April 29, 2015
It was French President Charles de Gaulle who famously said, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” That was in 1962. Today there are nearly 400 distinct cheeses in France, and discussing and eating them is a national pastime. Anyway you slice it, this is the land of fromage and it is a source of regional pride. Just like with wine, many varieties have their own AOC, or Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Roquefort only comes from Roquefort and it must adhere to strict regulations to earn the name. The types of cheese in France are as varied as the landscapes, and while it may seem like a love of pungent cheese is in the blood of the French, I believe it’s an acquired taste. Rather than going straight for the Brie on your next trip to Paris, push your palate by trying one of the following stinky cheeses and do as the French do: savor it after your meal, preferably with a digestif.
April 24, 2015
The dream team behind Paris’ classy and cocktail-forward Le Mary Celeste, Candelaria, and Glass hits a high note with the greatly anticipated opening of Hero, a three-story Korean canteen and bar. The small menu revisits traditional Korean street food, artfully prepared by Haan Palcu-Chang, former chef at Le Mary Celeste and inventor of the restaurant’s beloved deviled eggs.
A stone’s throw from Porte Saint-Denis, Hero welcomes a constant flow of thirsty Parisians who assemble around the ground-floor bar. Colorful cocktails, champagne flutes, and shots of soju slide across a pink marble countertop. Cocktail enthusiasts will appreciate creations like the refreshing mezcal, citrus, and soju-based slushy Thug Life (12€) and the creamy Bubble Trouble (10€), combining almond milk, orgeat, absinthe, bekseju, and tapioca pearls.
Designed by Swede Jeanette Dalrot and New York agency Safari Sundays, Hero’s interior is original and playful. Diners can climb the staircase lined with potted plants, graffiti, and neon hearts to the restaurant on the second floor, where a quirky arrangement of elevated tables and wooden stools wraps around the walls of the dining room. A quick glance around the small space shows Chinese lanterns made of yarn and fabric, and a multicolored flashing projection on the far wall. The ambiance veers towards new-age club meets Korean spa. In the center of the room is a pretty marble sink, perfect for cleaning up after devouring an order of fried chicken with your bare hands.
Haan wows diners with his variation of yangnyeom, crispy Korean fried chicken covered in sesame seeds and a good dose of garlic sweet and sour glaze or (for the courageous) a spicy gochujang sauce. A half chicken (19-23€) is just right for two people and a whole chicken (36-43€) works well for groups of three or more.
Not to be missed are the flavorful pork buns with ssamjang (7€) and homemade kimchi (3€). Fresh salads (7-9.5€) help to cut the spice and Haan’s seared rice cakes with shiitake ragout, Chinese salted radish, gochujang, and tofu purée (8€) is a personal favorite. The desserts are fun and original, combining ingredients like roasted sweet potatoes, meringue, and maple syrup (7€) or rice krispie treats with matcha and yakult mousse (6€).
Visit Hero with two or three friends (so you can order everything on the menu) but not with a first date. Korean fried chicken is a messy business and after two cocktails and an order of yangnyeom, you can expect to be covered in hot sauce.
Hero – 289 rue Saint-Denis, 75002. No tel.
- Emma also checks out Ellsworth, another new opening in Central Paris.
- Lucky Peach covers their top five places to eat in Paris, including chicken-focused Le Coq Rico.
- Craving more Korean? We also checked out Ibaji at La Jeune Rue.
April 7, 2015
Paris doesn’t lack talented culinary couples. After waving bon voyage to Barcelona-bound Laura Vidal and Harry Cummins of Paris Pop-up, the City of Lights welcomes a new venture by the charming American duo Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins. More than three years after opening successful Verjus Restaurant and Verjus Wine Bar, the pair are introducing a sister restaurant that serves up wine bar favorites (including Verjus’ in-demand fried chicken) and other inventive variations on American comfort food.
April 3, 2015
Super Barquette Frenchie to Go, Mickaël Bandassak
If a springtime weekend out of the city is in order, we suggest heading north to Seine-Saint-Denis for Banlieues Bleues. The festival features a slew of jazz concerts, and given that this is the event’s 32nd year, they certainly know how to put together a fabulous lineup. Get your tickets soon, as the festival wraps on April 17.
Super Barquette, Luz Verde and The Beast, Mickaël Bandassak
March 31, 2015
Despite its unassuming exterior and simple table settings, Le Servan is where serious diners go to both talk passionately about food and enjoy eating it. Located in the 11th arrondissement, an area with one of the highest concentrations of interesting and provocative dining addresses in the city, the restaurant successfully mixes classic and modern French cuisine, delivering the best of both.
March 20, 2015
Spring is blossoming in Paris as sprigs of green sneak into our grey city, bringing us back to life after months spent under winter skies. As an opening act to the Lily of the Valley vendors in May, bunches of daffodils are now being hawked on street corners, in front of cafés and bistros, and in flower shops across the city. The cheerful flowers are the first sign of the transition towards spring for Parisians, who can’t help but bring a bunch home to brighten up their cozy apartments.
March 16, 2015
When Holybelly had its one year anniversary in October 2014, co-owners Nico Alary and Sarah Mouchot had more to celebrate than 365 days of serving quality food to hungry Parisians. The date also served as a reminder of how, in a relatively short time, a unique and well-thought-out restaurant that pays attention to its food and customers can come to occupy such a special place in so many diners’ hearts.
True to the motto emblazoned on their brand new mugs, “It’s Good Because We Care,” the Holybelly team takes caring to a new level. This is evident throughout the dining experience one has here – from Nico’s friendly smiles and greetings as soon as you enter the door, to the servers who know your names (and often your orders) after only a few visits, and finally the frequent and observant glances from the kitchen into the dining room checking to see that customers are enjoying their meals.
March 11, 2015
Healthy, organic food is sweeping through Paris in the form of health food stores, juice bars, and vegetarian cafés, and not even boulangeries are immune to this food craze. The city’s top bakers are making baguettes and other loaves in biologique (organic) varieties in an effort to offer healthier products and protect the environment. Those who come to Paris hoping to forget about their diets and indulge in the city’s legendary baguettes and pastries should not be dismayed; the switch to organic flour doesn’t mean a sacrifice in taste.
Du Pain et Des Idées
March 9, 2015
Concealed behind an unassuming rusty metal and white tile facade is Paris’ latest culinary incontournable, Gare au Gorille. The peculiar name, lifted from an offbeat Georges Brassens song about an escaped gorilla, lends to the old-world-meets-new atmosphere.
Head chef Marc Cordonnier and sommelier Louis Langevin are longtime friends who talked of opening a restaurant together before they turned thirty, a high school pipe dream realized this year when the pair left Paris’ renowned Septime to open their own restaurant in the 17ème.
March 4, 2015
Japanese chef Taku Sekine, formerly of Clown Bar, and Sherry Butt alum bartender Amaury Guyot have teamed up to open their first restaurant in the Bastille neighborhood, Dersou. Situated smack in the middle of an area lacking in fine dining – between the Marais and Bistrot Paul Bert territory – Dersou is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
The owners of the restaurant wisely decided to open early (9am) and leave the porte ouverte almost all day, save a brief late-afternoon pause. Tired shoppers, area employees, and intrepid tourists now have a place to rest their weary feet and enjoy a cup of coffee, thoughtful food, or even a much-needed cocktail.