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.
September 29, 2015
In case further proof that traditional bistrot fare is experiencing a renaissance in Paris was needed, look no further than La Bourse et La Vie. Opened by celebrated Spring chef Daniel Rose, this bistrot du quartier mixes the attention to product and preparation that people have come to love from Spring with French culinary history and tradition. And it’s a real treat.
I popped in for lunch with a colleague after spending the morning at Haven in Paris’ nearby Opera apartment and was pleased to find the menu, space, and décor induced immediate nostalgia. The menu was relatively short – four entrées, four plats, six desserts – and the wine list perfectly tailored, signs of real expertise and restraint in my book.
September 23, 2015
When Emily Dilling moved to France in 2005, she immediately started looking for ways to become involved in the French food movement. She was startled to discover that there was not as much out there as she had hoped. She was disturbed to see that the things France is known for, like eating in season and from the land, were becoming further and further displaced. There were fewer local producers at markets and good, quality bistrot food was seemingly becoming obsolete. To chronicle her discoveries of local produce, wine, cheese, coffee (to name a few), she launched a blog called Paris Paysanne. Emily wanted to prove that it was possible to live a local and sustainable lifestyle in an urban environment.
September 17, 2015
With the la rentrée in full steam ahead in Paris, summer has seemingly slipped away over the course of a weekend. The once quiet streets that called for leisurely strolls seem almost forgotten as halcyon days gone by and are once again packed with cars and locals all participating in the city hustle.
What comes with getting back to the daily grind is the re-opening of favorite restaurants, boulangeries, and bars that were also enjoying the stillness of summer, adding a spark to the sudden shift in energy. One bar that will let us hold onto our summer memories is CopperBay, where the ease of the sunny South of France has been brought up to the City of Light.
September 10, 2015
The rue des Rosiers, an iconic street in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, is one of the few that remains reminiscent of the neighborhood’s Jewish community. Lined with Jewish bakeries and delis, this street is probably most well known for its falafel restaurants. Of the many choices, one falafel address reigns supreme: L’As du Fallafel, which is easily identifiable by its long lines and bright green façade. But a new kid on the block is pitting old pitas against new with the arrival of Miznon, an Israeli sandwich shop.
August 25, 2015
Saint Sulpice is one of the poshest quartiers in Paris. With neighbors that include Catherine Deneuve and Scarlett Johansson, it is the regular haunt of celebrities, writers, and intellectuals, making it the cultural capital of the city. The area is named for the nearly 400-year-old church and its soaring bell towers, declaring both the geographical and social center of the arrondissement. A stately square spills from the church steps, lions guarding the central fountain. After school children come to play kick ball, practice tricycle, and engage in all the sports that are forbidden in the nearby Luxembourg Gardens. Gourmands from across the globe fill the green park benches, savoring delicacies from the area’s pâtisseries extraordinaires: Pierre Hermé and Gerard Mulot. In the winter, there is a free merry-go-round for young children on the square, while in the summer the Foire Saint Germain sets up stalls to celebrate poetry, math, ceramics, and antiques. And there are other festivals around crafts, volunteering, and jazz throughout the year.
The elegant Mairie, or city hall, dominates one corner of the square, providing a backdrop for neighborhood weddings, while the Café de la Mairie sprawls out from the opposite corner, creating one of the city’s most popular terraces for hours of people watching under dappling shadows of chestnut tree leaves.
August 18, 2015
For years, dining at Le Bon Saint Pourçain was like stepping into a time machine set to the 1950s. Neighbors would come, their dogs and children in tow, spending as much time with the owner/waiter catching up on the local gossip as placing their order for a very traditional meal, invariably served with a glass of Bon Saint Pourçain wine. Suddenly, without word, the windows were white-washed over, rumors spread of a health issues (the owner’s, not the kitchen’s) and the neighborhood was left bereft.