November 14, 2014
Opened in June of 2012, Inaro, a cosy restaurant specializing in apéro dinatoire style dining, has recently made itself more available to neighbors and lovers of all things local. Starting this month, the space is open in the afternoon, providing French-origin lunch options with a menu that is entirely locally sourced. Organic bread and artisanal ingredients are available for take away or to enjoy sur place in the comfortable dining space, which is lined with wood brought from Brittany and constructed by owner Johan Bonnet’s carpenter uncle.
At Inaro, the constantly changing seasonal menu is accompanied by a wine list that favors organic and sustainably produced wines. Working with small, independent producers is at the heart of the restaurant’s philosophy (despite the fact that Nespresso managed to secure a place at the espresso machine, a familiar elephant in the room for dining establishments in Paris) and the perfect-for-sharing menu makes this a great spot for a quick drink or a laid-back dinner.
November 8, 2014
Le Timbre, Palmyre Roigt
Over the past few years there has been a lot of conversation around the startling statistic that around one-third of France’s cafes, brasseries and restaurants are actually using pre-frozen ingredients or entire meals that only need a microwave before reaching your plate. In typical French fashion, this was a drawn out discussion that needed a government vote and while restaurants now can mark on their menus “fait maison,” when items are truly made from scratch, you might not always be able to see the menu before sitting down.
Verjus, Diane Yoon
A few months ago, I attended a question and answer session about French food and the fait maison/frozen food question was raised. A few people said, “you just should know where to go.” But without any mandate and as a visitor to Paris, “knowing where to go,” is easier said than done. And for first-time tourists, it’s easy to end up somewhere that is beautifully authentic and appears to be using all fresh ingredients but well, isn’t. Here are five tips to keep you street smart when eating fresh, seasonal and farm-to-table in Paris.
Verjus, Diane Yoon
October 28, 2014
What happens when two fine arts graduates of the prestigious École du Louvre team up with a French wine expert? A cadre made in French heaven: a wine shop art gallery hybrid for enthusiasts who like their Sancerre with a side of up-and-coming art. Ici-même + Gallerie Graphem, located steps away from the manicured gardens of the Promenade Plantée, finds itself a home in this bohème corner of the 12th arrondissement.
Art directors Fabienne Lafaye and Claire Aimonier-Davat, who started their careers in fine art galleries throughout Paris, conceptualized the adjoining Gallerie Graphem. Through their experience in the art world, they have been able to cultivate relationships with artists from all over Europe who have been invited to display their work at exhibitions booked through 2015. During their residency, artists are invited to bond the two spaces with a light sketch trailing from the gallery into the wine shop.
October 21, 2014
When he opened his first spot, Bob’s Juice Bar, in 2006, Marc Grossman says he was driven by a simple desire to bring a little of New York to Paris. “It was something from back home, something I missed, health food, juice bars,” says Grossman. The born-and-bred New Yorker, who at one time worked on Wall Street, decided to move to Paris 15 years ago. He married a French girl and never left.
Since opening his first café, he has almost single-handedly changed Parisian’s dining habits for the better, introducing them to things like green juice and rice bowls he calls “Veggie Stew.” However, he says his goal was never to push a health food agenda, but rather serve organic, wholesome, tasty food. “We’re not extreme,” says Grossman. “We have muffins, but we also have salads. We try to mix it up.”
September 30, 2014
Parc André Citroën
10% of all Parisians live in the 15th arrondissement, making it the most populous arrondissement in the city, with more citizens than the city of Bordeaux. They come because it’s easy, with spacious boulevards and lovely buildings. They stay because it is a vibrant neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist sights, with great restaurants, excellent public transportation, and plenty of entertainment.
September 26, 2014
A California summer salad with quinoa, a New York deli-style pastrami sandwich, smoked Banka trout on a sesame bagel— these are just a few of the homemade lunch items you’ll find at the newly opened Rachel’s restaurant in the North Marais.
Parisians might recognize the name from Rachel’s Cakes in Montreuil, a bakery and catering business that Ohio native, Rachel Moeller, started with her friends, Maria and Birke. In a 60m2 apartment crammed with two stoves and an extra refrigerator in the bedroom, they began to supply fresh, made-to-order bagels, apple pies, muffins, burger buns, and their legendary cheesecakes to Paris eateries like Le Bal Café, Le Camion Qui Fume, and The Broken Arm.
September 8, 2014
Up until recently, the only reason people passed through Porte de Clignancourt, on the outskirts of the 18th arrondissement, was for the famous Marché aux puces antique market in St. Ouen. The creation of Les Jardins du Ruisseau, a community garden located on the abandoned platforms of the city’s former commuter rail system, increased the appeal of this rough-around-the-edges area, attracting urban explorers and city picnickers since the gardens opened their doors almost ten years ago.
August 29, 2014
It’s seems that Boulogne, a relatively staid suburb of Paris, is becoming spunkier as a different breed of establishment seems to be seeping into the area. Concept stores, pizza joints with NYC aspirations, a combo cookie shop/tattoo parlor and the like are making a bit of a buzz that has caused some to liken the area to the “Brooklyn of Paris.”
Never having lived in Brooklyn, but being very aware of its use as a trendy descriptor (one of which I’ve been guilty myself), I asked friends who have lived both in Paris and New York for their take on this latest cultural comparison. I received some interesting and enlightening responses like: “Boulogne is by no stretch of the imagination ‘The New Brooklyn.’ One might, with a little reach, say it is trying to become Williamsburg-wanna-be-sur-Seine.”
August 6, 2014
The latest buzz on the Paris coffee scene this summer is Folks and Sparrows, a café-épicerie-concept store tucked away on a quiet street in the 11ème, one of my favorite neighborhoods.
I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours here on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon last week. I relaxed into a leather easy chair in the corner, admired the sunflower and lavender arrangements around me, and enjoyed a perfectly satisfying cappuccino – smooth, creamy, and served in a hefty mug for two hands. Folk music played in the background and I felt immediately transported to another place, a cabin in the rural woods of New England perhaps.
July 23, 2014
As French parliament considers an amendment that would place beer among the country’s protected gastronomic traditions, one wonders why craft beer isn’t available in more restaurants in Paris. While a few forward-thinking places like Septime and Frenchie To Go offer craft beer, only one has made it as important as the main course—La Fine Mousse Restaurant. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; this is the latest venture from the fellows behind Paris’ first craft beer bar of the same name, located across the street in the 11th arrondissement. LFM has set itself a lofty goal: bring beer to the dinner table and prove that it’s a worthy companion to exceptional food.
On a Friday evening in late June, the restaurant’s front windows were thrown wide open, casting a soft summer light on the high wooden tables in the India Pale Ale Room. On the other side of the bar, in the Barley Wine Room, a few diners settled into low booths, ready to experience the six-course tasting menu. In the India Pale Ale Room, I decided to sample the small plate menu, which changes weekly according to what’s in season and Californian chef William Ransome’s inspiration.