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.
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.