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On Natural Wine and Where to Drink It in Paris

Natural winemaking in France and where to drink in Paris

Le Siffleur de Ballons, Palmyre Roigt

There are a ton of things we consider when choosing where to eat out: the ambiance of the restaurant, the chef’s specialties, price, and proximity are a few aspects often that affect my choices. While the quality of the food served is probably the first thing that occurs to us when reserving a table, I would argue that the wine menu is equally, if not more, important when choosing where to dine while in France.

Ever since discovering natural wine in 2012, I have begun to seek it out as a sign of quality and good food and drinks to come when choosing where to eat, and this method rarely lets me down. It also often brings welcome surprises, such as encounters with inspiring food industry professionals and the discovering of off-the-beaten-track addresses.

Natural winemaking in France and where to drink in Paris

Le Siffleur de Ballons

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Posted in Restaurant Reviews, Wine | No Comments »

My Montmartre: Food, Coffee, Shopping & More

Montmartre Roundup

I have a confession to make. Even though I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life exploring Paris, I’d never dedicated ample time to discovering Montmartre. Sure, I’d seen all the “must-see” spots – I had climbed the endless steps to Sacré-Coeur, bought a still-wet canvas at Place du Tetre, gazed upon the moulins, and even visited Amélie’s favorite spots. However, it wasn’t until this past trip that I truly experienced the neighborhood (thanks to a stay at this incredible apartment), and subsequently fell in love with it. Here are my favorite addresses for an ideal day touring the famed butte.

Montmartre RoundupMontmartre Roundup

Cafe Marlette, Cuillier

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Posted in Reader Tips & Reviews, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

DonAntónia Pastelaria: Portuguese Treats Along the Canal St-Martin

HiP Paris Blog DonAntonia Pastelaria Canal St MartinAmong all of the trendy coffee shops and boutiques along the Canal Saint Martin, one new address is standing out from the rest. Forget croissants and café crèmes for a moment and immerse yourself in the pasteis de nata and galão at DonAntónia, a part eatery, part grocery store that is dedicated to the tastes of Portugal.

HiP Paris Blog DonAntonia Pastelaria Canal St MartinThe idea is simple: everything – down to the milk in the coffee – comes from Portugal. A team at Canelas bakery in Pierrefitte, just north of Paris, creates the pastries each day. In fact, they’ve been catering Portuguese cuisine for 35 years, but DonAntónia is the first storefront for the products in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Coffee, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Fraîche: A Summer Must for Light French Fare Along the Canal St-Martin

Canal St-Martin bistrot, Fraîche. A summer go-to for light French fare.

Everything about Fraîche is in keeping with its name: light and refined dishes made with market-fresh ingredients, surprising flavor combinations, and a sunny yet airy space that puts you immediately at ease. Whether for a weekday lunch with colleagues or an intimate dinner date, you’ll walk away from a meal at this unpretentious Canal St-Martin bistrot full and restored.

Canal St-Martin bistrot, Fraîche. A summer go-to for light French fare.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

La Cantine de Merci. Lunch in Paris’ Trendiest Concept Store

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Paris abounds with design galleries, chic clothing boutiques and tile-floored bistros serving market-fresh cuisine, but rarely do you find more than one together under the same roof. Merci is a delightful exception.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Founded in 2009 by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, Merci is a concept store that rolls the best of fashion, design, household goods, lighting, and lunch into one stunning space in the Haut Marais neighborhood. Spanning three light-filled floors of a former wallpaper factory, the gallery-cum-boutique is run a bit like a magazine: roughly 15 “exhibitions” held throughout the year highlight diverse themes that have included herring, urban sports, wax-dyed batiks, and urban gardening.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

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Posted in Fashion, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | No Comments »

Café Chilango: Authentic Mexican Street Food in Paris

Mexican Street Food in Paris at Cafe Chilango

I desperately missed Mexican food when I moved to Paris from the United States twelve years ago. Now there are plenty of taquerias and places riffing on contemporary Mexican cuisine, but Café Chilango, which opened in June of 2014, remains one of the finest.

Mexican Street Food in Paris at Cafe Chilango

Mexican Street Food in Paris at Cafe Chilango

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Le Bougainville: Homemade, Grandmother-Style French Cooking

Le Bougainville: Unfussy French Cooking near Place de la Victoire in Paris

I recently found myself strolling near the Place des Victoires, a business district that appeared to have closed for the day. Continuing in the direction of the more promising Galerie Vivienne, my date and I spotted a 1950s-style café with mosaic tile floors, Formica table tops, and primary-color paint. We were dubious, but hungry, so we stepped in, pleased to find that behind Le Bougainville’s near-empty café was a welcoming restaurant with a trove of pleased diners.

Le Bougainville: Unfussy French Cooking near Place de la Victoire in Paris

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »

Aux Deux Cygnes: A Classic Parisian Wine Bar with a Vietnamese Twist

HiP Paris blog Aux Deux Cygnes end of the night (1)

Paris is home to a thriving, expanding scene when it comes to craft coffee, beer, and natural wines. However, despite evolutions in how the city’s residents and visitors eat and drink, the setting in which we enjoy these items rarely strays from the standard model. Enter any craft coffee shop and you’ll like have a choice of locally sourced cookies, or the more standard croissant or pain au chocolat to enjoy in a small, sparsely decorated space which incorporates innovative seating options to accommodate the hoards of self-employeds and bloggers who flock there. Standing-room-only is often the case at the city’s craft beer bars, where beer geeks are equipped with pints and perhaps a coveted bowl of roasted peanuts to go with.

HiP Paris blog Aux Deux Cygnes bottles on the wall Emily Jackson

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Myrthe: A Quality Cantine and 100% French Épicerie Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

HiP Paris blog. Myrthe, a locally sourced epicerie and cantine off of the Canal Saint Martin. Street view of the colorful cantine.

Long-time friends Marion and Laura couldn’t have found a better spot for Myrthe, the half-cantine, half-épicerie they opened in December 2014. Sandwiched between specialty coffee shop Ten Belles and lush florist Bleuet Coquelicot, Myrthe is one of the Canal St-Martin’s newest tenants. And it’s a great fit for the area. In addition to serving sandwiches, salads, and gluten-free pastries on-site, Myrthe offers a selection of take-away apéro baskets that demand to be eaten canal-side. “The hardest part about opening a business in Paris is finding the right spot. We got really lucky with this one,” says Marion.

HiP Paris blog. Myrthe, a locally sourced epicerie and cantine off of the Canal Saint Martin. Grab a coffee, settle in and stay awhile.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Les Pinces: A New-England-Style Lobster Joint with a Parisian Twist

HiP Paris Les Pinces lobster spread

Le Marais is considered by many to be the dining capital of Paris with choices abound. Varying from take-out hot dogs on the corner of rue Vieille du Temple to falafels on the iconic rue des Rosiers to up-and-coming hipster hangouts where the design is equally as important as the menu, choosing a place to dine is a culinary experience in itself. One group of French restaurateurs with a penchant for North American travel decided what the chic quartier needed was a splash of something different, and opened a lobster joint.

Steering away from the opulence that could be equated with going out for lobster in Paris and taking a cue from Northeast lobster restaurants they frequented on their travels, friends Damien Borjesson, Remy Bougenaux, Vivien Mathieu, and Louis Kerveillant opened Les Pinces (meaning “claws” in French) in November 2014.

HiP Paris Les Pinces montage

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