February 9, 2015
I’m not sure any country takes chicken more seriously than France, where there are dozens of heritage breeds and where over 30 percent of the chickens consumed have been pasture-raised thanks to the Label Rouge program. This all ensures that whether your poulet rôti has been purchased straight off the spit at the market or at a Michelin-rated restaurant, the quality will likely be good. However, not all poulets rôtis in Paris are created equal.
Each Sunday morning at the Marché Bastille, follow your nose and the hordes of people to The Chicken Lady, a vendor known for her chicken crapaudine, or spatchcocked birds. The chickens have been marinated for several days in a variety of ingredients from citrus and ginger to honey and sesame, and then roasted until the skin is extra crispy. With a sticky, almost candy-like skin, these chickens are dangerously good (I dare you not to eat one in a single sitting). For added decadence get a side of the potatoes that soak up the roasting juices at the bottom of the rotisserie.
January 20, 2015
Newly opened on Rue de Picardie in Paris’ Haut Marais neighborhood is the visually pleasing Parisian bistro Les Chouettes. With an elegant interior by design firm Lázaro Rosa Violán, the three-story restaurant and cocktail bar feels like a modern rendition of the Parisian art deco lounge.
From the ground-floor restaurant situated beneath a soaring glass ceiling, a winding staircase leads to the second and third stories where you can enjoy a drink at the old-world cocktail bar or lounge, dotted with leather armchairs, iron globes, and an impressive little library collection.
On a chilly December afternoon, I cozied up in a chair by the fireplace to enjoy lunch with a friend who was visiting Paris for the weekend. The daily prix fixe menu was too good to pass up, beginning with a warming butternut squash soup sprinkled with lardons and crowned with a foamy mushroom mousse de lait.
January 15, 2015
When Martine Boutin left corporate life in Paris’ La Défense business district to become her own boss, she first considered opening a dating agency or a cheese restaurant. Instead, she opted to open a retro-style grocery shop near the mairie of the 18th arrondissement, to keep the neighborhood stocked with products that are often only available at farm shops in the countryside.
Martine, the granddaughter of farmers, grew up in a small country village of 700 in the department of Vendée, between the Atlantic Coast towns of Nantes and La Rochelle, so turning to farm products was an obvious step for her.
January 8, 2015
The area surrounding metro Bourse generally turns into a ghost town after work hours. Teeming with business people and local employees during the day, the 9 to 5 crowd in the city’s financial district usually clears out once the work day is done. All that is changing with the arrival of A Noste, a split-level tapas and fine dining restaurant on rue du 4 Septembre.
December 22, 2014
Rife with hip cafés, the web of streets surrounding the Canal St. Martin are a hipster haven, boasting savvy coffee and lunch options to locals and visitors alike. Café Le Poutch may be new to the scene, but it’s already made 13, rue Lucien Sampaix its own.
Butternut squash quiche, savory muffins, or riz au lait with orange zest are just a glimpse of the culinary fare. Offering a rotating, seasonal menu and a commitment to serving up innovative recipes and vegetarian options, Le Poutch is sure to surprise you with something new.
December 15, 2014
On a quiet street in the 11ème, a few blocks away from the bustle of Bastille, sits a quaint canteen that opened this past spring and embodies the local, fait mason trend we’ve been seeing so much of in Paris recently. I cozied up at Bloom on a recent rainy Friday afternoon with a visiting American friend and enjoyed a lovely lunch.
December 10, 2014
One reason I hold a special place in my heart for Alec Lobrano and his book Hungry for Paris is because his guide to Paris restaurants led me to Le Timbre, a tiny establishment tucked away in the 6th arrondissement. After my first lunch there three years ago, the restaurant quickly became a favorite of mine and a regular stop on my itinerary when showing friends and family around the city. Each time I went to chef Chris Wright’s restaurant I knew that I would enjoy happy hours of eating at the tiny tables that line the space whose name- literally “the stamp”- commemorates the cozy size of the dining room.
English by birth but francophile by choice, Wright’s cuisine was inspired by his childhood travels in France, particularly in the southwestern regions of the country. Wright’s menu proposed hearty servings of fresh fish and typical meat-and-vegetable dishes along with nods to his native land, such as a Stilton and sherry dessert. Despite the odd foreign cheese or charcuterie, the restaurant remained a typical French bistro, its simple menu exemplifying the joy that comes with enjoying quality ingredients and leaving the table well fed and happy.
December 5, 2014
In the two years that led up to La Récolte‘s opening in summer of 2014, owner Mathieu Mulliez tirelessly explored France visiting independent producers. His goal was simple: find dedicated artisans practicing sustainable agriculture and bring their fresh, seasonal products to Parisians. The concept may seem simple, but it is shockingly difficult to find shops like La Récolte in Paris.
Bringing together quality products from France (and sometimes neighboring countries) as well as maintaining opening hours that correspond to busy city dwellers’ work schedules is a rare combination in Paris. Mathieu, who has worked his fair share of 9-5 jobs and has a love of cooking with quality ingredients, decided to meet this demand head on and create a shop that could welcome customers who are on their way home from work or looking for a quick, healthy lunch.
December 1, 2014
Thali – Nalas Appakadai
Following our last post on Parisian Indian Chef Sanjee of Bollywood Kitchen when we visited her apartment in the very yummy-mummy 17ème arrondissement, she confirmed her frustration at the lack of good all-round Indian restaurants in the French capital. Despite a multitude of not-so-great restaurants, four spots have managed to hold her attention (and palate). She shares them with us below.
Sanjee at Nalas Appakadai; Marcel
November 28, 2014
La Cantine d’Aznavour is not a place you stumble upon; even when you know the address, it’s tricky to find. Tucked at the far end of a cobblestone courtyard in the 9th arrondissement, this unusual little restaurant serves traditional Armenian food with a generous helping of hospitality.
Located on the second floor of the Maison de l’Arménie (the Armenian cultural center), the “cantine” looks more like a welcoming church basement. The jury is still out on whether Aznavour is a actually a regular, but other well-known members of the Armenian community have been known to drop in for a plate of meaty Georgian raviolis.