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The Elegant Eighth: Affordable Food and Superb Culture in Paris’ Chic Business District

Elegant Eighth, Paris courtyard

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

For many Parisians, a people who don’t typically identify themselves with their jobs, the Eighth Arrondissement represents the office. True, it’s pretty with row after row of Haussmannian edifices and wide, tree-lined boulevards. But isn’t so much of Paris just that?

Elegant Eighth, Paris street view

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

Covering an area of 3.88 km² with a population a bit larger than 40K people, the Eighth is one of the wealthiest arrondissements in Paris. Second only to La Défense as home to multinational firms and banks, the Eighth also caters to tourism (Champs-Elysées), culture (Musée Jacquemart-André, Salle Gaveau/Pleyel, the Petit and Grand Palais), fashion (avenue Montaigne is home to all Haute Couture houses. period), churches (La Madeleine, St Augustin, and my own favorite, the little-visited royalist Chapelle Expiatoire), and luxury (George V, Plaza Athenée, the Bristol, Hôtel de Crillon).

Elegant Eighth, Paris flowers

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

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La Jeune Rue: The Latest Cultural and Culinary Initiative in Paris’ Marais

La-Jeune-Rue-Vertbois

Rue de Vertbois, Emma Stencil

Three quiet streets in ParisMarais neighborhood are the site for one of the most interesting projects of the year. The name Cédric Naudon, French entrepreneur and millionaire, was splashed all over the French press this spring with the announcement of his sensational initiative La Jeune Rue.

La Jeune Rue, Empty Street

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

Not much is known about this low-profile businessman who is said to have made his millions in real estate and finance in the United States. The Gatsby-esque aura surrounding Naudon is reinforced by his reticence in interviews, as well as the flamboyant decision to purchase 36 storefronts over the course of a year to realize his vision for La Jeune Rue, a project that is estimated to cost over 30 million.

La Jeune Rue, Buildings

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

La Jeune Rue is set to transform three neglected Parisian streets – Rue Volta, Rue du Vertbois, and Rue de Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth – into a mecca for bohemian-bourgeois shoppers in search of locally-sourced and artisanal products.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 1 Comment »

Fabulous Indian Food in Paris: Bollywood Kitchen’s Sanjee (and a Recipe)

Indian Cuisine in Paris, Sanjee in her epicerie choosing herbs

Sanjee shops for the perfect ingredients

Paris might be fully deserving of its title as one of the culinary capitals of the world, but one thing that’s lacking on its food scene is good, reasonably priced Indian food in pleasant surroundings.

Indian Cuisine in Paris, Sanjees dahl

Dahl and rice

The hole in the market is one of the reasons Sanjee, the upbeat 34-year-old Paris-born Indian Chef, foodie extreme, and mother decided to launch Bollywood Kitchen, an Indian food blog and catering business.

Indian Cuisine in Paris, Sanjee Cooking

Samosas!

A hit since she started the business in 2011, Sanjee has been invited on many TV programs and has been featured in countless magazines, earning her the “showbiz chef” reputation.

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Inaro: Local, Artisanal, and Organic Small Plates and Wine by Paris’ Canal St. Martin

Inaro, Tables

Opened in June of 2012, Inaro, a cosy restaurant specializing in apéro dinatoire style dining, has recently made itself more available to neighbors and lovers of all things local. Starting this month, the space is open in the afternoon, providing French-origin lunch options with a menu that is entirely locally sourced. Organic bread and artisanal ingredients are available for take away or to enjoy sur place in the comfortable dining space, which is lined with wood brought from Brittany and constructed by owner Johan Bonnet’s carpenter uncle.

Inaro, Aperitif

At Inaro, the constantly changing seasonal menu is accompanied by a wine list that favors organic and sustainably produced wines. Working with small, independent producers is at the heart of the restaurant’s philosophy (despite the fact that Nespresso managed to secure a place at the espresso machine, a familiar elephant in the room for dining establishments in Paris) and the perfect-for-sharing menu makes this a great spot for a quick drink or a laid-back dinner.

Inaro, Interior

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Bob’s Bake Shop: A Slice of New York in Paris’ 18th Arrondissement

Bobs, Cherry Pie

When he opened his first spot, Bob’s Juice Bar, in 2006, Marc Grossman says he was driven by a simple desire to bring a little of New York to Paris. “It was something from back home, something I missed, health food, juice bars,” says Grossman. The born-and-bred New Yorker, who at one time worked on Wall Street, decided to move to Paris 15 years ago. He married a French girl and never left.

Bobs, Montage, Cherry Pie, Pecan Pie

Since opening his first café, he has almost single-handedly changed Parisian’s dining habits for the better, introducing them to things like green juice and rice bowls he calls “Veggie Stew.” However, he says his goal was never to push a health food agenda, but rather serve organic, wholesome, tasty food. “We’re not extreme,” says Grossman. “We have muffins, but we also have salads. We try to mix it up.”

Bobs, Breakfast

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The Paris Popup: A Week-long Food Fête in the City of Light

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, Laura and Margaritas

Summer may be over, but there’s always something to celebrate in Paris. The end of September marked the long-awaited return of chef Harry Cummins and sommelier Laura Vidal, the well-known duo behind The Paris Popup. An initiative imagined while the pair were working together at Frenchie Restaurant, Paris Popup brings together the best of Harry’s inventive cooking and Laura’s dead-on wine pairings. 

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, Drinks menu

The popup group debuted last year with a number of successful one-day events hosted in notable Parisian venues like Verjus, Le Mary Celeste, and Bones. For their events the team worked closely with local suppliers and invited other notable chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, musicians, and artists to participate. After last year’s memorable Food Fest popup, hosted at the novel rooftop bar Le Perchoir, Paris Popup packed its suitcases and skipped town for a prolonged trip around the world. Dropping into the diverse culinary scenes of New York City, Oakland, Montreal, Québec City, and Kyoto, the group made friends and fans as they cooked their way across the globe. 

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, 3

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Street Food Revolution: Paris’ Most Popular Food Trucks

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil

Le Réfectoire

It’s been three years since Paris food truck forerunner Le Camion Qui Fume hit the cobblestones of Europe’s culinary capital. Since then, the city of gourmet cuisine has experienced a revolution. More and more food trucks have joined the parade along the streets of Paris, invading the city with bistronomique burgers, kebabs, and bagels reminiscent of those in New York.

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil, 11

Cantine California

Just before lunchtime, these camions assemble at neighborhood markets to await hungry Parisians who are happy (or at least willing) to wait in line for a burger from Le Réfectoire or empañadas and helados from Clasico Argentina. Here are a few tried-and-true Parisian favorites to be enjoyed year-round. 

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil, 9

Cantine California

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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.

HiP Paris Blog, Rachels, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 3

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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 chocolat, 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).

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Henri Leroux 17

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:

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, bonbon 3, 12

Le Bonbon au Palais

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

HiP Paris Blog, Huitres, photo 4-2

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.

HiP Paris Blog, Huitres, photo 1

Kate Robinson – Oysters on the beach!

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