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Le Bon Saint Pourçain: Back with New Owners and a Traditional-Modern Mix

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. On the corner.

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.

HiP Paris blog, Le Bon Saint Pourçain, Eating in the restaurant

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Café Cour: A Hidden Pop-up with Terrace in Paris’ Marais

Café Cour: A Hidden Terrace in Paris' Marais

Is there anything more Parisian than lunch or drinks on a terrasse? The warmth of the sun offset by the breeze on your face, the tables spilling out onto the sidewalk…  It’s a perfect place to people-watch. But sometimes it’s nice to feel more secluded without having to move inside; that’s where the courtyard terrasse come in. Set just enough off the street to feel like you’re in a private space, it’s the perfect place for a summer apéro as the surrounding buildings create a cool oasis from the heat of the Parisian streets.

Café Cour: A Hidden Terrace in Paris' Marais

The Marais’ newest pop-up, Café Cour, offers exactly that. Opened the first of June and tucked away off of rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the heart of the neighborhood, the terrace offers half-sunlit, half-shaded seating up until around 17h, when the sun sinks just low enough to be hidden. There’s interior seating too, if you’re looking for a place to set up your computer and get some work done in a peaceful environment.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Capucine: An Italian Café and Wine Bar Tucked Away in the 11ème

Capucine: An Clandestine Italian Café and Wine Bar in Paris' Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Emma Stencil

During a warm week in April I enjoyed a last meal at Paris’ favorite Italian restaurant, Caffè dei Cioppi, before it closed its doors for good. Although long-time fans of Fabrizio Ferrara’s flavorful cuisine were disappointed by the move, the good news is that the space has reopened as a relaxed Italian café and wine bar in the hands of Stefania Melis, already known to the Paris gastronomic scene as coupled with Simone Tondo of Roseval fame.

With the change of hands, the terrace tucked away in an alley off rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine hasn’t lost any of its charm. Folding metal tables and chairs are replaced by wicker stools and round café tables. A smart green awning reads Capucine in a curly script.

Capucine: An Clandestine Italian Café and Wine Bar in Paris' Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Melissa Leroux

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Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

With the mercury punching above 100, Paris’ terraces are mercilessly packed with sun-seekers from dawn till long after dusk. But this great little place that just opened along the Canal Saint Martin still has a few spots left for the taking, although not for long.

A cross between a South Floridian speakeasy and a cool contemporary Tokyo eatery, Cartel isn’t to be confused with the neighborhood’s fencing group or the new 8th-arrondissement nightclub. Modeled after a Japanese izakaya bar with more covers and a touch of prohibition era glamour, the slick contemporary interiors by Alexander Schrepfer and Feng Shui master Carine Lamassourie are an understated play on contemporary Asian and European cultures.

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

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Yard: French Fare with a Fresh Twist in the 11ème

Yard Restaurant in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

Throughout our meal at Yard, I noticed my dining companion’s attention being drawn to nearby tables and the circling staff. He wasn’t looking at what our fellow patrons were eating, as we had ordered almost everything on the menu. At first I thought he was taken by the beautiful owner of the restaurant, Jane Drotter, which turned out to be true, but only partially.

Yard Restaurant in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

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Cocktails and Noshes in SoPi: Inside l’Entrée des Artistes Pigalle & Le Grand Pigalle

Rue Victor Masse: The Best of Cocktails and Cuisine in Pigalle

l’Entrée des Artistes, Emma Stencil

Paris’ best playground is at the base of Montmartre, in the once red-light district turned bohemian paradise with no end of bars, boutique hotels, and late-night neo-bistrots. The Pigalle neighborhood has been reinventing itself over the past two years with the opening of cocktail bar innovators like Dirty Dick, Glass, and Lulu White. And the quartier continues to grow with the recent addition of l’Entrée des Artistes and Le Grand Pigalle Hotel, installed just across from each other on rue Victor Masse. Two more great reasons to head to north on a weeknight in Paris.

Rue Victor Masse: The Best of Cocktails and Cuisine in Pigalle

l’Entrée des Artistes, Melissa Leroux

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Strolling Paris’ Still-Shifting 11th: rue Popincourt & rue de la Folie-Méricourt

Exploring Paris' Streets: Rue Popincourt & Folie Méricourt

Split only by the busy boulevard Voltaire, the rue de la Folie-Méricourt and rue Popincourt form a bridge between the Oberkampf and Voltaire neighborhoods of Paris. Starting at the southern end of rue Popincourt and rue de la Roquette, just steps away from the 11th arrondissement’s town hall, a neon horse head greets you as you approach Chez Aline. The horse head, along with the flashy yellow-tiled interior, is a throwback to the space’s former incarnation as an equine butcher’s shop. Chef Delphine Zampetti doesn’t specialize in controversial meat, but rather delicious lunch offerings, which do sometimes include surprising proteins. The octopus, salicorne, and cucumber salad is a particular favorite among locals as are the sandwiches, which are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Exploring Paris' Streets: Rue Popincourt & Folie Méricourt

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 4 Comments »

Brasserie Barbès: Changing Times in Paris’ Barbès Neighborhood

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

What must be this year’s most anticipated brasserie address in Paris finally opened its doors this April after a two-year refurbishment. While Brasserie Barbès has been criticized for being too expensive, contributing to making the unpolished Barbès neighborhood too “bobo,” and for having to queue for a table, the staff makes patrons feel welcome just as they are – whether they’re from this generation or the one before last, and whether they’re wearing scruffy trainers from their teenage years or have seemingly just stepped out of Vogue.

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

The brasserie sits on a street corner in the 18th arrondissement’s Barbès neighborhood, in the location of the former Vano discount shop and just across the street from the Louxor cinema, an Art Deco masterpiece. In fact, the new venue also comes with its own South Floridian Art Deco swing, echoed in its enormous bay windows, glitzy brass lighting fixtures, and flower-patterned carpets.

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

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Posted in Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Paris’ Best Natural Wine Bars & Shops

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

La Buvette

While it is exciting to live in a city that is increasingly open to international influences and imported ideas, it’s also reassuring to know that Paris holds its own as a trendsetter in certain fields. The natural wine scene is definitely one of the domains in which the French capital has gained and maintained solid footing. Senior natural wine sellers such as La Quincave and La Cave des Papilles established themselves as reliable outposts for vin nature in the early days of the movement, bringing low-intervention wine from small-scale vineyards to the city. These role models have inspired a new wave of wine bars to open in Paris, making natural wine increasingly present and accessible.

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

Le Mary Celeste

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The Five Best Apps for Food-Lovers in Paris

Rebecca Plotnick

Rebecca Plotnick

Le Fooding

Restaurant reviews on the Le Fooding website and in the printed guide essentially decide where food-loving Parisians eat during the year. Focusing on new talent and restaurant trends, the guide is descriptive, humorous, and well-informed.

Fooding 2015, a smartphone application available in English and French, allows users to search an immense database of restaurants, cafés, and hotels, and read insightful reviews from the website. Search by category (sushi, pizza, vegetarian, wine bar, etc.) or by average price. You can access a map to locate restaurants in your area or near a metro station, and bookmark your favorites.

An amusing features lets you shake your smartphone to discover a restaurant by chance, and the news section provides in-the-know tips on hotspots and restaurant openings.

The helpful, easy-to-use application is available on the iTunes app store and Google Play for $3.99. The only con is the constant sponsor ads.

Paris apps, velib, Jean-Francois Gornet

Jean-François Gornet

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