I had the good fortune to meet Kaie Wellman, local maven and originator of the Eat. Shop. series of guidebooks to some of the best places on the planet (including, of course, Portland). She recently released her 14th guide, this one a compendium of the best places to hang out in Paris, one of my favorite-est cities on the planet (no offense Seattle, Madrid, Seoul or Mexico City).
Kaie and her co-author, Jon Hart, had their release party at Castagna, where owners Monique Siu and Kevin Gibson served some of the best munchies...OK, amuse bouches...that I've had this side of the Seine. The entire constellation of local glitterati ("Oh, darling, sooo good to see you!") were cheek-to-cheek in the dining room, making it hard to get to the goodies, though we did our best linebacker imitation and busted through. It was an amazing scene, though we quickly moved over to the cafe side and had a romantic and much quieter repast.
If you haven't checked out these little books yet, each one is a listing of 90 or so locally owned and operated businesses that distill the essence of the city they are part of. And the gorgeous photos that accompany each one will make you want to renew your passport and go. (Are we there yet?)