April 18, 2014
When I quit my corporate job and moved to Paris to pursue my dream of becoming a pastry chef, I wasn’t sure how far down this path I could manage.
Sure, I loved eating pastries and I loved the idea of making them, but I had also heard enough Hell’s Kitchen stories that had kept me worried.
So what is it really like to work in a pastry kitchen in Paris? As a part of my professional pastry program at école Ferrandi, I completed a 5-month internship at Un Dimanche à Paris, a chic boutique known for its beautiful exhibition kitchen and delicious pastries. Here are some behind-the-scene snapshots to give you an idea of what the life of a French patissier is like.
April 16, 2014
Acide Café & Blou
Montmartre, the Marais, Canal Saint-Martin; these are all well-known Parisian neighborhoods, their names immediately recognizable to any visitor. But Batignolles? That’s a local, well-kept secret.
This mostly-residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the 17th arrondissement is off of the standard beaten tourist track. There are no large monuments on visitor to-do lists, and beyond Place de Clichy, there are few names that the outsider will recognize. But that keeps it an out of the way gem, a place to explore when you’re craving a local dose of Paris.
Marché Biologique Batignolles & Parc Martin Luther King
The hub of Batignolles is Square des Batignolles, a quaint and well-maintained park that lies behind the church, Sainte-Marie des Batignolles. From here you can explore rue des Batignolles, full of a variety of small and independently owned stores. For the food lover there’s the epicerie Mary, which houses specialties from Corsica, including wines, honey, cheese, charcuterie and more.
March 31, 2014
Another new Parisian resto is borrowing a stateside favorite; The Grilled Cheese Factory has opened at 9 rue Jacques Coeur and is serving up their versions of the classic. They’ve got the standard grilled cheese on offer, of course, as well as some more experimental incarnations (pastrami, mac & cheese, smoked salmon…) Sure, a croque monsieur is delicious, but who doesn’t love a good old grilled cheese with a bowl of steaming tomato soup once in a while?
9 rue Jacques Cœur, 75004 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 77 10 67 83. Métro: Bastille.
Just a quick walk from The Grilled Cheese Factory, the Marais has another neighborhood newcomer: Boot Café. This latest addition to Paris’s burgeoning coffee scene is serving up Belleville Brûlerie coffee and Emperor Norton sweets, to stay (if you can get one of the few tables in the tiny shop) or to go.
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)6 26 41 10 66. Métro: Saint-Sébastien Froissart.
March 28, 2014
When it comes to what to drink in Paris, there will always be French wine. In the last few years, though, a few more exciting options have appeared. There are the specialty cocktail bars, offering a new twist on the classics; hot spots like Frenchie-to-Go, Glass and Dirty Dick now offer artisan beers, some of which are even brewed in Paris; and it seems there is a new coffee shop, with locally roasted beans, opening every week. Now there is also a healthy option to add to your drinking plans: cold-pressed juices.
What has become one of the top trends in New York City and Los Angeles has finally arrived in the City of Lights. Cold-press juicing differs from the average, fresh-pressed juice because an advanced press is used to extract the juice at a low temperature, therefore preserving all the vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes. If you’re going to drink your vegetables, cold-press is the purest way to do it.
While people come to Paris to break out of their health regimes and splurge on steak frites, stinky cheese, and pastries, there comes that moment when you just might need something light and fresh that’ll have a little less effect on your waistline. Luckily, there is now more than one place in Paris to partake in a mini-detox, and it’s also a great way to enjoy the organic, locally grown produce that France has to offer.
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.
Maison F (Sylvano)
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.
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.
February 25, 2014
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
Rue Riquet, which stretches from the edge of the 18th arrondissement to the quai of the canal in the 19th arrondissement, is now home to an increasing number of charming meeting points for locals and visitors looking to see a new side of Paris.
En Vrac (Emily Dilling Poulain)
The renovation of Marché couvert La Chapelle (or Marché de l’Olive as the locals refer to it), which was completed in 2010, brought new life to the neighborhood which was mostly known for its Asian supermarkets and smoke-filled bars and cafés.
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
The market is open six days a week and is home to one of the area’s finest (and friendliest) fishmongers as well as an excellent cheese and dairy stand. Alumni of the market include the owners of En Vrac who went to open a brick and mortar shop a few paces away, beginning the conquest of rue Riquet.
February 18, 2014
On a windy night this past fall, I brought my godfather to his first proper Paris dinner. Naturally, I went with a restaurant I was dying to try: Roseval. Tucked away in the 20th, north of Pere Lachaise and just off the Rue de Menilmontant, the location was sort of perfect. I’ve come to know this off-the-tourist-path neighborhood a bit better over the past few years and love the foodie ventures it draws.
The exterior of Roseval is unassuming — a beautiful and perfectly aged stone façade. The interior, a rustic-meets-industrial space with just a handful of wooden tables.
Upon being seated, two menus were quickly dropped off for our review. Listing several ingredients for each course, we were given a brief glimpse into what we’d be eating that evening but no sense of the form, as is becoming increasingly common with this style of new wave, low key gastronomic bistro. I love this element of surprise though it may not be best for a pickier eater (also in part because there are no options; you get what they give you). Our ingredient list included:
January 21, 2014
There’s something about cold weather in Paris that makes me long for something warm, luxurious and indulgent… From the Belle Epoque-inspired classic served in every corner café, to the masterpieces of contemporary artisans dedicated to the art of chocolate making, I can’t think of a better way to chase away the chills than with a warm, dark, velvety, chocolate chaud. Here are a few of my very favorite Paris spots to indulge in this cold-weather treat.
A Good Old Fashioned Classic: Angelina
Founded in 1903, the Belle Epoque inspired Angelina is celebrated today for its traditional hot chocolate recipe: a thick, deliciously rich drink served with cream on the side.
The exquisite tea house on Rue Rivoli was once frequented by Coco Chanel and Proust. This season, thanks to the chic new boutique on Rue du Bac, you can now get your Angelina cocoa to-go – and skip the notoriously long lines.
Angelina. 108 Rue du Bac, 75007, Paris.
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.