March 24, 2014
Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.
Maison F (Sylvano)
But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.
For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts.
March 13, 2014
You can call it tapas, mezze, hors d’ouvres… But, whatever you call it, small plate dining has been big news in Paris for the past few years.
Artisan (Fanny Twin) & Buvette
Places like Verjus, Au Passage, Mary Celeste, l’Avant Comptoir, Bones and Frenchie Wine bar have upped the ante when it comes to these meals made up of mini-servings. With so many spots, it’s hard to choose. So, if you’re interested in partaking in this particular fad, here’s a hat trick of SoPi hotspots for an all night tapas tour.
Since Artisan doesn’t take reservations, it’s best to begin your night here to guarantee a seat. This laid back location is the latest from the group behind La Maison Mère and they’ve up their game thanks to the one-two punch of barman Frederic Le Bordays and chef Vanessa Krycève.
March 4, 2014
Blue Valentine is the newest cozy address in the 11th, a neighborhood that plays host to favorites like Le Chateaubriand, Bones, Septime, Clamato… The list goes on. The restaurant focuses on carefully crafted cocktails and fresh, beautifully designed dishes. Chef Saïto Terumitsu (formerly of the Mandarin Oriental) seems to have found his place in this foodie quartier. And it’s worth mentioning that the ingredients are sourced from some of the top producers in the city, with from veggies coming from Terroirs d’Avenir and coffee from Brûlerie de Belleville.
One of our favorite foodie fest organizers is back for their 9th edition; yes, the Omnivore World Tour hits Paris from March 16 – 18 for three days of superior food from standout new chefs from around the world. Not-to-miss events? The Pop up Dinners, the Fucking Dinners, and, of course, the party at Le Perchoir.
From March 27 – 30, Art Paris Art Fair will bring 140 galleries from 20 countries into the famed Grand Palais for a great display of modern and contemporary art. This year’s exhibition focuses mostly on pieces coming from the East, with China as the guest of honor. Last year’s exhibition drew more than 50,000 visitors, and I imagine this year’s will bring even more.
A new dessert-centric restaurant has opened on rue des Archives in the Marais and is heaven for anyone who often thinks, “I’d rather skip right to dessert.” Dessance, Paris’s first dessert-only resto, is being headed by pastry chef Christophe Boucher, formerly of the Grand Vefour and Ledoyen, who has challenged the idea of what a meal should be. We’re intrigued, to say the least.
An adorable café and brunch spot has opened on rue des Martyrs and we cannot wait to try it out. Marlette, which has been selling organic cake and bread mixes for several years, recently opened a brick-and-mortar café and their brunch has got us salivating. You can still purchase their mixes to re-create the brunch chez vous and impress your friends.
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