October 6, 2015
With its place firmly staked as one of the most happening areas of Paris, the 11th arrondissement does not lack in new, fresh spots to eat or drink. But with so many locations cropping up seemingly daily, all filled with inspiration spanning the globe, it’s nice to find a place aiming to keep alive the culture that the French people love so dearly. Tucked away in a nondescript side street off of the southern end of boulevard Voltaire, À La Française is a very French neighborhood favorite with a twist: incredible craft cocktails at exceptionally reasonable prices.
Owner Stephen Martin got his start in the restaurant industry at the age of 17, and has worked in numerous high-profile bars in France and elsewhere in Europe. He began to notice, however, that there was a lack of the true presence of French culture in bartending, so he dove into the project of rediscovering the art of classic French cocktails. Armed with his research and an impressive collection of cocktail books- some dating back to 1850- he opened À La Française to bring the Paris bar scene back to its formidable roots.
September 29, 2015
In case further proof that traditional bistrot fare is experiencing a renaissance in Paris was needed, look no further than La Bourse et La Vie. Opened by celebrated Spring chef Daniel Rose, this bistrot du quartier mixes the attention to product and preparation that people have come to love from Spring with French culinary history and tradition. And it’s a real treat.
I popped in for lunch with a colleague after spending the morning at Haven in Paris’ nearby Opera apartment and was pleased to find the menu, space, and décor induced immediate nostalgia. The menu was relatively short – four entrées, four plats, six desserts – and the wine list perfectly tailored, signs of real expertise and restraint in my book.
September 10, 2015
The rue des Rosiers, an iconic street in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, is one of the few that remains reminiscent of the neighborhood’s Jewish community. Lined with Jewish bakeries and delis, this street is probably most well known for its falafel restaurants. Of the many choices, one falafel address reigns supreme: L’As du Fallafel, which is easily identifiable by its long lines and bright green façade. But a new kid on the block is pitting old pitas against new with the arrival of Miznon, an Israeli sandwich shop.
August 18, 2015
For years, dining at Le Bon Saint Pourçain was like stepping into a time machine set to the 1950s. Neighbors would come, their dogs and children in tow, spending as much time with the owner/waiter catching up on the local gossip as placing their order for a very traditional meal, invariably served with a glass of Bon Saint Pourçain wine. Suddenly, without word, the windows were white-washed over, rumors spread of a health issues (the owner’s, not the kitchen’s) and the neighborhood was left bereft.
July 30, 2015
Is there anything more Parisian than lunch or drinks on a terrasse? The warmth of the sun offset by the breeze on your face, the tables spilling out onto the sidewalk… It’s a perfect place to people-watch. But sometimes it’s nice to feel more secluded without having to move inside; that’s where the courtyard terrasse come in. Set just enough off the street to feel like you’re in a private space, it’s the perfect place for a summer apéro as the surrounding buildings create a cool oasis from the heat of the Parisian streets.
The Marais’ newest pop-up, Café Cour, offers exactly that. Opened the first of June and tucked away off of rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the heart of the neighborhood, the terrace offers half-sunlit, half-shaded seating up until around 17h, when the sun sinks just low enough to be hidden. There’s interior seating too, if you’re looking for a place to set up your computer and get some work done in a peaceful environment.
July 23, 2015
During a warm week in April I enjoyed a last meal at Paris’ favorite Italian restaurant, Caffè dei Cioppi, before it closed its doors for good. Although long-time fans of Fabrizio Ferrara’s flavorful cuisine were disappointed by the move, the good news is that the space has reopened as a relaxed Italian café and wine bar in the hands of Stefania Melis, already known to the Paris gastronomic scene as coupled with Simone Tondo of Roseval fame.
With the change of hands, the terrace tucked away in an alley off rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine hasn’t lost any of its charm. Folding metal tables and chairs are replaced by wicker stools and round café tables. A smart green awning reads Capucine in a curly script.
July 21, 2015
With the mercury punching above 100, Paris’ terraces are mercilessly packed with sun-seekers from dawn till long after dusk. But this great little place that just opened along the Canal Saint Martin still has a few spots left for the taking, although not for long.
A cross between a South Floridian speakeasy and a cool contemporary Tokyo eatery, Cartel isn’t to be confused with the neighborhood’s fencing group or the new 8th-arrondissement nightclub. Modeled after a Japanese izakaya bar with more covers and a touch of prohibition era glamour, the slick contemporary interiors by Alexander Schrepfer and Feng Shui master Carine Lamassourie are an understated play on contemporary Asian and European cultures.
July 14, 2015
Throughout our meal at Yard, I noticed my dining companion’s attention being drawn to nearby tables and the circling staff. He wasn’t looking at what our fellow patrons were eating, as we had ordered almost everything on the menu. At first I thought he was taken by the beautiful owner of the restaurant, Jane Drotter, which turned out to be true, but only partially.
July 7, 2015
l’Entrée des Artistes, Emma Stencil
Paris’ best playground is at the base of Montmartre, in the once red-light district turned bohemian paradise with no end of bars, boutique hotels, and late-night neo-bistrots. The Pigalle neighborhood has been reinventing itself over the past two years with the opening of cocktail bar innovators like Dirty Dick, Glass, and Lulu White. And the quartier continues to grow with the recent addition of l’Entrée des Artistes and Le Grand Pigalle Hotel, installed just across from each other on rue Victor Masse. Two more great reasons to head to north on a weeknight in Paris.
l’Entrée des Artistes, Melissa Leroux
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.