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Rachel’s Restaurant and Bakery Opens Shop in Paris’ North Marais

HiP Paris Blog, Rachels, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Montage 2

A California summer salad with quinoa, a New York deli-style pastrami sandwich, smoked Banka trout on a sesame bagel— these are just a few of the homemade lunch items you’ll find at the newly opened Rachel’s restaurant in the North Marais.

HiP Paris Blog, Rachels, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 5

Parisians might recognize the name from Rachel’s Cakes in Montreuil, a bakery and catering business that Ohio native, Rachel Moeller, started with her friends, Maria and Birke. In a 60m2 apartment crammed with two stoves and an extra refrigerator in the bedroom, they began to supply fresh, made-to-order bagels, apple pies, muffins, burger buns, and their legendary cheesecakes to Paris eateries like Le Bal Café, Le Camion Qui Fume, and The Broken Arm.

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In Search of Paris’ Sweetest Candy Shops

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Le Bonbon au Palais 10

Le Bonbon au Palais

French desserts would make almost anyone’s mouth start to water. Beautifully lined on bakery shelves, they are a heavenly wonder for sweet-tooths. But in addition to pastries, macarons, and mousse au chocolate, France is abundant with sweet regional specialties: Toulouse has its cachou lajaunie (licorice); Orléans its cotignac (quince hard candy); Aix-en-Provence its calisson (marzipan).

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Henri Le Roux

Île-de-France may not boast its own traditional bonbon, but that doesn’t mean that quality Parisian candy makers and suppliers are not putting their flair on other regions’ specialties. Here are some of our favorite artisanal candy shops in Paris:

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Le Bonbon au Palais

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

In Search of the Perfect French Oyster: Les Huîtres de Cancale

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Kate Robinson – Oysters getting ready for market

On a clear day, the ghostly meringue-like swirl of Mont Saint Michel is just barely visible across the bay from Cancale. This plucky little seaside town has been famous for its oysters since the Roman occupation of Gaul, and continues to be a top destination for ostreaphiles the world over.

HiP Paris Blog, Huitres, Isabel Miller-Bottome DSC_0253

Isabel Miller-Bottome

On a painfully bright day in July, I found myself sitting on a beach littered with shards of chipped and broken oyster shells, bleached white by the sun. Balanced on my knees was a plate of nine intact oysters, fresh from the Cancale bay, deeply cupped and glistening in their own liqueur. The oyster farmer who had sold them to me five minutes earlier had cracked each one open with barely a downward glance, as he stood talking to me in the shade of the little blue and white striped hut where creuses and plats sat in jumbles designated by size (the largest was surely only meant for cooking…). In exchange for the last three euros of vacation money that still jingled in my pocket, he presented me with a sturdy white plastic plate of oysters, a half a lemon and his condolences regarding my imminent return to Paris on the afternoon train.

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Kate Robinson – Oysters on the beach!

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Found: Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Paris

HiP Paris Blog, Best Mexican Restaurants, Casey Hatfield, Candelaria TacosCandelaria

When I spent a semester abroad in London in college, I desperately missed Mexican food. I remember asking a local if you could get it anywhere in the city. He replied “You mean like Doritos?” Obviously Mexican food was a long ways from catching on. Even though that was over 10 years ago, when I moved to Paris this year I came fully prepared to pine away for chunky guacamole flavored with lime and cilantro, tender pulled pork tacos and mouth-prickling margaritas. To my delight, and surprise, I’ve been able to find all this and more.

HiP Paris Blog, Best Mexican Restaurants, Casey Hatfield, Candelaria MenuCandelaria

There is a delicious and thriving Mexican food scene currently in Paris. While Parisians have been aware of so-called Tex-Mex for a while, the current crop of restaurants are serving more authentic Mexican-style street food and many are owned by people from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Mil Amores Tortilleria, owned by a woman from Cancun and two partners, makes fresh corn tortillas daily and supplies many of the city’s best Mexican restaurants. You can even buy black beans at Bio c’bon. So the next time you get a hankering for carne asada or citrusy ceviche, don’t despair; try one of these restaurants.

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Our Top Six Craft Beer Shops Around Paris

HiP Paris Blog, Craft Beer Shops, Palmyre Roigt, La Cave a BullesLa Cave à Bulles

Craft beer is slowly but surely making its way into the Parisian palate. This May, Paris Beer Week inundated the city’s craft beer bars with brews familiar and unknown, leading local beer geeks to rejoice and even converting a few skeptics.

HiP Paris Blog, Craft Beer Shops, Palmyre Roigt, A la bière comme à la bièreA la bière comme à la bière

You can take the party home now, thanks to a growing number of craft beer stores popping up across the city. Check in with them regularly; they all host regular tastings and brewer nights.

HiP Paris Blog, Craft Beer Shops, Palmyre Roigt, Biérocratie Biérocratie

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The Guinguette Revival: 30s-style Dancing, Drinking, and Dining Along the Seine

HiP Paris Blog, Guingettes, Palmyre, Neuilly-6La Guinguette de Neuilly

Parisians who can’t flock to the seaside during the summer months are still drawn to their closest water sources, as evidenced by the ever-growing popularity of Les Berges on the Seine. However, this craving to enjoy the hotter months waterside goes back much further than Les Berges, or even the 12-year old Paris Plages. These initiatives are, in essence, revivals of the great era of Les Guinguettes, and once again Parisians can’t seem to get enough.

HiP Paris Blog, Guingettes, Palmyre, canton 31, 27HiP Paris Blog, Guingettes, Palmyre, Neuilly-5La Dame de Canton/La Guinguette de Neuilly

In its purest form, a guinguette is an establishment located by the water that serves up simple food and ample drinks (traditionally white “guinguet” wine, which led to the name guinguette), accompanied by lively music, and thus dancing. What’s not to love? Continue Reading »

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Folks and Sparrows: A Trendy Café-Épicerie-Concept Store in Paris’ 11ème

HiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel Miller-Bottome, sandwich bag 1

The latest buzz on the Paris coffee scene this summer is Folks and Sparrows, a café-épicerie-concept store tucked away on a quiet street in the 11ème, one of my favorite neighborhoods.

HiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel MIller-Bottome, sunflowersHiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel Miller-Bottome, drinks

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours here on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon last week. I relaxed into a leather easy chair in the corner, admired the sunflower and lavender arrangements around me, and enjoyed a perfectly satisfying cappuccino – smooth, creamy, and served in a hefty mug for two hands. Folk music played in the background and I felt immediately transported to another place, a cabin in the rural woods of New England perhaps.

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Strolling Through Paris, Part II: A Tour of Central Paris’ Historic Towers

HiP Paris Blog, Isabel Miller-Bottome, SeineThe Seine

The most famous tower in Paris is certainly the Eiffel Tower. Beautiful as it may be, the masses of visitors in the summer are overwhelming. Luckily, the city is dotted with an array of intriguing towers, showcased in this little stroll traversing the historic core of Paris.

HiP Paris Blog, Isabel Miller-Bottome, VacheRue Montorgueil

Start with the Tour Jean-sans-Peur. Finished in 1411, it’s the last remaining structure of the palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, which extended over the neighboring streets. At 21 meters (69 ft) high, it’s also the tallest medieval civic structure in Paris. You can gaze up at any time of day or climb to the top during the summer, Wed-Sun from 1:30pm - 6pm.

HiP Paris Blog, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Rue MontorgeuilRue Montorgueil

Leaving the tower, make your way to lively rue Montorgueil, lined with excellent food shops and cafes. If the weather is nice, opt for some frozen yogurt at the new branch of Chacun Ses Gouts. Here you can make your own frozen yogurt “sundaes,” composed of weekly changing flavors and toppings of fresh fruit, nuts, candy, and more. Devour yours around the corner, lounging in the newly revamped Les Halles Gardens. Here you can also take in the unfinished towers of the Saint Eustache, one of the largest churches in the city.

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Exploring the Hidden Gems of Paris’ Chic 16th Arrondissement

HiP Paris Blog, Palmyre Roigt, 16eme Arr, Cyril Lignac 3La Pâtisserie de Cyril Lignac

When Benjamin Franklin came to Paris as US ambassador, he moved into the charming village of Passy, where genteel manor homes filled the bucolic countryside in what is now the 16th arrondissement. The Passy neighborhood still has that easy village feel, shady streets leading the way for relaxed, affluent Parisians out running their daily errands. It is far from the tourist crowds, yet very much in the heart of the city, the Eiffel Tower never far from sight.

HiP Paris Blog, 16eme arr, Palmyre Roigt, Deux Stations 3HiP Paris Blog, 16eme Arr, Palmyre Roigt, Patisserie des Reves 1HiP Paris Blog, 16eme Arr, Palmyre Roigt, Tour Eiffel 3Les Deux Stations, La Pâtisserie des Reves, La Tour Eiffel

The 16th is known for its wide tree lined boulevards with bourgeois apartment buildings, the epitome of Baron Haussmann’s 19th century urban planning. This is an arrondissement made for leisurely strolls and easy access, full of excellent museums, remarkable food, and stupendous views with the extraordinary 2000-acre Bois de Boulogne park just steps away.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

La Fine Mousse Restaurant: Craft Beer & Innovative Bites in Paris’ 11th Arrondissement

HiP Paris Blog, La Fine Mousse, Alexandre Martin 523_003

As French parliament considers an amendment that would place beer among the country’s protected gastronomic traditions, one wonders why craft beer isn’t available in more restaurants in Paris. While a few forward-thinking places like Septime and Frenchie To Go offer craft beer, only one has made it as important as the main course—La Fine Mousse Restaurant. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; this is the latest venture from the fellows behind Paris’ first craft beer bar of the same name, located across the street in the 11th arrondissement. LFM has set itself a lofty goal: bring beer to the dinner table and prove that it’s a worthy companion to exceptional food.

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On a Friday evening in late June, the restaurant’s front windows were thrown wide open, casting a soft summer light on the high wooden tables in the India Pale Ale Room. On the other side of the bar, in the Barley Wine Room, a few diners settled into low booths, ready to experience the six-course tasting menu. In the India Pale Ale Room, I decided to sample the small plate menu, which changes weekly according to what’s in season and Californian chef William Ransome’s inspiration. Continue Reading »

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