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Les Chouettes Restaurant and Lounge: Hip Dining in Paris’ Fashionable Marais

Les Chouettes Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge: A Cosy and Refined Art Deco Gem in Paris' Fashionable Haut Marais

Newly opened on Rue de Picardie in Paris’ Haut Marais neighborhood is the visually pleasing Parisian bistro Les Chouettes. With an elegant interior by design firm Lázaro Rosa Violán, the three-story restaurant and cocktail bar feels like a modern rendition of the Parisian art deco lounge.

Les Chouettes Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge: A Cosy and Refined Art Deco Gem in Paris' Fashionable Haut Marais

From the ground-floor restaurant situated beneath a soaring glass ceiling, a winding staircase leads to the second and third stories where you can enjoy a drink at the old-world cocktail bar or lounge, dotted with leather armchairs, iron globes, and an impressive little library collection.

On a chilly December afternoon, I cozied up in a chair by the fireplace to enjoy lunch with a friend who was visiting Paris for the weekend. The daily prix fixe menu was too good to pass up, beginning with a warming butternut squash soup sprinkled with lardons and crowned with a foamy mushroom mousse de lait.

Les Chouettes Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge: A Cosy and Refined Art Deco Gem in Paris' Fashionable Haut Marais

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

A Noste: After-Work Drinks and Tapas-Style Small Plates near Paris’ La Bourse

A Noste: After Work Drinks, Tapas Small Plates, and Fine Dining Restaurant in Paris' La Bourse Neighborhood

The area surrounding metro Bourse generally turns into a ghost town after work hours. Teeming with business people and local employees during the day, the 9 to 5 crowd in the city’s financial district usually clears out once the work day is done. All that is changing with the arrival of A Noste, a split-level tapas and fine dining restaurant on rue du 4 Septembre.

A Noste: After Work Drinks, Tapas Small Plates, and Fine Dining Restaurant in Paris' La Bourse Neighborhood

A Noste: After Work Drinks, Tapas Small Plates, and Fine Dining Restaurant in Paris' La Bourse Neighborhood

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Winter in Paris: Hot Chocolate, Melty Cheese, and Fireplace Bars in the City of Love

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

niall62

With the temperatures dropping and the light dimming, winter in Paris might not seem like the most romantic time of year. In many ways, however, it can actually be a lovers’ paradise, even if you’re not skating hand in hand in front of Hôtel de Ville, strolling the streets brightly decorated for the holidays, or huddled together sipping vin chaud. Here are five fun ideas to warm up (and spice up) your couples’ outings in the chilly city of amour.

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

Sophie Asia; hpc_

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The Elegant Eighth: Affordable Food and Superb Culture in Paris’ Chic Business District

Elegant Eighth, Paris courtyard

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

For Parisians, many of whom don’t necessarily identify personally with their professional alter egos, the Eighth Arrondissement represents the office. True, it’s pretty, with row after row of Haussmannian edifices and wide, tree-lined boulevards. But isn’t so much of Paris just that?

Elegant Eighth, Paris street view

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

Covering an area of 3.88 km² with a population a bit larger than 40K people, the Eighth is one of the wealthiest arrondissements in Paris. Second only to La Défense as home to multinational firms and banks, the Eighth also caters to tourism (Champs-Elysées), culture (Musée Jacquemart-André, Salle Gaveau/Pleyel, the Petit and Grand Palais), fashion (avenue Montaigne is home to the most prestigious Haute Couture houses), churches (La Madeleine, St Augustin, and my own favorite, the little-visited royalist Chapelle Expiatoire), and luxury (George V, Plaza Athenée, the Bristol, Hôtel de Crillon).

Elegant Eighth, Paris flowers

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

La Jeune Rue: The Latest Cultural and Culinary Initiative in Paris’ Marais

La-Jeune-Rue-Vertbois

Rue de Vertbois, Emma Stencil

Three quiet streets in ParisMarais neighborhood are the site for one of the most interesting projects of the year. The name Cédric Naudon, French entrepreneur and millionaire, was splashed all over the French press this spring with the announcement of his sensational initiative La Jeune Rue.

La Jeune Rue, Empty Street

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

Not much is known about this low-profile businessman who is said to have made his millions in real estate and finance in the United States. The Gatsby-esque aura surrounding Naudon is reinforced by his reticence in interviews, as well as the flamboyant decision to purchase 36 storefronts over the course of a year to realize his vision for La Jeune Rue, a project that is estimated to cost over 30 million.

La Jeune Rue, Buildings

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

La Jeune Rue is set to transform three neglected Parisian streets – Rue Volta, Rue du Vertbois, and Rue de Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth – into a mecca for bohemian-bourgeois shoppers in search of locally-sourced and artisanal products.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 1 Comment »

Inaro: Local, Artisanal, and Organic Small Plates and Wine by Paris’ Canal St. Martin

Inaro, Tables

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.

Inaro, Aperitif

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.

Inaro, Interior

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Wine in Bulk and Bottled Cocktails: Hip Alternatives for Drinking Chez Vous

Drinking at Home, En Vrac, full bottles

En Vrac

With everything from simple corner cafes to trendy nightclubs, Paris is a paradise for those with a taste for the nightlife. Even so, sometimes a night off is in order. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to eschew a bit of sipping, as Paris offers some interesting alternatives for your home-drinking pleasure.

 Drinking at Home, La Maison du Whisky, pac 930

La Maison du Whisky Fine Spirits

Natural Wine in Bulk: En Vrac 

While wine by the box may not be new, this popular bar and restaurant is providing a new perspective on buying wine in bulk in its two Paris locations. En Vrac means “in bulk,” and here customers choose from a selection of natural wines that can be sampled on-site or taken off-site in fun French lemonade inspired to-go bottles (or bring your own). At prices that start around 5 Euros a bottle, it’s easy to take a chance on a few and spend a casual evening holding your own private wine tasting. And, for those seeking something stronger, they also offer up a selection of bulk spirits like Poire Williams, Vodka, Rhum, and more in a variety of sizes.

 

Drinking at Home, La Cave à Cocktail, sign

La Cave à Cocktail

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The Paris Popup: A Week-long Food Fête in the City of Light

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, Laura and Margaritas

Summer may be over, but there’s always something to celebrate in Paris. The end of September marked the long-awaited return of chef Harry Cummins and sommelier Laura Vidal, the well-known duo behind The Paris Popup. An initiative imagined while the pair were working together at Frenchie Restaurant, Paris Popup brings together the best of Harry’s inventive cooking and Laura’s dead-on wine pairings. 

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, Drinks menu

The popup group debuted last year with a number of successful one-day events hosted in notable Parisian venues like Verjus, Le Mary Celeste, and Bones. For their events the team worked closely with local suppliers and invited other notable chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, musicians, and artists to participate. After last year’s memorable Food Fest popup, hosted at the novel rooftop bar Le Perchoir, Paris Popup packed its suitcases and skipped town for a prolonged trip around the world. Dropping into the diverse culinary scenes of New York City, Oakland, Montreal, Québec City, and Kyoto, the group made friends and fans as they cooked their way across the globe. 

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, 3

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Paris’ 20ème: History, Culture, and Shopping in Belleville and Ménilmontant

20eme, Rue Denoyez Street Art

Rue Denoyez

The 20ème is one of the largest neighborhoods in Paris, covering the areas of Nation, Gambetta, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Largely overlooked by tourists, this unique quartier is full of locals-only bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, charming backstreets, hidden pockets of nature, and a diverse population. As much as I love the familiar streets of the Marais and the Latin Quarter, after spending three months living here this summer, a part of me will always be called back to the 20ème. Here are a few of my favorite historic and cultural spots worth discovering.

20eme, La Bellevilloise

View from La Bellevilloise

A historically working class neighborhood, the 20ème was the center of opposition to Emperor Napoleon III during the eve of the First World War, and the very last neighborhood to surrender during the Paris Commune of 1871. Predominantly an immigrant community for the last century, nowadays young entrepreneurs, artists, and bobos flock to the area for its affordable rents, active nightlife, and thriving arts scene.

20eme, Rue Denoyez

Rue Denoyez

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October Events in Paris: Pitchfork Music Festival, Nuit Blanche, Garry Winogrand & More

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, FIAC 2013

FIAC

The much-anticipated Faust, the new club/bar/restaurant space beneath the Pont Alexandre III, opened last weekend and this Friday promises a solid event. Spanish Hip Hop/Soul duo Cookin’ Soul are playing a 90s-jam DJ set along with DJ James of NTM and MYMY. More information on the Facebook event page

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, Vincent Desjardins, NUIT BLANCHE 2013

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, COOKIN SOUL

Nuit Blanche, Vincent Desjardins/Cookin’ Soul

This Saturday Paris’ 13th annual Nuit Blanche event returns under the direction of José-Manuel Gonçalvès, Director at Centquatre. Beginning at 19h and continuing through the night, not-to-miss performances, installations, and shows will take place in various locations around the city. You can see a detailed map and list of events here. And even if you don’t partake in the Nuit Blanche festivities, you can relish in the unique luxury of late-night Paris metro service, with lines 4 and 14 running all night.

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, nafea, NUIT BLANCHE 2013

Nuit Blanche, nafea

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