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Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

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.

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

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Heimat: Chef Pierre Jancou’s New Paris Restaurant

Heimat Restaurant: Pierre Jancou's latest gastronomic bistro near Paris' Palais Royal

I knew we were in for a treat at Heimat the minute we walked in the door. For one of Paris’ most anticipated new restaurants, located in the swanky Palais Royal neighborhood, my expectation was to encounter that certain form of snobbery that increases the closer you get to the center of the city. But the greeting at Heimat is just the opposite; despite being housed in a stony cellar space on rue de Montpensier, the welcome is warm, as is the lighting and the conversation that fill the cavernous yet cosy dining rooms.

Pierre Jancou, the man behind Racines and Vivant, seems to have stepped back from the pretense of his earlier exploits in opening Heimat. It offers a legit list of natural wines, but clearly has an interest in making these wines, and the food they are paired with, accessible to a curious lunch crowd. Heimat joins a handful of comfortable dining spaces - Café de la Nouvelle Mairie and Le Siffleur de Ballons also come to mind – that prove that natural wines have found their home in Paris, and the restaurants that serve them no longer need to have an achingly cool aura or inflated prices.

Heimat Restaurant: Pierre Jancou's latest gastronomic bistro near Paris' Palais Royal

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Delicate Asian Flavors Delight Diners at Yam’Tcha Restaurant in Paris

This was my second visit to Yam’Tcha, my follow-up reservation having been made on the spot after my first dinner. So my expectations were high for my return. Happily, it did not disappoint.

Yam’Tcha occupies a spot on a sweet little street in the 1st arrondissement – a street you might amble down if you like getting lost in Paris’ picturesque older streets, but one that most locals and tourists strolling down the busier Rue Faubourg St Honore would probably pass without seeing. Continue Reading »

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