I need an infusion of Cote-du-Rhone and a wheel of Camembert to get me through this winter…

Laps around the living room couch like an Indie driver and hours spent playing in the crisper drawer mean that Baby Parker has just survived another New York blizzard and cabin fever has officially reached a climax.

What do I do as I pick up the parsley and fluff the throw pillows? I dream of Paris. Ok, I not only dream of Paris, I begin to plan a long weekend (5 days long… Can I even excuse that as a “weekend?”) with one of my best girlfriends. I navigate my mouse, click “Select” and purchase a sweet, winter deal on Air France. I reserve a chic hotel on Place Saint Sulpice on the Left Bank.

Hotel Recamier in St. Germain, a stone’s throw from the terrace of Café de Flore (best-people-watching-with-a-coup-of-champagne in the city!), will act as our home base as we nibble, sip, taste, guzzle, dine and generally eat our way around the city. After all,

“Paris is just a matter of killing time between meals.”


Parisian “To-Do” List: Restaurants, Brasseries, Bistros & Wine Bars

1. Comptoir du Relais– Paris’ star chef who can do no wrong, Yves Camdeborde runs the hottest lunch and dinner table in the city that just so happens to be ’round the corner from Hotel Recamier. A few years ago, when Jamie and I celebrated my birthday in Paris, we dumped our bags at the front desk, ran to Le Comptoir and squeezed our way onto the terrace for lunch. Within an hour of our arrival in Paris, we were enjoying a silky, unctuous slab of foie gras, a plate of rillettes and a delicious bottle of wine. Hmmm… Le Comptoir redux?

2. Itineraire– Tucked away in the 5th, Itineraire is helmed by another husband-and-wife team who are all about handsome food, in an elegant bistro setting at the right price. Thirty-six Euro for gorgeous, cutting edge cuisine that comforts as it peaks my curiosity sounds parfait. Listen, if it’s good enough for Mark Bittman…

3. Le Rubis– A wine bar that welcomes its first patrons at 9am. If that and it’s unpretentious vibe didn’t sell me, Patricia Wells did when she called it “boisterous, pushy, old-fashioned” and the kitchen “serves some of the best confit de canard” (meltingly tender duck cooked in its own fat) to go along with that verre de vin. With it’s long zinc bar and 80 year-old address, Le Rubis is a taste of Old Paris. What could be more delicious?

4. Bistro Paul-Bert– My Parisian bistro Holy Grail. Everyone from David Lebovitz to Dorie Greenspan–even the adorable, trendy girls over at Hip Paris–have supped and sung the praises of this quintessential bistro. Too-close tables, tiled floors, chalkboard menu, boeuf bourguigon, Coquille St. Jacques,  bottle of white, bottle of red–I want it all! A classic that’s been well worth the wait.

5. Cafe de Flore– A place to sip (champagne) in the afternoon and watch the well-dressed world go by.  I’ll pretend I’m important–not just a mommy with a cookbook–and raise my glass to the good and intellectual life.