France

Sunday Funday photo

July 14, 2013

Happy Bastille Day! I’m celebrating with Sunday Funday french photo montage! If only I could jump on a plane any day of the week and venture to the land of croissant. If you are like me and daydream of France often, visit Vicki Archer’s Pinterest Page (author of My French Life and French Essence) and you’ll be there in a flash! Most of these images are from Vicki Archer’s Pinterest. 

Paris

Via Pinterest

Provence

Via Pinterest

France

Via Pinterest

Provence

Via Pinterest

Paris

Via Pinterest

french lavender

One of my own- French Lavender

Time for some Pain Au Chocolat- Happy Sunday y’all!

Cacao Atlanta

April 23, 2013

I love my husband but I sometimes feel like I’m having an affair with the tall dark and handsome 70% cacao bars I buy. I’m an extreme chocoholic. I’m not at all embarrassed by this affliction- I celebrate it (perhaps too often but you only live once).

cacao atlanta

A few nights ago in Buckhead, en route to Fellini’s Pizza, I spotted Cacao. I am a sucker for a chocolate shop, let alone a charming French patisserie inspired shop…clean and bright, filled with decadent delights. I stopped cold in my tracks- staring (drooling), and said to my mother- “I know where I’ll be at 11am tomorrow.”

cacao atlanta

The next day before hittin’ the road back to Athens, we ran across the street to Cacao for a quick trip to Paris by way of the South. We were welcomed by a pleasant aroma of rich coffee and sweet/bitter chocolate…heavenly. We had a great time chatting with Tricia about the history of the shop and learning about each and every product. The owner/creator Kristen Hard, a classically trained French pastry chef, fell hard for the cacao bean working as a chef around the world and thankfully brought her passion back to the South.

cacao atlanta

Tricia got us started off with some sipping chocolate (divine) and walked us through the different goodies lining the walls. My mother (a packaging junkie) spotted some adorable baskets in the corner used for creating one of a kind gift baskets, so we decided that was the best option. Having a total “Treat Yo Self” moment (Parks and Rec anyone?), I began grabbing anything that peaked my interest. Being a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, I picked up quite the basket.

cacao atlanta

I love how most items are inspired by Southern desserts or flavors…pecan pie truffles, mint julep truffles, Coca-Cola truffles, homemade oatmeal cream pies, cocoa-nib peanut brittle (oh yea). The shop’s commitment to sustainability is also impressive. Each piece of chocolate is hand crafted with the highest quality organic ingredients while honoring the traditional chocolate making processes and everything in the entire store is made in Georgia, with the exception of herbal teas offered on the menu. The Cacao shop in Buckhead also offers – Honeysuckle Gelato- Southern inspired gelato based in Atlanta!

cacao atlanta

macarons!

cacao atlanta

The decor is sweet and simple and very French. A white and grey palette punctuated by the rich colors of the chocolate and other treats. The art instillation above the cafe tables is equally stunning. Created for their Valentine’s Day celebration, the lovebirds and tiny paper hearts make for a beautiful centerpiece in the shop.

cacao atlanta

cacao atlanta

sweet success

To top off our decadent morning we had to try something from the esspresso lab. I opted for the Shakerato- 3 shots of espresso and vanilla syrup shaken over ice. Buzz buzz y’all.

cacao atlanta

cacao atlanta

A tisket a tasket, I got a chocolate basket!

Since my Cacao visit, I’ve slowly sampled my goodies- or hoarding them if you will. I want to hold on to the dark chocolate goodness as long as I possibly can- or until I reorder them online (bless online shopping)! Stop by one of their three shops in the ATL immediately or visit their online store to get your cacao fix!

Cacao Atlanta- http://cacaoatlanta.com/ Cacao on Facebook Cacao Twitter

National chocolate mousse day

April 3, 2013

National Chocolate Mousse Day! Might be my new favorite holiday :) I am head over heels for the chocolate mousse at Anis Bistro in Atlanta!  If you are ever in the Buckhead area you must go….

chocolate mousse

image via Table Travels

Anis Cafe and Bistro

October 31, 2012

Anis Cafe and Bistro atlantaDeep in the heart of Buckhead’s older residential neighborhoods is Anis Cafe and Bistro.  Earning a rave review from a close family friend and long time Atlanta resident, I knew we had to check it out.

Anis Cafe and Bistro opened in 1994 by Arnaud Michel a native Frenchman inspired by his family’s winery and olive fields in Montepellier, France.  The idea was to create a causal bistro where people could meet and enjoy light fare, coffee, and wine; due to overwhelming popularity, the restaurant quickly expanded offering a full brunch, lunch and dinner menu.  Anis stays true to its inspiration working with the most authentic ingredients: wine and cheese from the south of France, excellent produce, and seasonal seafood.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy Atlanta Eater

The restaurant lives in a converted residential home to transport guests to Provence where the cobblestone streets are lined with shops and sidewalk cafes.  I have yet to visit Provence but judging from photographs, Anis accomplished their vision beautifully.

Anis Cafe and BistroMy mom, sister, and I decided to have Sunday brunch to enjoy a sampling of their plates.  I ordered for the table- Nutella Crepes, the Cured Salmon Croque Monsieur, and the Tartar de Tomato with a side of mixed berries, and applewood smoked bacon.  We started the meal with some fresh baked bread and butter, coffee, and mimosas.  The perfect start to a Sunday!

Anis Cafe and BistroAfter the bread course, our entrees arrived already split into threes (such a nice touch).  We ordered the perfect combination of savory and sweet.  The Croque Monsieur was so tasty! Smoked salmon, goat cheese, onion, and capers on toast; I loved the unique twist on this classic French sandwich.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy Anis Cafe and Bistro

The tomato tartar was perfect as well: juicy tomatoes, bitter greens, creamy mozzarella, and a dash of balsamic vinegar to top it off!  The crepes were the star for me; bursting with chocolatey hazelnut goodness, and topped with powdered sugar, toasted almonds and sweet bananas. Si bon!

Anis Cafe and Bistro crepes

image courtesy spoonfedatlanta.com

I discovered crepes and nutella on my first trip to France at the age of 14….and I was changed for life :) or so it seemed.  My aunt Catherine suggested my cousin Sarah and I to take a break from my usual dessert order, glace cafe (coffee icecream) and glace cassis (berry), and try a crepe from a stand on the way home.  So we followed the smell of buttery batter and found a shop near our hotel on the Rue de St Germain.  Having no idea what to get, Catherine ordered for us…nutella and banana crepes.  The man behind the sizzling flat top handed us what looked like a giant folded golden napkin in parchment paper.  The smell was so unbelievable and that first bite of gooey nutella magic was just the first of many more.  And I digress…

The food and service were impeccable.  After finishing our brunch on the patio, we explored the rest of this adorable restaurant.  The main dining room is beautiful; exposed brick walls, tablecloths, bistro chairs, and fresh flowers.  The bar is tiny but quaint; reminiscent of a local spot nestled on a busy street in a French town.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy of Anis Cafe and Bistro

I could see myself having a drink here in the future for sure….couldn’t you?

The waiting area outside the bar was full of personality as well. Scenes from a Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painting scrolled on the restroom doors, a chandelier, leather bistro chairs, artwork, and a large chalkboard displaying event news brighten up an otherwise simple space.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy hunch.com

As we began to stroll out, my mom pointed out one more piece on the mantel in the waiting area…

Anis Cafe and BistroI couldn’t agree more Mr. Franklin.

Anis Cafe & Bistro on Urbanspoon

Parlez-vous français?

January 12, 2012

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions…I thought it appropriate to acknowledge that I so far have been sticking to mine this year.

Merci beaucoup Rosetta Stone!

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