September 8, 2014
Up until recently, the only reason people passed through Porte de Clignancourt, on the outskirts of the 18th arrondissement, was for the famous Marché aux puces antique market in St. Ouen. The creation of Les Jardins du Ruisseau, a community garden located on the abandoned platforms of the city’s former commuter rail system, increased the appeal of this rough-around-the-edges area, attracting urban explorers and city picnickers since the gardens opened their doors almost ten years ago.
August 29, 2014
It’s seems that Boulogne, a relatively staid suburb of Paris, is becoming spunkier as a different breed of establishment seems to be seeping into the area. Concept stores, pizza joints with NYC aspirations, a combo cookie shop/tattoo parlor and the like are making a bit of a buzz that has caused some to liken the area to the “Brooklyn of Paris.”
Never having lived in Brooklyn, but being very aware of its use as a trendy descriptor (one of which I’ve been guilty myself), I asked friends who have lived both in Paris and New York for their take on this latest cultural comparison. I received some interesting and enlightening responses like: “Boulogne is by no stretch of the imagination ‘The New Brooklyn.’ One might, with a little reach, say it is trying to become Williamsburg-wanna-be-sur-Seine.”
August 6, 2014
The latest buzz on the Paris coffee scene this summer is Folks and Sparrows, a café-épicerie-concept store tucked away on a quiet street in the 11ème, one of my favorite neighborhoods.
I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours here on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon last week. I relaxed into a leather easy chair in the corner, admired the sunflower and lavender arrangements around me, and enjoyed a perfectly satisfying cappuccino – smooth, creamy, and served in a hefty mug for two hands. Folk music played in the background and I felt immediately transported to another place, a cabin in the rural woods of New England perhaps.
July 23, 2014
As French parliament considers an amendment that would place beer among the country’s protected gastronomic traditions, one wonders why craft beer isn’t available in more restaurants in Paris. While a few forward-thinking places like Septime and Frenchie To Go offer craft beer, only one has made it as important as the main course—La Fine Mousse Restaurant. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; this is the latest venture from the fellows behind Paris’ first craft beer bar of the same name, located across the street in the 11th arrondissement. LFM has set itself a lofty goal: bring beer to the dinner table and prove that it’s a worthy companion to exceptional food.
On a Friday evening in late June, the restaurant’s front windows were thrown wide open, casting a soft summer light on the high wooden tables in the India Pale Ale Room. On the other side of the bar, in the Barley Wine Room, a few diners settled into low booths, ready to experience the six-course tasting menu. In the India Pale Ale Room, I decided to sample the small plate menu, which changes weekly according to what’s in season and Californian chef William Ransome’s inspiration.
July 3, 2014
With a menu that embraces the best of France and an approach to customer service that rejects the worst, Le Bon Georges is swiftly becoming a new neighborhood favorite in the 9th arrondissement.
Lunch service starts with a smile from a hostess and a seat in the sun-soaked, airy dining room where the attentive waitstaff takes over, buzzing between tables and sharing their excitement about the food they serve.
The reasonably priced lunch formule is 15 euro for the plat du jour with your choice of starter or desert. The price is right to entice locals who come on their lunch break, giving the restaurant a nice, neighborhood feel.
June 26, 2014
Last summer, the boys behind Le Perchoir brought eating and drinking in Paris to new heights, offering visitors and locals alike a never-before seen view over the rooftops of Paris from the East.
Le Perchoir, the first rooftop bar of its kind in Paris coupled with a high-end restaurant quickly became the place to be throughout the summer season.
I spent many evenings on their rooftop sipping their cocktails and natural wines, sunny Sundays filled with their specialty côte de boeuf and food festivals like the Paris Pop Up that gathered the it crowd of Paris food & wine. Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one.
May 28, 2014
Aristide Boucicaut opened the world’s first department store in the 1850′s. Le Bon Marché was an instant and enduring success, changing shopping habits (and the neighborhood) forever.
The magnificent Hôtel Lutetia was built across the street to host out of town shoppers, and restaurants opened to feed them. Little has changed in the last 150 years and there are still a lot of great lunch options in the area, making it hard to choose just one!
March 24, 2014
Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.
Maison F (Sylvano)
But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.
For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts.
March 13, 2014
You can call it tapas, mezze, hors d’ouvres… But, whatever you call it, small plate dining has been big news in Paris for the past few years.
Artisan (Fanny Twin) & Buvette
Places like Verjus, Au Passage, Mary Celeste, l’Avant Comptoir, Bones and Frenchie Wine bar have upped the ante when it comes to these meals made up of mini-servings. With so many spots, it’s hard to choose. So, if you’re interested in partaking in this particular fad, here’s a hat trick of SoPi hotspots for an all night tapas tour.
Since Artisan doesn’t take reservations, it’s best to begin your night here to guarantee a seat. This laid back location is the latest from the group behind La Maison Mère and they’ve up their game thanks to the one-two punch of barman Frederic Le Bordays and chef Vanessa Krycève.
March 4, 2014
Blue Valentine is the newest cozy address in the 11th, a neighborhood that plays host to favorites like Le Chateaubriand, Bones, Septime, Clamato… The list goes on. The restaurant focuses on carefully crafted cocktails and fresh, beautifully designed dishes. Chef Saïto Terumitsu (formerly of the Mandarin Oriental) seems to have found his place in this foodie quartier. And it’s worth mentioning that the ingredients are sourced from some of the top producers in the city, with from veggies coming from Terroirs d’Avenir and coffee from Brûlerie de Belleville.
One of our favorite foodie fest organizers is back for their 9th edition; yes, the Omnivore World Tour hits Paris from March 16 – 18 for three days of superior food from standout new chefs from around the world. Not-to-miss events? The Pop up Dinners, the Fucking Dinners, and, of course, the party at Le Perchoir.
From March 27 – 30, Art Paris Art Fair will bring 140 galleries from 20 countries into the famed Grand Palais for a great display of modern and contemporary art. This year’s exhibition focuses mostly on pieces coming from the East, with China as the guest of honor. Last year’s exhibition drew more than 50,000 visitors, and I imagine this year’s will bring even more.
A new dessert-centric restaurant has opened on rue des Archives in the Marais and is heaven for anyone who often thinks, “I’d rather skip right to dessert.” Dessance, Paris’s first dessert-only resto, is being headed by pastry chef Christophe Boucher, formerly of the Grand Vefour and Ledoyen, who has challenged the idea of what a meal should be. We’re intrigued, to say the least.
An adorable café and brunch spot has opened on rue des Martyrs and we cannot wait to try it out. Marlette, which has been selling organic cake and bread mixes for several years, recently opened a brick-and-mortar café and their brunch has got us salivating. You can still purchase their mixes to re-create the brunch chez vous and impress your friends.