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Le Pantruche & Aux Deux Amis Are Paris’ Newest Scene-Stealers

When you’ve lived in Paris awhile, dining options can become a little, shall we say, lackluster. Don’t get me wrong—it doesn’t get much more delicious than French cuisine, bien sur. But one can only eat so many chevre chaud salads, salmon tartares and steak frites before ennui descends.

Thank goodness this past year has ushered in several exciting restaurant openings with creative cooking and cool scenes on equal display. Here are two to try right now.

The Scene: Le Pantruche, 3 rue Victor-Massé, 9eme Down the street from Le Lautrec; around the corner from Hotel Amour; not far from rue des Martyrs—in other words, the neighborhood of the moment. But instead of a feverish see-and-be-seen vibe, La Pantruche exudes smart and quiet elegance—c’est branché all the way.

The Set-Up: The compact 34-top dining room is dark but warm, thanks to dim lighting and natural wood banquettes. Support poles appliquéd with mirror chips glitter like disco balls, bringing a delicious taste of the neighborhood’s tawdriness inside. But the convivial-meets-cool vibe is best brought to life by the charming service, led by Edouard Bobin. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »

Once a Local, Now a Tourist: Amy Thomas’ Impossible One-Week Paris Itinerary

Aux Deux Amis

The beauty of any great city is that you never “finish” it. There’s always a new corner to explore, a windy street to be discovered, a café you wonder how in the world you missed.

Before I left Paris, I made peace with the fact that there was no way I would tackle everything on my to-do list (nor, my list of must-eats). It was partly to keep me sane in the frenzied last days of packing up one life to return to another. But it was also a way of reassuring myself that I would return to Paris. I would get dressed up for a ballet at Opera Garnier. I would stumble into a subterranean jazz club. Angelina’s obscenely thick chocolat chaud would once again deliciously coat my teeth and send me off in an orbit of bliss.

A bike near Notre Dame and Merci store

Now I’m on the cusp of returning to Paris—but only for a week. As a tourist, I want to leave my schedule loose enough for spontaneous explorations (which are more magical in Paris than any other city) and let my friends guide me to everything that is new and hot since I left (Saturne? Grazie?). But certain destinations and activities are non-negotiable. With my first post-expat visit on the horizon, here is what I’m most excited about. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »

Three Discoveries on a Secret Paris Séjour

Paris Museum: Musee de la chasse et de la natureJulien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature

Surprise! I made a super-quick trip to France last month. I only told a handful of friends that I was going because I had just 6 days to do what I do in Paris, which is nothing (blissfully). Or at least, nothing planned.

Per usual, I didn’t look at my watch (my figurative watch… I don’t actually have one) the whole week. I did, however,  manage to make three new discoveries that I’m pretty thrilled about:

1. Aux Deux Amis is a wonderfully understated neighborhood wine bar and resto that embodies everything I love about eating in Paris. The regularly-shifting menu is written in chalk, the waiters offer candid advice about what’s good and what’s even better, the place is full (but not annoyingly so), and we left feeling healthier, happier, and somehow lighter (the paradoxical effect of good French cuisine). 45, rue Oberkampf, 11eme. Tel: 01 58 30 38 13.

Paris Secret Sejour - Cafe Baci RestaurantJulien Hausherr – Cafe Baci

2. The mind-blowingly awesome Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature). I really have no excuse for not visiting earlier: The moment I stepped inside, I felt like the place had been constructed, designed, and curated for me and me alone. Its lavish interiors are filled with taxidermy animals of all shapes and sizes (fox! polar bear! owl faces on the ceiling!), ornate weaponry and other “curiosities.” And you can touch things! I’ve been accused of saying this too often, but it’s my new favorite place in Paris. For real this time. 62, rue des Archives, 3eme. Tel: 01 53 01 92 40.

Paris Museum - Musee de la chasse et de la natureJulien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
Paris Museum - Musee de la chasse et de la nature
Julien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »