Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes

( 134 )

Overview

In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman—and never went home again.

Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak'spink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? LUNCH IN PARIS is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. ...

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Overview

In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman—and never went home again.

Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak'spink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? LUNCH IN PARIS is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world's most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé) and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese-there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

Peppered with mouth-watering recipes for summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare and molten chocolate cakes, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home. In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This memoir begins, "I slept with my French husband halfway through our first date. I say halfway because we had finished lunch but not yet ordered coffee." From that slightly dizzying takeoff, Lunch in Paris glides to numerous small landings, each of them punctuated by a recipe for a delicacy such as Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Mint or Creamy Carrot Soup. Bard guides readers through her unplanned courtship, marriage, and continent-change with the grace of a Parisian lady which, of course, is what she has become. A Discover New Writers selection; now in paperback. (P.S. This edition contains a reader's guide, making it perfect for book clubs.)

Publishers Weekly
In this pleasant memoir about learning to live and eat à la française, an American journalist married to a Frenchman inspires lessons in culinary détente. Bard was working as a journalist in London and possessed of the “wonderful puppy-dog” enthusiasm of young Americans when she first met her husband-to-be, Gwendal, a computer engineer from Brittany. Soon he had the foresight to put her name on the gas bill of his Parisian apartment in the 10th arrondissement, and they were destined to marry—and cook together. Her memoir is really a celebration of the culinary season as it unfolded in their young lives together: recipes for seduction (onion and bacon); getting serious over andouillette; learning to buy what's fresh at the Parisian markets (four and a half pounds of figs); surviving a long, cold winter in an unheated apartment; and warming up their visiting parents over profiteroles. Bard throws in some American recipes “that feel like home,” such as noodle pudding, and comforting soups for a winter's grieving over the death of the father-in-law. Bard carefully observes the eating habits of her impossibly slender mother-in-law for tips to staying slim (lots of water and no snacking). Bard keeps an eye to healthful ingredients (“Three Fabulous Solo Lunches”), and, as a Jewish New Yorker, even prepares a Passover seder in Paris, in this work that manages to be both sensuous and informative. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
American journalist Bard traces her relationship with her French husband from the first lunch date to the present, framing the narrative around mouthwatering menus. The book starts out vanilla, but the author's charming narrative and penetrating insights quickly add a subtle complexity that will captivate readers. Having met her future husband Gwendal at an academic conference in London, Bard soon invented an excuse to visit Paris. Eventually she moved in to Gwendal's tiny apartment and began her initiation into Parisian life. She pleasantly details her joys and obstacles, including her difficulties with grumpy fishmongers and complicated meat-market lines, and she provides poignant revelations about cultural differences that are alternately easy to overcome and seemingly insurmountable. The idea of love conquering all is certainly a cliche, but the author's unique voice prevents her story from becoming stale. One of the most enlightening aspects of French culture that Bard reveals is the fact that in Paris, the customer is not always right. Whether it's the chef for the wedding hors d'oeuvres or the doctor treating her father-in-law's colon cancer, the author learned that one must bow to the opinion of the professional. Ultimately, Paris had much to offer Bard, including lessons in how to cook delectable meals with whatever is at hand, or the simplicity of sitting in a cafe and relaxing with a coffee and croissant. Despite the many delicious recipes, the motif of food only provides a loose framework for the book, leaving the narrative somewhat disjointed in places. This does not, however, diminish Bard's entertaining voice. A cozy, touching story. Agent: Wendy Sherman/Wendy Sherman &Associates
From the Publisher
"As charming and coquettish as Paris itself, Lunch in Paris reawakens our tired hearts and palates with a deliciously passionate journey through the city of lights. Be prepared to be seduced by french kisses, the richest chocolate, and the sweet charm of Bard's prose."—Nani Power, author of Crawling at Night and Feed the Hungry

"Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris is delicious, romantic, and sexy, just as the title indicates. What captivates you is the story of a woman finding herself after she finds love, and the challenge that entails. I devoured this book with all the gusto I would bring to a plate of steak tartare with pommes frites."—Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

"A love story is always delightful, and one with recipes is also useful in the long run, part and parcel of a real French relationship."—Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce and L'Affaire

"Lunch in Paris has got it all: romance in full on the front burner with delicious French recipes for sustenance. Elizabeth Bard's voice is filled with lust and longing-it's Eat, Stay, Love with a side of spiced apricots."—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine

"In this pleasant memoir about learning to live and eat "à la française," an American journalist married to a Frenchman inspires lessons in culinary détente.... [Bard's] memoir is really a celebration of the culinary season as it unfolded in their young lives together.... both sensuous and informative."—Publishers Weekly

"[A] charming narrative...penetrating insights quickly add a subtle complexity that will captivate readers...She pleasantly details her joys and obstacles...provides poignant revelations about cultural differences ... A cozy, touching story."—Kirkus

"In this charming memoir, Bard searches for her new identity by balancing her love for two countries. She discovers the common denominator that will give her life meaning: food.... If you enjoyed the Julia Child romance that made the Julie & Julia film so entrancing, you'll love this voyage into the gastronomic soul of the French - complete with luscious recipes."—Carol Memmott, USA Today

"sweet and heartfelt with delicious recipes"—People "Style Watch"

"[A] delicious story about falling in love-over food-in France."—Harper's Bazaar

Nani Power
"As charming and coquettish as Paris itself, Lunch in Paris reawakens our tired hearts and palates with a deliciously passionate journey through the city of lights. Be prepared to be seduced by french kisses, the richest chocolate, and the sweet charm of Bard's prose."
Giulia Melucci
"Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris is delicious, romantic, and sexy, just as the title indicates. What captivates you is the story of a woman finding herself after she finds love, and the challenge that entails. I devoured this book with all the gusto I would bring to a plate of steak tartare with pommes frites."
Diane Johnson
"A love story is always delightful, and one with recipes is also useful in the long run, part and parcel of a real French relationship."
Adriana Trigiani
"Lunch in Paris has got it all: romance in full on the front burner with delicious French recipes for sustenance. Elizabeth Bard's voice is filled with lust and longing-it's Eat, Stay, Love with a side of spiced apricots."
Carol Memmott - USA Today
"In this charming memoir, Bard searches for her new identity by balancing her love for two countries. She discovers the common denominator that will give her life meaning: food.... If you enjoyed the Julia Child romance that made the Julie & Julia film so entrancing, you'll love this voyage into the gastronomic soul of the French - complete with luscious recipes."
People "Style Watch"
"sweet and heartfelt with delicious recipes"
"Style Watch" - People Magazine
"sweet and heartfelt with delicious recipes"
Harper's Bazaar
"[A] delicious story about falling in love-over food-in France."
Carol Memmott
In this charming memoir, Bard searches for her new identity by balancing her love for two countries. She discovers the common denominator that will give her life meaning: food.... If you enjoyed the Julia Child romance that made the Julie & Julia film so entrancing, you'll love this voyage into the gastronomic soul of the French - complete with luscious recipes.
USA Today
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316042789
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 2/7/2011
  • Pages: 326
  • Sales rank: 111,408
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Bard

Elizabeth Bard is an American journalist based in Paris. She has written about art, travel and digital culture for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Wired, Time Out and The Huffington Post. She makes a mean chocolate soufflé.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 134 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 135 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Déjeuner à Paris est sûr Delicious!!!

    When I was walking through B&N about a week ago this book caught my eye because of its title. So I picked it up and boy am I glad I did! It was wonderful! It takes you through Elizabeth's journey with her boyfriend Gwendal and the love that blossoms between them. At the end of each chapter she includes recipes (most of which are talked about within that particular chapter) and let me tell you, this book make me hungry for more. I am anxious to try the recipes out! This would be an excellent choice for anyone who loves to cook and for those who just enjoy a good love story. It is a memoir that reads like a novel at times. Very well written =)

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    JUST DELICIOUS!

    This is a book that delivers on so many levels. There is the exploration of cultural differences between the US and France, a love story, a toss up love for French cuisine and a man. "Ooh La La!!" Lunch in Paris tells the true story of a young woman in her mid-twenties who falls in love in Paris. Over eight years she progresses from the plague of self-doubt to a mature woman who finally reaches self-acceptance and comes to the realization that what she wants is not always what she needs. Just delicious!! If you love this one, you'll adore EXPLOSION IN PARIS!!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Let's Do Lunch...In Paris

    The preparation and consumption of food in Paris is planned and savored in much the same way women in America set out to buy the perfect pair of shoes. There are oohs and aahs through out Elizabeth's journey and discovery of the processes involved in cooking. The jaunts to specific stores and markets for certain items, and the need and love of the french language are all mixed and blended to perfection in this colorful and filling memoir. You'll want to book a trip to Paris or at least try several of these recipes.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Never Expected

    After recently becoming obsessed with the whole idea of France, food, language, lifestyle. I picked up this book expecting to inhale every ingredient and become completely engulfed in French cuisine. Her recipes, her reasons, her descriptions of every detail and moment during this book are exactly that. However this book was more to me. This story was not only about the food, but I found myself identifying with the writers emotions about expectation for life and love. Her plan, she made for herself. The difference between what is important and what we MAKE important. This book is perfect when you are ready for a reminder, that the equation for happiness is simple and it doesn't come from money, success, etc.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Delightful book

    This lovely book is worth the price for the recipes alone. Ms. Bard has a wonderful, engaging writing style that if you sit real quiet as you read the book you will feel as if you are there like a fly on the wall. Imagine what a Paris restaurant should look like with that special handsome man whose hair hits his collar and one stand on top that has a wayward look, and so so sexy. Now picture a cute American woman who is extremely observant and has the right degree of vulnerability and you have a wonderful story before you. When she writes of the calls home to Mom when good bad and scary things have happened, you can almost hear her voice as she speaks. Or sense the glee when she tries a new improved way of making French Onion Soup. I tend to think of someone like Audrey Hepbrun or an Audrey Tautou when I picture this young author.

    The various chapters are all such a delight to read. From Coffee Tea or Me, And Affair To Remember, April in Paris, A Birthday Celebration, Pixie Dust, Vocabulary Lessons, Fig Fest 2002, The Long Winter, Meet The Parents, Family Heirlooms, Big Band Smelly Cheese, Family Values, The Circle Line, After The Fairytale the Parsnip, How to Make Cheesecake in a Pâté Pan, Forever in France, Ladies who Lunch, Comfort Food, Conquering the World, When New Yorkers Come to Visit, Spring Thinking, A New Years Feast, Next Year in Paris.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Absolutely Horrible!!!

    This was the worse book I ever bought. It was so bad I returned it. I could barely get past the first three pages!!!!

    2 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    very enjoyable

    I found the book to be entertaining and loved the references to different locations in Paris. I was in Paris with my then 16 year old granddaughter, Lea last year and she fell in love with Paris and wants to marry a french man. She is now reading this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Sweet story...

    I love memoirs that involve living abroad. This was a quick easy read with a sweet story. I enjoyed the characters and after finishing the book...i found myself wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    Easy Read...Pas Mal..

    This book is an easy read of the story of an American woman who falls in love with a Frenchman and moves to Paris. It is a cute book with some decent recipes--they recipes are simple so I would suggest if you are interested in French home cooking--try a couple of the recipes in the book. I was a little put off by the aoli recipe as it was not made with garlic. Maybe in Brittany they don't make aoli with garlic, but in the South they do. I'm just being nit-picky.
    Miss Bard has a nice way of writing--but I kinda feel that she is, as the French translation is.."looking down at her belly button"--she appears to be quite full of herself at times. Perhaps it is just the tone of the book. If you are going to Paris for the first time, this is a nice plane read--or a nice beach read. If you are *really* interested in reading what it is like having a Frenchman as your S/O, though, read "Almost French"--that book is definitely spot on. My fiance is a Frenchman and I can tell you "Almost French" had me falling off the sofa laughing. This book isn't as funny b/c Ms. Bard seems to take herself too seriously. Just my opinion--the book is still a cute read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Fun Read

    I really enjoyed A Lunch in Paris, and certainly fueled my desire to visit the City of Lights. If you love to travel or love food, this is a great book. The recipes are actually pretty good, and I am planning on trying a few out here soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Great book!

    I loved this book. Well I'm not quite finished with it yet but I really do enjoy it. I love the main character's personality. This is usually the kind of books I read so finding another one was exciting :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Leave it on the Shelf

    Very disappointing. I found myself not wanting to pick up the book, somewhere in the second chapter. I drifted off many times and kept wishing the book would come to an end before the next sentence. I should have reviewed the book at the store before I purchased it on line. The cover and the intial chapter was inviting but all went down hill when I noticed it was more about French recipes than anything else. If one is looking for French recipes I would recommend it, otherwise think twice before spending the money and your time.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ever wonder what would happen if you mixed Julia Child and the movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun" together? You would have in the book, I just finished reading!

    Lunch In Paris by Elizabeth Bard, finds Ms. Bard,in Paris for a weekend visit, where she sits down for lunch with a handsome Frenchman - and never goes home again.

    Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pave' au poivre, the steak's pink juices puddling in the buttery pepper sauce? Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, is a memoir abut a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs - one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. After packing her bags to begin a new life in the most romantic of cities, Bard is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size-two femmes fatales.

    She learns how to gut a fish (with a little help from Jane Austen) and soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate souffle') and she develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon).

    This book is an amazing read for anyone who has longed for the desire to just pick up, leave and move to Paris! Woven wonderfully at the end of each chapter are the most amazing recipes of everything from appetizers to main courses, to "death by chocolate" desserts! What more could woman ask for a cook book and love story all in one!

    I received this complimentary amazing book courtesy of Hachette Book Groups to review. If you would love to know more about this book, the author or even where to purchase a copy of this heartwarming book, simply click on the link below.

    http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316042789.htm

    Trust me this is the perfect book to read over Spring Break, summer vacation or while you are having your favorite Starbucks beverage and croissant!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    C'est si bon

    Delicious read. Elizabeth tells her story of love for her man, his country and the amazing French cuisine we all love.

    I loved her humor as well as the scrumptious recipes she includes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    This was a fun, easy read with more meat on its bones than I expected.

    Lunch in Paris is Elizabeth Bard's memoir of falling in love with a Frenchman over a pave au poivre for lunch. As the relationship advances she moves to Paris and encounters all the typical, but somehow never tiresome, dilemmas of an American in Paris. Like many before her she also falls in love with the culinary scene, discovering butchers and bakeries, markets and chic, little, sidewalk cafes. The recipes are doable and sound delicious - especially Pork Tenderloin with Four Kinds of Apples and Gwendal's Quick and Dirty Chocolate Souffle.

    The second half of the book delves deeper into what it really means to live in another country. I really enjoyed Bard's insight into managing relationships with in-laws ( on both sides), forming truly meaningful new friendships, sadly navigating the health care system, and making career decisions. Her careful, detailed look at the differences between the two cultures not only made me appreciate France more, it taught me a little bit more of what it means to be an American.

    This was a fun, easy read with more meat on its bones than I expected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Adorable, laugh-out-loud narrative, charming romance, yummy reci

    Adorable, laugh-out-loud narrative, charming romance, yummy recipes, and glorious descriptions of Paris? More, please.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Recommend for some light reading.

    Book is well written but rather slow in some areas. Interesting storyline but just didn't move along. Some parts were interesting and others just boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    Wow. This was beautiful. One of the best travel memoirs

    Wow. This was beautiful. One of the best travel memoirs I have read. If you are interesting in Paris, are a foodie, love French Culture or just want to read something enchanting: read this. I really hope the author continues on with a second book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    J'aime beaucoup!

    Very enjoyable. Bard book read perfectly as she details the scenes, the people, and how it all feels and seems to an American perspective. My favorite aspect, after reading other memoirs of expats in France, was her ability to see the good and bad in both her native and her adopted homelands. It' s honest and doesn't come off as pretentious or exaggerated. Plus the recipes are delicious and not out of reach.

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

    I truly enjoyed this book and return to it again and again. It's

    I truly enjoyed this book and return to it again and again. It's honest, funny, and captivating. A pleasant book to just enjoy before cooking an excellent meal from one of her recipes. 

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