Where’s my favorite blog?!

And we’re back… excuse us for the absence but we’ve taken a break, recalibrated and back with much more content and a wider reach than ever before!

WE’VE got great bourbon recommendations, dreat digs for man shoes, easy recipes in “Man Can Cook”, more silly seasonal colognes that matter and a slew of other great content. We’re reaching into the archives bringing some of our best hits, emptying our mail with some great reader questions and are signing up a slew of contributors to round out our pieces. “

Where have you guys
gone!?” was a question we got… fret not, you’re favorite men’s blog is back. Spread the world—let the world know. This is The Young Gentlemen’s Guide.

Man like Shoes…

Real men like shoes. Real men care what’s on their feet, and why shoult he? He’s on his feet most of them time.

Men at Work

Ask a woman what she looks at on a man first?

Answer: Shoes.

The derby with attitude...

We like: Cole Rood and Haan; Cole-Haan’s new Grandpa Cool line of shoes.

The man's boot

Bespoke Life: 1983 Brandy by Domaine Charbay

There is nothing like the “art and lore” of brandy distilling and more you pay, the more refined & honest the spirit… one would hope. And that brandy should have a story.

The Perfect Drink

THERE’Sbrandy‘ and then there’s Brandy. Made from the distillate of wine and then aged in oak (where it gets its amber color), Brandy (and it’s cousins, Cognac and Armagnac, made in region of the same name in France)  is all to often overly-processed, artificially colored and drastically underwheling.

Enter the Karakasevic family, from a long line of master distillers, who settled in the ‘highlands’ of Spring Mountain in Northern California to churn out some of America’s most unique and cherished spirits.

This brandy was hand-distilled by Miles Karakasevic (Madter Distiller) andfrom a base wine of ‘Folle Blance” then aged in Oak Barrels from Limousin France for an unfettered clarity and an almost incomprehensivble complexity.

Top notes of mulling spices with caramael and a tlight floral toast with a dollop of blood orange marmaled. In essence: this stuff is good!

Distiller’s Notes: “Launching the Brandy program in 1983 with a 1,000 gallon Pruhlo Alambic was a long term commitment to distilling in California. I wanted our brandy to reflect my heritage of hand distilling.  Little did I know that we would distill so many spirits in between but I was determined that the premiere would be how I envisioned it should be: full bodied and elegant.  That my son apprenticed by my side and learned to distill whiskey, rum, pastis, flavored vodkas and more while the brandy aged…well, that’s how my people carry on. For me, distilling isn’t a business; it’s a way of life.

— Miles Karakasevic

 

About Charbay Brandy N0. 83:

“The most interesting thing I tried at WhiskyFest was a brandy of all things. Tasted like what I imagine a Christmas rum raisin cake tastes like; juicy allspice…” Camper English/SF /WhiskeyFest

100 cases made of 750ml and 95 cases of 375ml. Get it at www.charbay.com

The 2011 Gift Roundup!

Well…It’s that time of year again  and if you haven’t rounded up gifts for those special people on your life, then you’re in trouble!

THAT of course does not apply to you, dear reader, you have us, and we at TGG have rounded up a list of fail-safe gifts for either a) that special gentleman in your life (ladies) or b) a young Gentlemen’s father, brother, or bosss…

Read on…

 

Gentleman’s hint: these gifts work well for the other Gentlemen in a Young Gentlemen’s life…

 

For Him

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Tourbillon

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Tourbillon

The Watch

From our friends at Gentlemen’s Gadgets

Suit fits like a second skin, shoes are polished perfectly, shirt’s dazzling white, well then there’s an a definite need for an adequate timekeeper to complete the package. Jaquet Droz presents their latest watch, the Grande Seconde Tourbillon, which displays a loud elegance including an astonishing tourbillon carriage crafted from sapphire crystal. The case is made from 18kt gold and measures 43mm, the dial exhibits Grand Feu enamel, and the caliber is a Swiss automatic Jaquet Droz in-house caliber 25JD with 31 jewels, 21.600 vph and a power reserve of 7 days.

A scent to bring that special someone near:

HISTORIES de PERFUME ‘edition rare’ : PÉTROLEUM

The Fragrance

From our friends at Aedes de Venustas NYC:

In all of its precious form Oudh is effortlessly felt throughout the fragrance. Woven with bergamot and orange its fresh top notes unfold, assertively layered with woody and resinous power. Ozonic floralcy lives at the heart as a mystical rose unveils warmed ambered stones. An eccentric chypre character exhales narcotic fumes with an intense signature of leather wrapped in lucid white musk…

It is a potion, a rare elixir that will lead to exalted ecstasy and pure euphoria.

[What?! – it’s smells good that’s what…]-TGG

TOP NOTES: Oud, Bergamot, Aldehyde

MIDDLE NOTES: Rose, oud, amber

BASE NOTES: Oud, civet, leather, patchouli.

CATEGORY: Woody

buy here

 

A Grown Man’s Duffle Bag from T.Anthony

 

From our friends at T.Anthony:

With luxurious leather detailing our stylish canvas and leather carry on is ideal for shorter trips or weekend getaways. Lightweight and spacious, it has a removable shoulder strap and two interior zip pockets. This duffle is a customer favorite and a perfect gift item for travelers of any kind. 22” x 12” x 11”

[PS- they put your initials on it too… if that’s not enough you actually are carrying something distinctive and distinguished – not a tattered all cheap suitcase. If you want an “wheeled duffle” option check one out here]

The Cigar: Torano Single Region Jalapa Serie

The Smoke

From our friends at Cigarfan.net:

The word terroir means “land” in French, but it is most commonly used in the wine trade to indicate the qualities that are imparted to grapes by the growing environment. This basically comes down to soil quality and weather, both of which have a tremendous impact on the quality of the fruit.

The same thing goes for tobacco (and coffee, and probably all agricultural products.) Tobacco is a resilient plant that will grow almost anywhere, but black tobacco suitable for cigar making is much more finicky and is in many ways sensitive to the terroir. A tobacco grower does everything he can to produce the ideal conditions that will result in the type of leaf he wants –  from buttressing the soil with minerals and fertilizers to shading the plants with cloth to create a lighter shade of wrapper leaf.

Cigar blends usually incorporate leaves from several different regions to create a balance of the best qualities of each region. As an example (maybe not a great one), piloto cubano from the Dominican Republic might be used for spice, combined with a milder volado leaf to promote an even burn; a broadleaf binder from Connecticut might be used to give it a round leathery taste, and it might be finished off with a maduro wrapper from the San Andres Valley of Mexico for a chocolatey sweetness. It would be unusual to find tobacco with all of those qualities in one region, let alone one farm.

But that is exactly what the Toraño family has done with its Single Region release. Part of the reason they are able to do this is because it’s a hell of a region — the Jalapa Valley of Northern Nicaragua is one of the most fertile and productive places to grow cigar tobacco outside of Cuba. The Jalapa Valley is known for the sweetness and rich flavor of its tobacco, and is sometimes contrasted with tobacco from Esteli, which tends to be sharper and stronger.

All of the tobaccos in the Toraño’s Single Region come from one farm called El Estero after a stream that runs through the farm.

To buy: Ask you local tobacconist.

 

 

Tequila dressed as Cognac: Don Julio 1942

The Drink

A tribute tequila of astonishing depth, Tequila Don Julio 1942 (a limited-edition tequila) is best appreciated when served in a snifter.

The luxury tequila of choice in Mexico, Tequila Don Julio uses only the choicest, fully matured and ripened blue agave hand- selected from the rich, clay soils of the Los Altos region.

In commemoration of Don Julio’s 60th anniversary of producing the highest quality tequila, Tequila Don Julio 1942 was born. Using a personal selection of prime agave, Don Julio created this unique batch of tequila aged for at least two and a half years in American white oak barrels. Adding even more to its exclusivity, Tequila Don Julio 1942 is made with the distillate in Pot Still 6, which produces only three barrels per cycle.

Color: Deep, bright amber hue with specks of gold; full-bodied.

Nose: Sweet aromas of caramelized cherries and tones of nuts, almonds and chocolate combine with exotic cinnamon and a light essence of oak. The vanilla fragrance is interestingly sweet and enjoyable.

Taste: A silky, smooth character that coats the palate with roasted agave flavors, vanilla, sun-ripened tropical fruits and spiced undertones to create a wonderfully unique tequila experience.

Finish: Beautiful, sweet agave-laced finish with lingering hints of oak and rich vanilla essence; a full-bodied creaminess resulting from distillation and aging

[nuff said] – TGG

FOR the Young Gentlemen with Ladies in his life it is important that such gifts reflect the same class and attention to detail he wishes to embellish on himself.

Ultimately a gift is personal and not all women like champagne and truffles; some may just prefer a vintage cigar with a good bottle of brandy [God bless such women]. Nevertheless The Young Gentlemen’s Guide has rounded up a variety of basics sure to please most Ladies.

As for that ‘special woman’ in a Gentlemen’s life (i.e. not your mother) we always you stick stick to our traditional dictum: some say “…Go big or go home…” with her gift we say “…go bling or go sexy…” [i.e. jewelry or lingerie].

For Mom (grandma, cousin, boss, etc…)

A Box of Serenity: Santa Maria Novella Gift Boxes

The Goods...

From our Friends at Aedes de Venustas:

A beautiful signature Santa Maria Novella gift box filled with the signature Melograno candle, Melograno soap, a small box of potpourri and lemon verbena scented hand cream. Makes a stunning gift for any occasion.

[Guys… trust on this one…]

Buy here

“Happiest of Holiday Box” by John & Kira Chocolates 

 

 

The Sweets...

Local, organic, and sustainable… but just as important: handcrafted, top-notch ingredients and utterly delicious. Sure you can get that same old golden box of factory made Belgian stuff, but then again it’s everywhere and that makes it utterly not special. Know what we mean? For the same amount of dough you can go the quality route while repeating to yourself the golden rule “small is beautiful…”

This 28 piece chocolate box is John&Kira’s most classic and popular holiday gift and features all ten of their award winning flavors.

To make them, they infuse real herbs and spices into fresh cream, such as just picked garden mint or fresh young ginger from the island of Molokai in Hawaii. The infused cream is then heated and poured over amazingly complex Valrhona milk or dark chocolate and mixed until a super creamy ganache is achieved. The ganache is then poured into a frame, allowed to set for 48 hours, and cut into one and a quarter inch squares. Finally, each delicate square is enrobed in a thin layer of 62% dark Valrhona chocolate and marked by hand with a fork. The brown and red box is finished with a letter-pressed card announcing “The Happiest of Holidays To You”.

Buy them here

Ok—So, how bout for that very special woman? Go bling or go sexy (or go home!)

Go Bling: Victorian Mine-Cut Diamond Pendant

Victorian Mine-Cut Diamond Pendant

The Bling

Buy here… (don’t say we didn’t warn you– ultimately it’s a direction…)

Go Sexy: Lingerie from Agent Provocateur

Classic Agent Provocateur; the finest pink lace with a black Chantilly lace overlay in a flirtatious floral pattern.

The Classics - Francoise

The Sexy...

 Buy here

 

The Young Gentlemen’s Guide wishes everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

Winter Fragrance Round-up 2011 – Luckyscent’s got your gift…

From our friends at Luckyscent.com we have a round-up of fantastic holiday/winter-worthy fragrances that are perfect your our Gentlemen squadron and that special ladies in their lives…

From www.Luckyscent.com

Cozy up to our December releases:

New Releases for December

1 Frapin 1697 – “Eau de Parfum Edition” – With the success of the limited production 1697 Parfum, Frapin has now permanently added the 1697 Eau de Parfum version to its main collection. A must try! 2 Comme des Garcons – “Eau de Parfum” – A unique Comme des Garcons creation: At once fresh, and then laundry-like, then part almondy-sweet, the new Eau de Parfum twists and turns upon the first spritz. Strangely addictive! 3 Idole de Lubin – “Eau de Parfum” – New and re-mixed! A stronger, more resinous and intense variation on the best selling Idole Eau de Toilette version. Incredible.

4 Parfum d’Empire – “Azemour” – New! A spicy, exotic orange blossom, one that can be worn all year long. Classic Parfum d’Empire creation: Quality ingredients and gloriously executed.

5 Isabey – “L’ambre de Carthage” – Isabey goes masculine! A mysterious, slightly woody-sweet composition that was brought back to life and re-imagined from the original 1924 formula, where it was first sold at the Isabey storefront in Paris.

BUY HERE

From our friends at Luckyscent.com we have a round-up of fantastic holiday/winter-worthy fragrances that are perfect your our Gentlemen squadron and that special ladies in their lives…

From www.Luckyscent.com

Cozy up to our December releases:

New Releases for December

1 Frapin 1697 – “Eau de Parfum Edition” – With the success of the limited production 1697 Parfum, Frapin has now permanently added the 1697 Eau de Parfum version to its main collection. A must try! 2 Comme des Garcons – “Eau de Parfum” – A unique Comme des Garcons creation: At once fresh, and then laundry-like, then part almondy-sweet, the new Eau de Parfum twists and turns upon the first spritz. Strangely addictive! 3 Idole de Lubin – “Eau de Parfum” – New and re-mixed! A stronger, more resinous and intense variation on the best selling Idole Eau de Toilette version. Incredible.

4 Parfum d’Empire – “Azemour” – New! A spicy, exotic orange blossom, one that can be worn all year long. Classic Parfum d’Empire creation: Quality ingredients and gloriously executed.

5 Isabey – “L’ambre de Carthage” – Isabey goes masculine! A mysterious, slightly woody-sweet composition that was brought back to life and re-imagined from the original 1924 formula, where it was first sold at the Isabey storefront in Paris.

BUY HERE

From our friends at Luckyscent.com we have a round-up of fantastic holiday/winter-worthy fragrances that are perfect your our Gentlemen squadron and that special ladies in their lives…

From http://www.Luckyscent.com

Cozy up to our December releases:

New Releases for December

1 Frapin 1697 – “Eau de Parfum Edition” – With the success of the limited production 1697 Parfum, Frapin has now permanently added the 1697 Eau de Parfum version to its main collection. A must try!

2 Comme des Garcons – “Eau de Parfum” – A unique Comme des Garcons creation: At once fresh, and then laundry-like, then part almondy-sweet, the new Eau de Parfum twists and turns upon the first spritz. Strangely addictive!

3 Idole de Lubin – “Eau de Parfum” – New and re-mixed! A stronger, more resinous and intense variation on the best selling Idole Eau de Toilette version. Incredible.

4 Parfum d’Empire – “Azemour” – New! A spicy, exotic orange blossom, one that can be worn all year long. Classic Parfum d’Empire creation: Quality ingredients and gloriously executed.

5 Isabey – “L’ambre de Carthage” – Isabey goes masculine! A mysterious, slightly woody-sweet composition that was brought back to life and re-imagined from the original 1924 formula, where it was first sold at the Isabey storefront in Paris.


INDEX of SUPERFLUOUS NECESSITIES: The Velvet Slipper

It is said the truly great things in life are things one desires, not things one needs. This can be said for great Bourbon, a fast car or a luxurious smoke.

IT is further said you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, but what about when shoes need to be 1) comfortable and 2) thoroughly decadent?

What if such a shoe need s to find itself appropriate for the opera and as at home for wearing around the house?

These shoes, potentially, can  be worn with smartly cut dark jeans and a black velvet jacket to go about town and are, not anything a man truly needs, but they still manage to be the perfect gift.

Enter: The Velvet Slipper.

True, the notion of a man in a seemingly precious pair of slippers is enough to  send shudders down most guy’s spines, but, alas, the velvet slipper has its place! A casual night at the local cigar-lounge, hanging by the pool in the moonlight at the Soho House or a chic evening outing, a velvet slipper can add a touch of nonchalant elegance to any man’s wardrobe.

Like anything that straddles that line between utterly and stupidly pretentious and smartly stylish and classic, it’s all about the details (and the rules that govern such details…)

Places to not wear one:

–       The local Pub.

–       The Office.

–       The Hardware store.

The Ultimate "Chill-out Shoe"

Places to wear them:

–       At home, chilling.

–       Whilst enjoying a cigar and a Scotch.

–       A brothel.

 

Otherwise go nuts with the following guidelines:

–       Do NOT wear with casual or sports clothing.

–       Do NOT wear them to walk around the town.

–       Keep embroidery to a minimum… some guys like skulls on them, some want their initials (keep them simple) but keep the snobbishness to a minimum (i.e. no crowns, fleur-de-lys or ‘family shields’ – unless, of course, said wearer belongs to a proper royal household).

–       Wear them well: Don’t cook in them, don’t mow the lawn in them, don’t run in them.

–       The shoes are the statement- keep everything else tame.

–       Wear with confidence.

 

Jeans and Blazer Shoe

The Color Protocol

–       Colors Light: Light blues and yellows can be worn with slim cut, flat-front khakis or white pants, even very faded well-cut jeans. This is important, when one wears velvet slippers one must account for them, that is, the velvet slipper is the punch-line and very much a central part of the outfit, and by wearing them one is referencing a very specific European lifestyle ‘look’ therefore if you are not comfortable with this look- ditch the velvet shoes (at least in lighter colors). Otherwise, wear as you would

Smart Casual

–       Colors Dark: This is the safest bet! Black (classic), navy or hunter green. As for the first two wear them with similarly colored blazers and either dark jeans or grey trousers. Dark ‘hunter’ greens get trickier but with a similarly colored polo or a khaki suit they may look appropriate. If “less is more” was ever a stand-by, this is it.

–       A Word on the “red/Burgundy” slipper: Should you be the ‘smoking jacket type’ (see our post about said smoking jacket here) in that classic shade of velvet and burgundy then by all means; but tread carefully—it is but the boldest men who can pull off this look!

 

In truth a great pair of velvet slippers could well be the most versatile shoe you own.

 

Where to find them

A small army of great suppliers feature velvet slippers; from Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren to venerable houses like Paul Davies London and John Lobb. We like Del Toro Shoes for their fantastic range and custom-options. For your first pair this is the way to go!

 

Enjoy (and don’t say we didn’t warn you!)…

5 Things of the Moment: 2011 Resolutions

Five Resolutions for the New Year

The Resolute Man (from The Sartorialist Blog)

Why Five? We don’t know, we just like that number…

SO… Gentleman of the world, repeat after us: “I will…”

1) …buy at least one great pair of shoes:

Believe it or not, buying a pair of GREAT (and yes, expensive) pair of shoes a year, for three or four years, will save you lots of money in the long-run. Polish them regularly, roate usage over the course of a week, don’t jump into the pool with them and they will last you a life time! Start with lace-ups first: brown or black, keeping in mind brown (not an exotic type of brown) is the most versatile as it can be worn with just about anything, including a grey suit or a nice pair of jeans.

The Basic Shoe (Leffot)

  • We like: Tod’s, Peal & Co. (Brook’s Brothers), Leffot and Cole Rood & Haan

[check out Leffot for some of the best shoes…  here]

2)  … acquire one well tailored sports-jacket or suit:

The difference between a skillfully constructed jacket and the full suit is often 100USD-200USD so our logic says, spring up the extra couple bucks for the whole thing—but not just any suit; here we are exclusively talking about what will be the most versatile suit you ever buy: a navy suit. Why navy? Navy suits are handsome, can be work with anything from suede loafers and a grey polo underneath (for a casual feel) to a more formal configuration with a  crisp oxford shirt and chocolate-brown lace-ups and just about any tie you throw at it. Better yet, should you be on business for a day or two it’s the only suit you need to take. The jacket can be worn on its own with grey trousers or, for a night out on the town, jeans and a pair of boots.

The Navy Suit (Ralph Lauren)

What to look for:

  • Expensive DOES NOT usually mean better: but in the world of shoes and suits, those without flashy logos, it usually does- get ready to pay well over $800USD for one. (OR check out Brooks Brother’s which still has the industry’s best off-peg suits… for a trim look  try the Milano fit. J.Crew also has Loro Piana wool suits in their Ludlow line). Look for drape. Drape is the way the fabric hangs on your body- this is truly the biggest difference between a ‘good’ suit, and a ‘great’ one.
  • One or two buttons. Unless you’re in the American NBA player or are an African dictator, four to five buttons is never necessary… two are just enough as one (the bottom) remains unbuttoned. Which is why, should it have one button, we’d recommend it even more.
  • Wide face? Peak lapel. Skinny and long-ish face? Notch lapel. Or so goes the wisdom. Shawl collars are for smoking jackets and velvet frocks.
  • Construction: live in the tropics? The Carribean, Miami, Singapore, or the Philipiines? Stick to light cottons or twills and, if you can find it, a deconstructed jacket (i.e. one that is not lined and therefore ‘cooler’. Everywhere else try a multi-seasonal wool or wool blend. Scrunch it up in your hands; the fabric shoucl bounce back and not leave wrinkiles. If it does wrinkle, it’s cheap… keep walking.
  • Fit. TRUE FIT gentlemen is not waollowing in a jacket. The shouldders should be snug but not tight. Armholes high; cuff should not cover your hand and the jackets buttons shoulc cinch slightly at the waist. A great suit it supposed to give you a better figure (that’s silhouette in girl-speak) than you actually have… you’re not supposed to make the suit look worse than the shape it actually is. AND don’t cuff your pants…

Navy Suit! We like:

The Navy Suit revisited...

 

  • International: Ralph Lauren Black or Purple Label, Brooks Brothers, Zegna (***), Kitton, Canali and Loro Piana.
  • US: Billy Reid, Freeman’s Sporting Goods, Tomas Maier (trust us…) and by extension Bottega Veneta, and Tom Ford (should you want to part with part of your kids inheritance…)-(they are unforgettable suits however).
  • For the ‘fuller’ man: Brook’s Brother, J.Press (US only), Ralph Lauren, and Paul Stuart.
  • For the ‘rakish’ man: John Varvatos, Thom Brown… and by extension Black Fleece (Thom Brown for Brooks Brothers), and Phineas Cole (Paul Stuart).

3) … not smell like every other guy I  know:

Due to the passion of some (ahem) this blog, at times, has seemed as more of a fragrance blog than anything else.  A recent piece on the New York Times confessed that mos men’s sale of Colognes were in the guise of Bleu (Chanel) and Polo’s multi-colored and numbered creations: both rehashes of a much more refined Cool Water and a mis-match of old (boring) standards respectively. Live a little- smell different! Men are afraid of buying cologne, why, we don’t know… perhaps it’s because a man walking into a store and having something sprayed on him and then carefully smelling it conjures  a trifecta of paranoias of manlihood, vanity and foppishness that makes most men queasy. Fine we get it. If that’s the case try our friends at Luckyscent (www.luckyscent.com) – you can search for your next fragrance by what you currently wear or by components such as “citrus”, “fresh” or “aqua”. Find a couple you like, order small samples at $3.00 each and try them in the privacy of your own man-space- try each on for a day or two (on your skin, this is important) and find the one you like! If you happen to be in New York check out Aedes de Venustas (www.venustas.com) on 9th and Christopher Street.

We like: Memoir Man by Amouage, Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris (fantastic!) and Fiquier by Heeley (all available at Lucky Scent).

The scent for the Season...

For more “commercial” fragrances a few stand-out. Most large department stores both in the US and Internationally carry colognes from Creed and Santa Maria Novella… all worth trying as both houses make great stuff. The quintessential men’s cologne? Chanel’s Pour Monsieur Eau de Parfum (NOT the Eau de Toilette, not the Eau Concentree but the Eau de Parfum… trust us!).

The Archetype...

4) …Discover great champagne:

There’s seems to be something inherently effete about Champagne- perhaps it’s the bubbles or the endless tirade of images of scantily-clad women (and androgynous guys) drinking the stuff, but champagne has been relegated to the realm of feminine products. Rest assured there is nothing “precious” about drinking champagne; one of champagne’s biggest champions was Winston-Churchill and who’s going to argue that the boozy womanizer was not masculine? Churchill’s passion for Champagne was such than in one of his rallying speeches to English forces in World War II proclaimed “…remember Gentlemen, we do not do this only for France, but for Champagne!”

The Man

The problem is that many champagne houses are now owned by fashion houses, the very same peddling women overpriced bags, shoes and accessories (not to mention make-up). Case-in-point: Louis Vuitton, whose parent company, Louis-Vuitton-Moet Hennessey (LVMH) owns Chanel, DKNY, Dior, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Aqua di Parma, Sephora, along with Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau d’Yquem, Hennessy Cognac, Champagne Krug, Moet-et-Chandon and Dom Perignon… to name a few of course. What this ultimately creates is Champagne being sold as a fashion accessory, the next “it bag” as opposed to what it really is: a wine. Champagne, the wine, is first and foremost a wine, one that has bubbles. It’s effervescence is at the same time both incidental and part of its magic. The wine, can only come from the hilly and remote region of Champagne in France, hence its namesake. This region, dotted with dozens of funny-sounding villages, produces a handful of wonderful and fabulous wine every gentleman should know and keep in his fridge, ready to enjoy and either celebrate a special occasion or make any occasion special.

The Bubbly... Cuvee Louis by Tarlant

What we like:

  • “Casual Bubbly”: Billecart-Salon Brut, Tarlant Zero, Bollinger, Pierre-Peters, Jaquesson, Roederer and Delamotte.
  • “Champagne for Romance”: Billecart Brut Rose
  • “Serious Celebratory Effervescence”: Krug Grande Cuvee, Dom Perignon Oenotheque Series 1979, Krug Clos de Mesnil 1990, Salon 1995, Billecart-Salmon Nicolas Francois 1988 or Vilmart et Cie “Cuvee Creation” 1997 (trust us…)

oh, and PS: ditch the flute and ask for a white wine glass instead…it’s wine, not a cocktail.

5)… learn to cook one new dish…

[From our friends at MAN-CAN-COOK]

Any woman will tell you a sexy man is one who can cook… and while the way to a man’s heart may be his stomach the kind of vivacious women worth holding onto have the very same gastronomic detour to their hearts.

Want to try something great? We like:

Pasta all’amatriciana

The indispensable dish...

(adapted / inspired by “Hosteria Oswaldo” in Rome)

Ingredients

  • 1 x 1lb can of “San Marzano” Tomatoes (ask the clerk…)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 3 strips of bacon (fatty bacon), chopped (for authenticity’s sake one should use pancetta)
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • ¼ lb / 100gr. Dry Spaghetti or Spaghetti Rigatti (TGG reccomends Barilla)

Equipment:

  • 1 small to medium sauce-pan
  • 1 large pot for boiling
  • 1 blender (or food mill should you be inclined)
  • cheese grater
  • knife

The method:

  • Small saucepan: with of olive oil on medium heat stir around the chopped shallot of and garlic until soft (but not brown).  Add the Red pepper flakes.
  • Add tomatoes and crush them with a spoon; and let the sauce sit until it bubbles a couple times. Turn on low—let it simmer away (on low heat) for 15 minutes.
  • Place in blender and liquefy. Clean the pot and put it back on the heat.
  • Now, on medium heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon. Cook the bacon a bit but not to a crisp. Add the puree of tomato, the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. On low heat bring it back to a simmer for 5 minutes and then turn it off!
  • Fill big pot with water, bring it to a boil, and add enough salt until it tastes like seawater. Follow the packaged instructions for an al-dente pasta (usually 7 minutes).
  • Once done, drain the pasta (reserve 1 cup of the liquid); and put hot pasta in a bowl. Add six or so tablespoons of the hot tomato sauce with bacon and two tablespoons of grated cheese. Toss.
  • Serve in two bowls and spoon excess toss from the bowl on top and grate some cheese over the two portion.
  • You’re done… enjoy!
  • Rosso di Montalcino or a Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, while not local, are you’re best bets…

A Gentleman’s Travel Guide: Paris- Eats and Finds.

There is not city on earth quite like Paris; it is at once captivating and soothing, beautiful and unapologetic.

PARISIANS get a bad wrap for being rude, but if you make even the slightest attempt to speak the language you’ll get far. Paris, for me, is all about food- Sure there’s galleries and famous museums (Musee de Orsee and the Louvre) as well as a host of boutiques and shops. But Paris Eats, is the best Eats in the world.

Pierre Herme

The Macaroon

For  a “can-these-macaroons-truly-be-better-than-ten-orgasms-at-once” experience you MUST go to this place, then (after waiting in line for them) take a seat at the Place St. Sulpice and enjoy the most sublime confections in the world.

@ 72 Rue Bonaparte (by the plaza of St. Sulpice | 6th arr.)

Ryst Dupeyron

The Spirit(s)

An entire shop of distilled treasure from France.

@ 79 Rue du Bac (6th)

Patisserie Gerard Mulot

The Sweet spot

Nothing is better than France’s pattisseries; part jewelry store for confections, part christmas-time for gluttons, lots of butter and all delicious… stop here for tarts, cookies and all that is right with the world- it’s crowded but that’s half the fun. With baguette in hand walk next door to the St. Germain market and look for the cheese display- the couple that runs it is wonderful!  Tell them about your preference for cheese and watch her blow you away.

Gerard Mult @ 76 Rue de Seine (closed Wed | 6th).

Maitre Parfumer et Gantier

The touch

Once upon a time this house made the perfumes and gloves for the French crown- not they make spectacular, hand-crafted limited-edition perfumes. Wonderful (for the wife and husband). My Pick:

Santal Noble

– I wear it in November, it’s seductive cinnamon-sweetness and ambrette heft and complex aromatics are intoxicating.

(Sandalwood with seductive amber. Woodsy. Top Note: Coffe beans, spice oils, incense; Middle Note: Sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver; Base Note: Ambegris, oakmoss, vanilla)

@ 5 Rue de Capucins (Metro: OPERA |9th)

Les Cocottes de Christian Constant

The Good Stuff

Tired and exhausted from outing the Eiffel tower and a bit chilly?  Head to this place… a fabulous little restaurant that serves up hearty food by a star-chef all cooked in small (Staub) Coccottes…

@ 135 Rue St. Dominique (7th)

Chocolatier Christian Constant

The indulgance

Do i need to say anything? Startlingly amazing.

@ 37 Rue d’Assas (6th)

Chez Mai

The wild card

Do you need a break from foie and lardons- we all do: this became our favorite little place in the world- a great Vietnamesse hole-in-the-wall where the host (Miss Mai) is very busy servicing all four tables plus watching her shows in a heaping, but welcoming mess that is this restaurant (just don’t have too much of the chili sauce or like us you’ll get yelled at)…

@ 65 Rue de Galande (TINY!)-(5th)

Berthillon (Ice Cream)

The life-changing moment...

It is only a few times in life when something so well known is taken for granted that we don’t think anything will ever redefine it for us: and that is where Berthillon comes in. Berthillon will forever change your relationship with Ice Cream. Tucked deep in the Isle St. Louis almost every cafe on the way to this shrine announces they serve Berthillon Ice cream- keep walking. Make yourself to the actual establishment, sit in the small but cozy (and always full) parlor and be ready to have your life re-defined. Even by the Vanilla Ice Cream!!! (The Fleur de sel topped caramel Ice Cream is also an all-time favorite favourite)

@ 31 Rue Saint Louis in Isle St. Louis (4th)

La Cerise sur le Chapeau

The little things in life...

Roughly “The cherry on top (or in this case on a hat) is a wonderful little shop with a great collection of hand-made hats and Bespoke on order. Check it out! Get measured, get a hat and continue to tour the town.

@ 11 rue Cassette (6th)

Les Jardins de Luxembourg

The respite

The Luxembourg Gardens are amongst some of the most beautiful in Paris… rent a bike and circle the neighborhood, or simply take a book, stroll through the park, find a sunny spot and make yourself at home.

@ South of St. Sulpice on Rue Bonaparte (6th)

Restaurant L’Arpege by Alain Passard

The moment

One of the most unforgettable gastronomic experiences of my life. This 3-star michelin restaurant is an experience on its own. Small dining room is not cold and daunting like many similarly-starred restaurants in Paris. The staff is friendly, the wine list vast, and it’s chef, who specialty is his ability to coax magic out of the simplest most honest vegetables from France, strolls around the dining room at lunch making sure everyone is happy. On certain fridays, this parade is accompanied by a crispy suckling pig on a silver tray that is actuioned off table to table– and you’d be keen to get a piece, for a bit of this pig is enough to make you cry for joy.

@ 84, Rue de Varenne (5th) – Monday through Friday/ lunch and dinner.

Paradis Latin Cabaret

The caution to the air (why the hell not?)

Forget Le Moulin Rouge- it’s an overpriced tourist trap; come here instead, bookearly, get a table and a bottle of champagne and enjoy.

@28 Rue Cardinal Lemoine (Dinner 8pm. Show 9.30pm daily.)-(5th)

Restaurant l’AOC

The regular

Our favorite Restaurant in Paris– and what’s not to love? Big rotisserie when you walk in and a table full of thick-sided casserole dishes holding in rich pates and terrines which are brought table-side where you can serve yourself to your cholesterol’s content (or until someone else orders it). Everything on the menu is from an AOC appellation- from the sausage and hams, to the chickens and beef and it is all very very delicious! Not easy to find, but worth seeking out….

@ 14 Rue Fosses Saint Bernard (5th)

La Flambee

The 'no-nonesense' meal

If you feel like a homey environment, and have had enough of the michelin-stars getting in the way of pure guttural enjoyment of food head to this little place not to far from Mr Eiffel’s metal behemoth. The outside makes you question if you are indeed in the right place- which only proves you indeed are. Sit down; a long table with an array of salads and cold items in bowls greets you to the right as you make your way into a dim interior dominated by a large stone hearth with a well-worn iron grill on top: three items to choose from: Chicken, beef or Foie Gras. One cooking method: On that stone hearth, cooked over a wood fire. The table: all you can eat. The wine: Cheap and quaffable. The experience: unforgettable (the price? 30-40EU a person…).

@ 79 Avenue Segur (CASH ONLY)-(5th)

– La Puce | The flea-marker… Paris-style…

“The unexpected”

One of the most AMAZING walks around town, which most tourists miss is the “Prais Flea Market” or Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. It’s a track, but if uou got a 20-foot container to fill my God could you fill it. Trinkets from castles, Old WWII memorabilia, furniture, mideval clothes, lithographs, old music you name it….

@ 140 Rue de Rosiers

How to get there:

Porte de Clignancourt, line 4, coming from Paris.

Take the exit marked Boulevard Ornano, odd numbers, then the exit rue Belliaud /rue letord. Go under the ring road. Avenue Michelet is the continuation of the Porte de Clignancourt, but the easiest way to get to most of the markets is along the rue des Rosiers (first left off the avenue Michelet).