Reminiscing about “My Paris Days ” during the Coronavirus lockdown in NY

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Reminiscing about “My Paris Days” during the Coronavirus lockdown in NY

Written by Vera Loulou 

As I now sit in my flat in Manhattan, which I’ve called home over the last 17 years…isolated as never before from my friends and the cities and cultures I’ve come to call home – be it Japan, Israel, London and my home of origin Moscow …


I reflect on Paris, my true love, the city which beckons me each and every day…The city that taught me how to eat, to eat what’s in season, and directly from farmers and fishermen.” 

Living in Julia Child’s apartment in Paris was one of the major inspirations that led me to become a chef. 


Born in Russia and raised in NYC, I moved to Paris to pursue my gastronomic dreams as well as to meet the city’s most renowned chefs. In the process, I learned an enormous amount about French culinary traditions. I became an expert on food shopping and making Sauce au Poivre; I could also tell you where to eat the best Steak Tartare, and maybe even introduce you to Alain Passard. 



As a result, I started to cook and travel all over the world, landing in Japan, a city and culture which became a huge influence on both my style of cooking and philosophy. I love to cook my heart out, fusing haute-cuisine techniques with regional traditions, and adding my own unique twists. I take advantage of peak produce and work with seasonal ingredients. I believe that devotion to pristine ingredients has a moral valence: each ingredient may well be the best example of its kind you have ever tasted. 


I have over ten years of experience cooking all over the world both in restaurants and for private clientele. Cooking is my passion…the search for truth my obsession! 

I lived in the 7th Arrondissement. My social group was rather Bohemian and eclectic,…Bon vivants, an interesting mix of artists, models, chefs and designers. Overall, an incredibly artistic crew!


 A day in the life of Paris is endlessly abounding…waking up in the morning in the 7th arrondissement…a Croissant at Des Gateaux et du pain or La Maison d’Isabelle.

A walk down Boulevard Saint Germain for a little coffee at Cafe de Flore, and staying until lunch reading a book or a newspaper. Two glasses of Rose later and running into friends, checking out some galleries and stopping by La Palette for a glass of red only to contemplate over again, where to go for diner. A coffee and another aperitif at Cave du Septime, oysters at Le Duc and dinner at Le Baratin. Op!  Montana always proved a fun evening as we continued to drink, dance, and celebrate amidst the lights. La vie en Rose, all day and every day!

Paris is unlike any city, a beautiful yet dangerous vortex, a romantic supernova. 


These are some of my favorite spots that I infinitely cherish because of their consistency, high-quality products, a frequently changing menu with seasonal, small plates and a great wine list, mostly natural, as well as casual, laid-back atmosphere. 


L’Ecailler du Bistro – oysters 

Table by Bruno Verjus – pithivier  

La Bourse et la Vie – pot-au-feu and naughty steak frites 

Chez la Vielle – Herring and potato salad and duck terrine 

Le Baratin – Cervelle de veau and a carafe of Jura 

Uncino Restaurant – spider crab spaghetti 

Mokonuts  – Miso-sesame cookies, guinea fowl with cabbage and apples, cockles with bergamot 

Le Servain – Cuttlefish tartare, tuna belly with Fromage blanc on brioche toast 

Clamato – Legendary Fish Sandwich, octopus carpaccio, tuna tartare 

L’Avant Comptoir –  Boudin Noir red pepper jelly macaron, ham artichoke waffles, BAO buns with pork belly 

Verjus – Cheese-filled ravioli with cauliflower, capers, chili, and cocoa  

Les Enfants du Marche – Baby glass eels, grilled langoustines, and whole-roasted suckling pig 

Au Passage – Tete du turbot and pigeon fume 

Le Duc  – Lobster with orange sauce and 00 Belon oysters 

Bistrot Paul Bert – Cote de boeuf, roasted bone marrow and eggs with truffles 

Le Clarence – Pate en croute 

Le Verre Vole and Cave SeptimeFor wine 

Fromagerie Laurents Dubois – Buttery and velvety Mont D’or 

Circus Bakery – bread 

Written by Vera Loulou 

Instagram:@Vera Loulou

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Axel is the Editor and Publisher of Connoisseur Magazine "for the Finer Things in Life" and has been the custodian of the magazine for over 10 years and leader of a team of freelance Journalists and Community Members who continue to make it all happen!-Join the Team at Connoisseur Magazine!

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