April 10, 2015
Wine Tasting in Paris, Thierry Givone
I’ve always found local wines and spirits an enjoyable way to sip myself into a different culture. So my travel M.O. is “arrive and imbibe,” whether it’s beer in Belgium or Unicum in Hungary. One of the best things about being in Paris is that “going local” means enjoying some particularly good French wine. Every once in awhile I like to crank that experience up a notch with a little help from a professional. While wine courses and tastings can be found all over Paris, here are a few of my favorites for education without intimidation.
Wine Tasting in Paris, Thierry Givone
Continue Reading »
Posted in Wine | 4 Comments »
November 3, 2014
With everything from simple corner cafes to trendy nightclubs, Paris is a paradise for those with a taste for the nightlife. Even so, sometimes a night off is in order. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to eschew a bit of sipping, as Paris offers some interesting alternatives for your home-drinking pleasure.
Natural Wine in Bulk: En Vrac
While wine by the box may not be new, this popular bar and restaurant is providing a new perspective on buying wine in bulk in its two Paris locations. En Vrac means “in bulk,” and here customers choose from a selection of natural wines that can be sampled on-site or taken off-site in fun French lemonade inspired to-go bottles (or bring your own). At prices that start around 5 Euros a bottle, it’s easy to take a chance on a few and spend a casual evening holding your own private wine tasting. And, for those seeking something stronger, they also offer up a selection of bulk spirits like Poire Williams, Vodka, Rhum, and more in a variety of sizes.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Wine | No Comments »
August 29, 2014
It’s seems that Boulogne, a relatively staid suburb of Paris, is becoming spunkier as a different breed of establishment seems to be seeping into the area. Concept stores, pizza joints with NYC aspirations, a combo cookie shop/tattoo parlor and the like are making a bit of a buzz that has caused some to liken the area to the “Brooklyn of Paris.”
Never having lived in Brooklyn, but being very aware of its use as a trendy descriptor (one of which I’ve been guilty myself), I asked friends who have lived both in Paris and New York for their take on this latest cultural comparison. I received some interesting and enlightening responses like: “Boulogne is by no stretch of the imagination ‘The New Brooklyn.’ One might, with a little reach, say it is trying to become Williamsburg-wanna-be-sur-Seine.”
Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »
March 24, 2014
Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.
But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.
For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »
March 13, 2014
You can call it tapas, mezze, hors d’ouvres… But, whatever you call it, small plate dining has been big news in Paris for the past few years.
Artisan (Fanny Twin) & Buvette
Places like Verjus, Au Passage, Mary Celeste, l’Avant Comptoir, Bones and Frenchie Wine bar have upped the ante when it comes to these meals made up of mini-servings. With so many spots, it’s hard to choose. So, if you’re interested in partaking in this particular fad, here’s a hat trick of SoPi hotspots for an all night tapas tour.
Since Artisan doesn’t take reservations, it’s best to begin your night here to guarantee a seat. This laid back location is the latest from the group behind La Maison Mère and they’ve up their game thanks to the one-two punch of barman Frederic Le Bordays and chef Vanessa Krycève. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »
January 7, 2014
As Europe’s largest oyster-producing country, France has a long history with the tasty bivalves. Busy brasseries boast display cases with servers who expertly shuck them for seafood platters and passing shoppers.
The year-end provides the perfect excuse to indulge in the festive combination of oysters and champagne. And, while they’ve always been part of the country’s culinary fabric, some of the city’s new chefs have been bringing them back to the forefront of the food scene by infusing a bit more energy and creativity into their service.
With seafood and shellfish playing a starring role in so many of the city’s new and popular restaurants, the team behind Septime finally unveil their own take on the trend with their third venture, Clamato. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »
November 21, 2013
Wouldn’t it be great to jump on a plane and travel to France at a moment’s notice? To leisurely explore the country’s regions and get a better understanding of its varied terroir?
While a spontaneous flight may not be realistic, it is possible to travel the country by glass, all from the comfort of home, with a little help from the Paris Wine Company.
I last ran into Josh Adler, creator and owner of the Paris Wine Company, several months ago at a favorite wine bar, Verjus. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping, Wine | 3 Comments »
September 19, 2013
For decades, Pigalle was known mainly for its sex shops, seedy shows and working girls. During WWII, this sketchy section of Paris earned the nickname “Pig Alley” thanks to its bawdy rep. But these days, Pigalle has earned a few new monikers as well as a cleaner reputation. Now, in NYC fashion, trendy locals refer to it as either NoPi (North of Pigalle) or SoPi (South of Pigalle).
While both North and South have plenty to offer, it’s SoPi that’s become the latest neighborhood to watch. Moving beyond nighttime entertainment, SoPi is packed with plenty of destination restaurants, food shops, cafes and enough to make an itinerary that runs from morning until nighttime.
To get a day’s worth of enjoyment out of one the city’s hippest ‘hood, kick start things with some caffeine at Rocketship. Like many places in Paris, they don’t open until later in the morning, so make your way there leisurely. In keeping with the neighborhood’s NY-inspired nickname, this concept coffeeshop works a Brooklyn vibe and offers chai lattes alongside coffee from Coutume.
After coffee, take time to browse the boutique. Benoit, the owner, prides himself on finding unique treasures and includes a good number of pieces from SoPi-based artisans.
Le Rocketship, 13 bis rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 78 23 66
Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 13 Comments »
July 30, 2013
Beef bourguignon. Escargot. Bordeaux. Burgundy. France’s gastronomic culture stems from strong tradition. The French meal has even earned a place on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. And while there’s nothing like a great classic, sometimes you just want to shake things up.
Fortunately, a formidable group of young food and drink folks have picked up on international culinary trends to create some new and vibrant options for Paris’ drinks and dining scene. The summer’s buzziest trend? Fresh fish with a South-American twist.
Just in time for Paris’ warmer summer months, these new hotspots are offering weather-appropriate fare like ceviche and lighter cocktails to go with the hot sunny days. Move over, tired old moules frites! There’s a new style of seafood in town and it’s being paired with some mighty fine drinks. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »
April 24, 2013
What is it that makes hotel bars so appealing? Is it the sense of travel and adventure? Is it the ease with which you could drop into a bed after drinks at the bar? Do the guests, themselves passing through for just a moment on the way to their next destination, imbue the spaces with an edgy sense fluidity and transience?
Hotel St James
The best Parisian hotel bars do more than just pour a decent drink; they combine old-world ambiance, stellar service and sophisticated décor to guarantee an exceptional experience. And here are some of the city’s finest choices to fit any occasion:
For a Romantic Escape: Hotel Saint James
With its modern-romantic decor, the Saint James is the perfect place for a dreamlike escape from the daily grind. Hidden away in a quiet corner of the city that once served as Paris’ first airfield, this neoclassical chateau still manages to transport visitors. In summer months, patrons canoodle in the garden under hot-air-balloon-inspired canopies over nicely priced bottles of white. In winter months they whisper over whiskey in quiet corners of the dark wood library bar amidst some 12,000 old books. Though the Saint James is a private club, you don’t have to be a member to enjoy a drink after 7pm – just call ahead and reserve. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »