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.
February 27, 2015
Shay Ola cuts an imposing figure in the tiny kitchen of DBB, his newly opened restaurant just around the corner from République. Tall and clad in a brown leather apron, he looks more like a blacksmith than one of the most recent chefs to take up residence in Paris.
Originally from London, Shay came to Paris for what he describes as, “a scene where it’s still all about the food. Things are happening here at the moment and I want to be at the forefront of that,” he says.
February 23, 2015
I knew we were in for a treat at Heimat the minute we walked in the door. For one of Paris’ most anticipated new restaurants, located in the swanky Palais Royal neighborhood, my expectation was to encounter that certain form of snobbery that increases the closer you get to the center of the city. But the greeting at Heimat is just the opposite; despite being housed in a stony cellar space on rue de Montpensier, the welcome is warm, as is the lighting and the conversation that fill the cavernous yet cosy dining rooms.
Pierre Jancou, the man behind Racines and Vivant, seems to have stepped back from the pretense of his earlier exploits in opening Heimat. It offers a legit list of natural wines, but clearly has an interest in making these wines, and the food they are paired with, accessible to a curious lunch crowd. Heimat joins a handful of comfortable dining spaces - Café de la Nouvelle Mairie and Le Siffleur de Ballons also come to mind – that prove that natural wines have found their home in Paris, and the restaurants that serve them no longer need to have an achingly cool aura or inflated prices.
February 18, 2015
I recently made my way from the Palais Brogniart in Bourse to the lively Lebanese restaurant LIZA on rue de la Banque, which lines the AFP headquarters. Opened 10 years ago, it was Liza and her husband Ziad Asseily’s first-ever venture. The Beirut-born socialite, who bounces between Paris and Beirut, has since opened a magnificent restaurant in a former palace in Beirut and an outpost at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
“The Paris restaurant is my baby but I love all my projects – even the bakery. In fact, you’d laugh at me if I told you I’d been dreaming of having one of the sandwiches from the bakery for the last couple of months while I was in Beirut. I miss Paris when I’m in Beirut and I miss Beirut when I’m in Paris,” says a bubbly Liza, her big brown eyes sparkling. Liza came to the city with her parents during the Lebanon war and has since called both Beirut and Paris home. “I love to be outside of my comfort zone – I think that this fearlessness to start something new is engrained in us Lebanese due to the war. We just go for it.”
February 16, 2015
A few months back, we covered the top historical, cultural, and shopping addresses dotting Paris’ unique 20ème arrondissement. Today we’re back with favorite restaurant and nightlife names, because what is a day of exploring without a delicious meal and drink to top it off? -Erin
The 20ème isn’t best known for its culinary scene, but in recent years gourmet restaurants like Chatomat and Roseval have moved into the neighborhood. Last May, the hip bar and bistro Triplettes opened on Boulevard de Belleville and has since established a popular nightlife and brunch scene as well. Thanks to the newly opened CREAM (run by two former Ten Belles baristas), Belleville now has its own artisan coffee shop. As its restaurant and bar scene continues to evolve, there are more and more reasons to visit the 20ème.
Boulevard de Ménilmontant
February 11, 2015
Climb the ascending rue de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement of Paris and you’ll find CREAM, the city’s newest address for craft roasted coffee.
On a chilly winter afternoon, the foggy windows of the shopfront hide a warm, hole-in-the-wall haven. CREAM’s simple interior- white walls, natural wood surfaces, scattered green plants – make for an uncluttered yet welcoming space.
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.