June 19, 2015
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.
May 29, 2015
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.
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.
May 26, 2015
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.
Le Mary Celeste
May 12, 2015
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.
April 24, 2015
The dream team behind Paris’ classy and cocktail-forward Le Mary Celeste, Candelaria, and Glass hits a high note with the greatly anticipated opening of Hero, a three-story Korean canteen and bar. The small menu revisits traditional Korean street food, artfully prepared by Haan Palcu-Chang, former chef at Le Mary Celeste and inventor of the restaurant’s beloved deviled eggs.
A stone’s throw from Porte Saint-Denis, Hero welcomes a constant flow of thirsty Parisians who assemble around the ground-floor bar. Colorful cocktails, champagne flutes, and shots of soju slide across a pink marble countertop. Cocktail enthusiasts will appreciate creations like the refreshing mezcal, citrus, and soju-based slushy Thug Life (12€) and the creamy Bubble Trouble (10€), combining almond milk, orgeat, absinthe, bekseju, and tapioca pearls.
Designed by Swede Jeanette Dalrot and New York agency Safari Sundays, Hero’s interior is original and playful. Diners can climb the staircase lined with potted plants, graffiti, and neon hearts to the restaurant on the second floor, where a quirky arrangement of elevated tables and wooden stools wraps around the walls of the dining room. A quick glance around the small space shows Chinese lanterns made of yarn and fabric, and a multicolored flashing projection on the far wall. The ambiance veers towards new-age club meets Korean spa. In the center of the room is a pretty marble sink, perfect for cleaning up after devouring an order of fried chicken with your bare hands.
Haan wows diners with his variation of yangnyeom, crispy Korean fried chicken covered in sesame seeds and a good dose of garlic sweet and sour glaze or (for the courageous) a spicy gochujang sauce. A half chicken (19-23€) is just right for two people and a whole chicken (36-43€) works well for groups of three or more.
Not to be missed are the flavorful pork buns with ssamjang (7€) and homemade kimchi (3€). Fresh salads (7-9.5€) help to cut the spice and Haan’s seared rice cakes with shiitake ragout, Chinese salted radish, gochujang, and tofu purée (8€) is a personal favorite. The desserts are fun and original, combining ingredients like roasted sweet potatoes, meringue, and maple syrup (7€) or rice krispie treats with matcha and yakult mousse (6€).
Visit Hero with two or three friends (so you can order everything on the menu) but not with a first date. Korean fried chicken is a messy business and after two cocktails and an order of yangnyeom, you can expect to be covered in hot sauce.
Hero – 289 rue Saint-Denis, 75002. No tel.
- Emma also checks out Ellsworth, another new opening in Central Paris.
- Lucky Peach covers their top five places to eat in Paris, including chicken-focused Le Coq Rico.
- Craving more Korean? We also checked out Ibaji at La Jeune Rue.
April 7, 2015
Paris doesn’t lack talented culinary couples. After waving bon voyage to Barcelona-bound Laura Vidal and Harry Cummins of Paris Pop-up, the City of Lights welcomes a new venture by the charming American duo Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins. More than three years after opening successful Verjus Restaurant and Verjus Wine Bar, the pair are introducing a sister restaurant that serves up wine bar favorites (including Verjus’ in-demand fried chicken) and other inventive variations on American comfort food.
March 31, 2015
Despite its unassuming exterior and simple table settings, Le Servan is where serious diners go to both talk passionately about food and enjoy eating it. Located in the 11th arrondissement, an area with one of the highest concentrations of interesting and provocative dining addresses in the city, the restaurant successfully mixes classic and modern French cuisine, delivering the best of both.
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 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.