February 18, 2014
On a windy night this past fall, I brought my godfather to his first proper Paris dinner. Naturally, I went with a restaurant I was dying to try: Roseval. Tucked away in the 20th, north of Pere Lachaise and just off the Rue de Menilmontant, the location was sort of perfect. I’ve come to know this off-the-tourist-path neighborhood a bit better over the past few years and love the foodie ventures it draws.
The exterior of Roseval is unassuming — a beautiful and perfectly aged stone façade. The interior, a rustic-meets-industrial space with just a handful of wooden tables.
Upon being seated, two menus were quickly dropped off for our review. Listing several ingredients for each course, we were given a brief glimpse into what we’d be eating that evening but no sense of the form, as is becoming increasingly common with this style of new wave, low key gastronomic bistro. I love this element of surprise though it may not be best for a pickier eater (also in part because there are no options; you get what they give you). Our ingredient list included:
January 9, 2014
Ma Puce, mon lapin, ma biche, mon chou, ma poule, ma caille, ma cocotte…
These hidden terms of French endearment appear from the most unlikely places to surprise you inside Ma Cocotte, the restaurant designed by Philippe Starck in the heart of Paris’ enchanting antique and flea markets (aka, Les Puces).
As you bite into your roast chicken, a little hidden love message ‘Ma Poule’ (hen) appears on your plate. Take note as you dive into your bowl of hot chocolate, ‘Mon Amour’! ‘Mon Lapin’ (my rabbit) is displayed on the wall, perhaps replacing the portrait of a loved one?
January 7, 2014
As Europe’s largest oyster-producing country, France has a long history with the tasty bivalves. Busy brasseries boast display cases with servers who expertly shuck them for seafood platters and passing shoppers.
The year-end provides the perfect excuse to indulge in the festive combination of oysters and champagne. And, while they’ve always been part of the country’s culinary fabric, some of the city’s new chefs have been bringing them back to the forefront of the food scene by infusing a bit more energy and creativity into their service.
With seafood and shellfish playing a starring role in so many of the city’s new and popular restaurants, the team behind Septime finally unveil their own take on the trend with their third venture, Clamato.
December 30, 2013
“I don’t cook for everyone; I cook for those I love.” So says Mariko, the Osaka-born owner/chef/gallerist who helms La Maison des Frigos, the tiny café on the ground floor of the artist squat, Les Frigos, in a rejuvenated section of Paris’s 13ème. Indeed, to eat in her dining room is to be invited into her world and – word to the wise – to follow her rules.
(No chatting on your cell, no photos, no credit cards, and – in an overheard admonishment to some fellow diners: Chez moi, we eat our main course before the melon…).
November 26, 2013
Sundays in Paris are perfect for indulging in a savory home-cooked meal. Though I often make these week-end dinners at home with fresh ingredients purchased at an open-air market that morning, I deviated from this routine on a recent Sunday and am thrilled I did.
After receiving a tip from Erica, the Owner of Haven in Paris, about this bistro tucked away on the East side of Sacre Coeur, I was intrigued.
Practically, this option made a lot of sense: the restaurant was within walking distance of my apartment (I was living on the rue Lepic and for a month and a half), I had two girlfriends from New York coming into town the following week and had yet to make a dinner reservation for us, and Le Grand 8 opens for Sunday dinner. Perfect, I thought.
November 19, 2013
Paris’ 18th arrondissement, to the north of the city, is a vast and varied area, encompassing some of the most affluent enclaves (right up at the top of the hill) and some of the shadiest (La Goutte d’Or), as well as one of the city’s most frequented tourist spots — Le Sacre Coeur and the surrounding streets and squares in Montmartre.
But slightly off the beaten track is the more unassuming part of this neighborhood: the residential area in the foothills of Montmartre, extending from the arrondissement’s town hall – where I happen to have lived for the best part of a decade – which is well worth the detour to discover the lesser known shops, restaurants and more that the guide-book clutching hoards are yet to discover.
Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)
Here is a selection of my favorite new and newish places that look set to make this part of the 18th a destination on any discerning visitor or local’s itinerary. Food in the area ranges from a quick bite and coffee right up to fine French dining.
September 19, 2013
For decades, Pigalle was known mainly for its sex shops, seedy shows and working girls. During WWII, this sketchy section of Paris earned the nickname “Pig Alley” thanks to its bawdy rep. But these days, Pigalle has earned a few new monikers as well as a cleaner reputation. Now, in NYC fashion, trendy locals refer to it as either NoPi (North of Pigalle) or SoPi (South of Pigalle).
While both North and South have plenty to offer, it’s SoPi that’s become the latest neighborhood to watch. Moving beyond nighttime entertainment, SoPi is packed with plenty of destination restaurants, food shops, cafes and enough to make an itinerary that runs from morning until nighttime.
To get a day’s worth of enjoyment out of one the city’s hippest ‘hood, kick start things with some caffeine at Rocketship. Like many places in Paris, they don’t open until later in the morning, so make your way there leisurely. In keeping with the neighborhood’s NY-inspired nickname, this concept coffeeshop works a Brooklyn vibe and offers chai lattes alongside coffee from Coutume.
After coffee, take time to browse the boutique. Benoit, the owner, prides himself on finding unique treasures and includes a good number of pieces from SoPi-based artisans.
Le Rocketship, 13 bis rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 78 23 66
September 12, 2013
Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)
It’s no secret that some of the most interesting things in a city happen off the tourist grid. New restaurants, music and, of course, lots of art gets made in places where the rents are cheaper, the residents funkier and the tourists far fewer. Paris is no exception. Such is true of the area in north eastern Paris in and around the 19eme. Thanks to some major cultural attractions and a smattering of fun eateries, it just may be on the brink of its moment.
Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)
Setting off from Metro Stalingrad one recent afternoon, I discovered a quartier in exciting transition. Where its once dilapidated streets were lined with international call centers and cut rate shops, a new energy is palpable in a smattering of neighborhood boutiques, vegetarian eateries and performing arts centers.
Le Louxor (Erin Dahl)
Here are the highlights.
Le Centquatre. In 2008 the Marie de Paris unveiled Le104 (Le Centquatre), a performing and visual arts center that serves as the creative hub of the area. It’s a vast and luminous space that features rotating exhibitions and installations from this summer’s epic Keith Haring retrospective to “interactive” work that quite literally invites audiences to experience art first-hand.
August 22, 2013
Frenchie To Go
It’s 1pm, and your stomach is growling. For many in Paris, that means a stop by the closest boulangerie for a classic sandwich au jambon fromage. But for those of us who want a little more oomph between the slices, two of our favorite resto/bar à vin combos have opened up lunch operations as well.
Frenchie To Go
It’s no secret that we at HiP Paris are big fans of Verjus, Braden Perkins’ and Laura Adrian’s triplex that sits kitty-corner to the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. So it should come as no surprise that when I heard that they would be opening for lunch with a menu of creative sandwiches based on cult classics from the US, I went running.
Verjus Wine Bar
The menu features three sandwiches (as well as an off-menu vegetarian option), all of which are served with a daily choice of classic lunchbox desserts such as snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, or caramel brownies, plus a non-alcoholic drink, for €15. There is also an option to supplement wine or beer for an extra €3, for those of us who moved to France for the option to have wine at lunch.
July 24, 2013
Tucked away on a quiet street in the 11e arrondissement, just across from a lovely little park where hipsters and bobos alike can be seen taking in the elusive summer sunshine, Chez Mamie Green is known for serving up some of Paris’s best organic brunches.
This pocket-sized place has seating for only a dozen people or so, but it’s packed full of charm and good energy. Inside, small pots of flowers sit atop mismatched wooden tables; organic green teas and honey line the counters and shelf spaces; and metallic baskets filled with fresh oranges hang from the ceiling.
The walls are covered with colorful Polaroids featuring the two lovely owners, Stéphanie Assouline and Emilie Goldman, alongside friends and family at home, at parties, on Parisian streets, and on weekends away. Taken together, all of these elements combine to make the space feel more like a cozy room in a friend’s apartment rather than just another restaurant.