November 25, 2015
Morning My Love, Bespoke
In a typically French response to the Paris attacks, last week bistrot and bar owners began a rallying cry that ended up as a hashtag, as many things do these days. Simply put, they demanded us to #TousauBistrot! Meaning, get yourself to a bar, bistrot, restaurant, or café ASAP, show that we will continue to live our lives outdoors and in cafés as we’ve always done. The hashtag #JeSuisenTerrasse then followed.
I believe this kind of bravado or courage is what we all need right now. We must continue to travel, book Paris hotel rooms or rent those lovely Paris apartments, and continue to laugh and enjoy our lives. French business owners are telling us that it’s our civic duty as Parisians and Francophiles alike to get out and shop, eat and drink, and practice the French art de vivre, or art of living.
November 12, 2015
Le Marais is considered by many to be the dining capital of Paris with choices abound. Varying from take-out hot dogs on the corner of rue Vieille du Temple to falafels on the iconic rue des Rosiers to up-and-coming hipster hangouts where the design is equally as important as the menu, choosing a place to dine is a culinary experience in itself. One group of French restaurateurs with a penchant for North American travel decided what the chic quartier needed was a splash of something different, and opened a lobster joint.
Steering away from the opulence that could be equated with going out for lobster in Paris and taking a cue from Northeast lobster restaurants they frequented on their travels, friends Damien Borjesson, Remy Bougenaux, Vivien Mathieu, and Louis Kerveillant opened Les Pinces (meaning “claws” in French) in November 2014.
November 10, 2015
Paris may be experiencing unseasonably warm and sunny weather at the moment, but we’re still readying ourselves for the chilly months to come and dishing on our favorite addresses serving up boeuf bourguignon, a comforting winter French favorite. Enjoy! -Erin
Julia Child immortalized boeuf bourguignon in featuring it on her first French cooking show. At the start of the episode, she says in her distinct high-pitched trill, “it’s a wonderful show to begin our series on because it shows you so many useful things about French cooking.” Indeed by watching the 30-minute segment, a must-see on YouTube, you’ll learn how to brown meat, braise onions, sauté mushrooms, and make a wine sauce. However, it’s also clear this is a recipe that requires time and patience. “People don’t make it right because it takes too much time” is a phrase I heard often during visits to Burgundy, the birthplace of the beloved French dish. Luckily there are some places that are getting it right.
November 3, 2015
One of my favorite memories of Café de la Nouvelle Mairie in the 5th arrondissement is from Beaujolais Nouveau night in 2014. Tucked away on a quiet street just behind the Pantheon, Café de la Nouvelle Mairie only claims a small sidewalk terrasse as its outdoor space, yet when things get lively – and many an evening they do – wine drinkers and bons vivants spill out into the street and onto the small, tree-lined island that separates the occasional two-way traffic.
Traditional bistrot fare paired with an extensive list of natural wines make the Café de la Nouvelle Mairie a recommended addition to your Paris itinerary any night, but for Beaujolais Nouveau I can’t think of anywhere else in the city I’d rather go. The annual event, which is held on the third Thursday of November, celebrates the first wine that is bottled from that year’s grape harvest. The young wines are enjoyed as an extended celebration of the harvest season and all the wine to come.
October 29, 2015
Just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, Rue Cler has long been renowned for its impeccable selection of shops – one of the best places in Paris to pick up fresh produce, quality cheeses, and fish so fresh you may swear you see them wriggling. The latest specialty shop to join the impressive array serves something rather unexpected – its entire menu is based around Chantilly cream.
After selling its cream exclusively at La Grande Épicerie de Paris since its founding in 2013, Maison de la Chantilly opened its first boutique on Rue Cler, dedicated to the art of the French whipped cream. It was first created in the kitchens of the Château de Chantilly to be served at banquets, and is still served in the hamlet restaurant in the château gardens.
October 22, 2015
A new neighborhood block party has arrived in Paris. On Thursday, September 24, rising and veteran restaurateurs lit up the stands of a narrow median strip on Boulevard de Belleville to offer freshly made plats for 5-10 euros. Even as rain threatened to spoil the crisp, fall evening, the mingling of friends and neighbors, fragrant clouds of steam lifting, and sounds of crackling oil kept energy and appetites at a high.
Paris is well known for its diverse open-air markets, offering fresh produce, flowers, meat, dairy, and handcrafted goods daily. Markets capture the spirit of a quartier—its people, history, and rhythm. Le Food Market, which officially launched on July 9, takes place once a month from 6-10:30pm and recruits different vendors each time. Come to Le Food Market and you’ll get a glimpse of what’s new and inventive in Paris’ culinary scene, as well as rub elbows with Parisians from all over the city, many of whom may not have otherwise made the trek to the off-the-beaten-path 19ème.
October 15, 2015
Welcome to the newly opened Shakespeare & Company Café, located next-door to the famed bookstore that carries the same name. It’s the perfect place to grab a latte on the go, rendezvous with your Editor to discuss a new writing project, settle in for a few hours to people-watch, or – as is only fitting – escape into a book from one of the shelves (the selection ranges from Whitman to Twilight).
October 13, 2015
It’s an absolute delight that, even after living here for almost a decade, Paris still surprises me. Sometimes the surprises are unwelcome; Parisians living up fully to their reputation of rudeness, the extent to which dealing with administration here can be Kafkaesque, or having a pigeon swan dive you as you ride your bike up Boulevard Barbès, to name a few. But most often these surprises are the kind that remind me why I moved my life to Paris.
Le Procope, a restaurant located in the touristy Odéon area, was my most recent unexpected discovery and a perfect example of how Paris is a city of hidden treasures. Founded in 1686, the site holds the honor of being the city’s oldest café. In fact, it was the first respectful address in Paris where you could get a coffee in good company, thanks to founder Francesco Procopio. A native Italian, Procopio came to France at an early age and, much like your average expat blogger today, got totally into the food scene. Coffee had arrived in France from the Middle East in 1644 and small coffee shops opened in Paris from that time on. Cutting his teeth at one of these early cafés, Procopio set out on his own, buying up several houses on the block where Le Procope still stands.
October 8, 2015
Once a country girl, always a country girl. Or at least it turned out that way for Zoé Kovacs, one of the owners of L’Epicerie Végétale, a new flower and produce market and cold-press juice bar in the 11th arrondissement.
Having made a name for herself as a fashion photographer with clients like Sephora, Zoé and her business partner Guillaume Servet reached a point where life in the fashion fast lane was no longer what they wanted. After spending nearly a year working for a small organic produce store and learning the ins and outs of working directly with independent producers, Zoé and Guillaume opened L’Epicerie Végétale at the end of September. The vision? To make everything as local and seasonal as possible.
October 6, 2015
With its place firmly staked as one of the most happening areas of Paris, the 11th arrondissement does not lack in new, fresh spots to eat or drink. But with so many locations cropping up seemingly daily, all filled with inspiration spanning the globe, it’s nice to find a place aiming to keep alive the culture that the French people love so dearly. Tucked away in a nondescript side street off of the southern end of boulevard Voltaire, À La Française is a very French neighborhood favorite with a twist: incredible craft cocktails at exceptionally reasonable prices.
Owner Stephen Martin got his start in the restaurant industry at the age of 17, and has worked in numerous high-profile bars in France and elsewhere in Europe. He began to notice, however, that there was a lack of the true presence of French culture in bartending, so he dove into the project of rediscovering the art of classic French cocktails. Armed with his research and an impressive collection of cocktail books- some dating back to 1850- he opened À La Française to bring the Paris bar scene back to its formidable roots.