recipe for something good?  This tart recipe is simple and made with super basic ingredients.  It will cook into an impressive dessert that will win you fans from all over.  Although I had to make it multiple times to make it photo worthy, each one tasted terrific.  Don’t worry if it isn’t the most beautiful thing you ever made.  Slice it up and serve it up.  If you want even more on your dessert plate, you can add ice cream or whipped cream on the side or on top.  But, it really doesn’t need it.

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 1 hour

Calories: 353

Meal: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • parchment paper

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/8” – 1/4” slices.  (I do it by hand and wind up with odd sizes and pieces.  But, it kind of makes the end result have softness and crunch in each bite.  If you really want to have even slices, try using a French mandoline or the much less expensive, benriner mandoline.  Be careful, you can slice your finger off.)

Step 2

Put the apples in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.  Then, toss with a fork – or your hands – trying to coat each slice with some of the sugar mixture.  Pour the apple mixture into a colander and place the colander back into the bowl.  Set aside for about 30 minutes so that delicious juice will drain from apples.

Step 3

When the apples have finished making their juice, place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the puff pastry onto the parchment.  (Do not use a baking sheet that has an air layer sandwiched between metal.  The bottom will not get done enough.)

Step 4

Turn the apple mixture onto the dough, make a decorative pattern with the apples, or not.  Then, fold the dough up around the edges and over some of the apples.  Pinch together the edges of puff pastry where the dough laps over itself.  Next, brush the dough with the egg and sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sugar over the dough brushed with egg.

Step 5

In a small saucepan combine the liquid that drained off the apples and the butter.  Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and reduce the liquid until it is thick.  The liquid will become thick and caramel colored.  Remove from heat and drizzle the liquid over the apples.  Then, bake in the preheated oven for about an hour, or until the dough is nicely browned and the apples are cooked.  Remove from oven and let sit at least 5-10 minutes before cutting.  Serve hot or room temperature.

More Bistro-Style Recipes