May 30, 2013
By now, everyone’s heard of Verjus and its precipitous rise into the hearts of the food-obsessed expat community in Paris from its humble beginnings as the private supper club, Hidden Kitchen.
Having recently renovated the third floor of their triplex building into a private dining room for private parties of twelve to fourteen, and also having started a new lunch service, serving sandwiches to the ravenous masses, I wondered what was next for Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian, the team behind the venture. I sat down on a chilly Friday afternoon for a chat with Braden about their motivations in opening what Alex Lobrano called “the first real modern American restaurant in Paris.”
Braden and Laura landed in Paris, like many of us do, while taking a year abroad figuring out the next step in their careers. The intention was only to stay for a year or so. “So we’re here in Paris, and eating, and drinking, and traveling, but not meeting anybody. So we thought, let’s do a supper club once a month and just invite some people. And it worked exactly how we wanted it to work – we met tons and tons of expats, tons of bloggers, tons of cool people, and it was fun.”
April 30, 2013
Cafe Pinson (Diane Yoon)
Tucked away on a tiny side street near Square Temple, across the street from hipster hangout Nanashi and bobo haven The Broken Arm, Café Pinson is serving up quality coffee and healthy eats to expats and natives alike.
Cafe Pinson (Diane Yoon)
Eschewing the grungy chipped paint aesthetic of so many new openings in the city, the bright, welcoming space features classic details like white-paneled walls, wicker chairs, and geometric-patterned tables. It’s the kind of place that invites any and all to come in and get cozy – I would feel comfortable cuddling down into one of their sunken chairs with an engrossing book and tea and pastry for a couple of hours, just as I would be happy meeting a big group of friends for a quick catch-up session or hunkering down with my laptop for a good old-fashioned work crunch. The honest-to-goodness friendly staff was all smiles as I took up a precious corner table for hours and hours one busy Friday afternoon.
April 9, 2013
After macarons, cupcakes, and cream puffs, the classic eclair is now enjoying a serious revival in Paris. Here to test the trend, Carin gathered a few knowledgeable sweet freaks to test the goods from Paris’ most notable new eclair shops, l’Eclair de Genie and l’Atelier de l’Eclair. -Geneviève
Éclairs from L’Éclair de Génie
If you ask people about pastries that remind them of Paris, one that first comes to mind is the classic éclair. A pastry made with pâte à choux, a fluffy cream filling and mouth-watering icing on top — mmmm!
Éclairs from L’Éclair de Génie
Many of us forgot about this delicious little pastry when adorable macarons and elaborate American cupcakes took the Parisian dessert spotlight over the past couple of years. Thanks to inventive pastry chefs (and probably a general fatigue with everything bite-size), two new Parisian pastry shops, L’Eclair de Genie and L’Atelier de l’Eclair, have put the éclair back on the dessert tray.
I have to admit: I haven’t always been a huge fan of the éclair myself. It wasn’t until I stepped inside the newly opened L’Éclair de Génie in the Marais, that I realized I might need to revise my position: seeing miniature éclairs all lined up in different colors and variations made my heart skip a beat. After my first bite of a noisette/praliné éclair, I was sold. I’m now an unabashed éclair convert (under the right circumstances, of course). So when the HiP Paris blog asked me to spend an afternoon exploring new variations on this classic pastry, I jumped at the chance!
January 31, 2013
If you follow the Paris food scene, you’ve no doubt spotted a trend: eateries, bars and even desserts have gone decidedly American. From cupcakes and coffee bars to cheeseburgers and cocktail lounges, there’s no denying that all things New Yorkais are très à la mode. In a land famously derisive of American cuisine, it’s surprising to say the least. For those of us who adore Paris for its singular Parisian-ness, it’s a tough trend to love.
That’s why Le Foodist — a new series of deeply French “dining events” launched by Fred Pouillot, a French-born, erstwhile U.S. corporate exec — is a welcome newcomer on the local food scene. It started with a simple idea: offer a select group of diners the chance to discover French culture and history through its most prized creations — food and wine.
January 24, 2013
Dining in Paris is the stuff dreams are made of: elaborate dishes made with top notch ingredients, artfully presented by passionate chefs.
Unless, of course, you happen into one of the infinite restos where instead of having a mind-blowing meal, you’re served mediocrity along with impressive attitude. In fact, doesn’t it taste like those vegetables on your plate came straight from a bag?
Of course every town has its dining hits and misses. But for so long, it was unfavorably risky to gamble on your average neighborhood bistro in Paris. But finally the tides have turned. We seem to have arrived at a place where you don’t have to break the bank to have a fantastic meal that gets your heart and stomach juices pumping.
January 8, 2013
The Parisian private supper club scene started up a few years back with a small but solid selection of home “restaurants.” But it didn’t take long for these secretive suppers to become victims of their own success. Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen moved from her tiny pad to BBC2 as a television series.
Laura and Braden closed the doors of Hidden Kitchen and now welcome diners at their new restaurant and wine bar, Verjus. New Friends Table expanded across the water to London, leaving less time to feed their French friends.
December 13, 2012
Gluten Free French Eclairs – Helmut Newcake
Sans-gluten or gluten-free has not always been the easiest menu requirement to accommodate in Paris. As gluten intolerance gains visibility in everyday culture, it’s no surprise that gluten-free options are popping up all over, even here in Paris, the land of pastries.
The first of the two spots I’d like to share with you is Helmut Newcake. Helmut Newcake is Paris’s first 100% gluten-free pastry shop, located on the, ever so lovely, Rue Bichat right by the hip Canal Saint Martin. This cozy and relaxed tea parlor has more than just pastries; you can go for lunch, brunch, afternoon tea, or just to grab some food to go.
November 20, 2012
This summer, I was rudely awakened by a girl on the Paris Metro wearing American flag knee-highs and a stars & stripes bandana. My stomach turned; I knew something was terribly wrong. I had completely forgotten it was the 4th of July.
When the leaves start to fall in Paris, my heart turns to the U.S.. Although Pere Noel is already camping out on the shelves of the supermarche, this time of year always makes me miss the States a little bit more. After completely forgetting our most patriotic of American holidays, I promised myself to make a concerted effort to maintain my own personal traditions despite the preoccupations of my new life in France. Thanksgiving appeared as the perfect cultural bridge between my two homes.
I have been itching to push all of our tables together and host a Thanksgiving dinner of my own. Although a party of two is just fine for Christmas, Thanksgiving requires a big bird and a full house. Rattling off my guest list to my French husband, I realized that after several years of long-distance dating, we have never spent a real Thanksgiving together.
November 12, 2012
Popelini is a little slice of heaven that specializes in something oh so precious…. choux à la crème. I had passed their adorably lit storefronts many a time, thinking to myself, gosh, I’ve got to check this place out… I finally popped in to give their cream puffs a taste recently, and I was not disappointed.
Popelini is the name of the chef who invented choux à la crème in 1540. Surprisingly enough, he was Italian. Who would have known that this delightful French specialty was conceived in Italy? This cream puff shop, now in two locations in Paris, offers a new spin on the classic pâtisserie, with a variety of flavors made to satisfy all taste buds: from rose & raspberry to lemon, chocolate, and the divine caramel salted butter.
November 7, 2012
As an aspiring food writer and someone who puts peanut butter on everything, I often question my relevance in a country of haute gastronomie. But much like Tiffany Iung, I eventually found my niche, retelling traditional culinary tales as an outsider looking in.
Tiffany, the brains and bicycle behind Tifamade, Paris’ best sandwich vendor on two wheels, has been sharing her inspired sandwiches with Parisians since 2010. She can be spotted catering events throughout the city and peddling her handmade sandwiches from a vintage suitcase strapped to the back of Pink Lady, her pink bicycle. Using seasonal ingredients sourced from farmers markets and eco packaging, Tiffany has given the ubiquitous jambon beurre some fierce competition. But what is it about the humble sandwich that has Tiffany so impassioned? “A sandwich is not fussy. You hold it with your hands, and all of the flavors are experienced at once, so there isn’t too much thought about it. It’s just meant to taste good, and I think it gets the job done.” That’s good enough for us!
Not only do Tiffany’s 2-wheeled adventures inspire her sandwich creations, they led to the initial business idea too. “I was living in the banlieue, the Parisian suburbs, at the time and was riding my bike along the canal everyday into the city center.