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The New Faces of Caulaincourt Village

The new faces of Paris' Caulaincourt quartier

While some areas of Paris seem to be losing their character to gentrification and chain shops, there are still corners of the city that retain a true neighborhood spirit. A perfect example of one of these “villages” hugs the northern side of Montmartre, along rues Caulaincourt and Custine. Here, traditionalism has grown to co-exist — and even thrive — with the arrival of some new faces: contemporary restaurateurs, offbeat designers, and connoisseurs of the world’s best chocolate and craft beer, all of whom are giving new meaning to the word quartier.

The new faces of Paris' Caulaincourt quartier

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Hunting for the Best Boeuf Bourguignon in France

Paris may be experiencing unseasonably warm and sunny weather at the moment, but we’re still readying ourselves for the chilly months to come and dishing on our favorite addresses serving up boeuf bourguignon, a comforting winter French favorite. Enjoy! -ErinWhere to taste France's best Boeuf Bourguignon, a savory and rich traditional beef stew from Burgundy

Auprès du Clocher

Julia Child immortalized boeuf bourguignon in featuring it on her first French cooking show. At the start of the episode, she says in her distinct high-pitched trill, “it’s a wonderful show to begin our series on because it shows you so many useful things about French cooking.” Indeed by watching the 30-minute segment, a must-see on YouTube, you’ll learn how to brown meat, braise onions, sauté mushrooms, and make a wine sauce. However, it’s also clear this is a recipe that requires time and patience. “People don’t make it right because it takes too much time” is a phrase I heard often during visits to Burgundy, the birthplace of the beloved French dish. Luckily there are some places that are getting it right.

Boeuf Bourgignon France. Where to get the best of the Bourgignon.

Alan C.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Bistrot Meets Beaujolais: Natural Wines and French Fare at Café de la Nouvelle Mairie

HiP Paris blog. Cafe de la Nouvelle Mairie. Natural light and natural material decor.

One of my favorite memories of Café de la Nouvelle Mairie in the 5th arrondissement is from Beaujolais Nouveau night in 2014. Tucked away on a quiet street just behind the Pantheon, Café de la Nouvelle Mairie only claims a small sidewalk terrasse as its outdoor space, yet when things get lively – and many an evening they do – wine drinkers and bons vivants spill out into the street and onto the small, tree-lined island that separates the occasional two-way traffic.

Traditional bistrot fare paired with an extensive list of natural wines make the Café de la Nouvelle Mairie a recommended addition to your Paris itinerary any night, but for Beaujolais Nouveau I can’t think of anywhere else in the city I’d rather go. The annual event, which is held on the third Thursday of November, celebrates the first wine that is bottled from that year’s grape harvest. The young wines are enjoyed as an extended celebration of the harvest season and all the wine to come.

HiP Paris blog. Cafe de la Nouvelle Mairie. Counter decor.

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Rediscovering the Art of French Cocktails at À La Française

HiP Paris A La Francaise Paris A-t-Il Brule cocktail

With its place firmly staked as one of the most happening areas of Paris, the 11th arrondissement does not lack in new, fresh spots to eat or drink. But with so many locations cropping up seemingly daily, all filled with inspiration spanning the globe, it’s nice to find a place aiming to keep alive the culture that the French people love so dearly. Tucked away in a nondescript side street off of the southern end of boulevard Voltaire, À La Française is a very French neighborhood favorite with a twist: incredible craft cocktails at exceptionally reasonable prices.

Owner Stephen Martin got his start in the restaurant industry at the age of 17, and has worked in numerous high-profile bars in France and elsewhere in Europe. He began to notice, however, that there was a lack of the true presence of French culture in bartending, so he dove into the project of rediscovering the art of classic French cocktails. Armed with his research and an impressive collection of cocktail books- some dating back to 1850- he opened À La Française to bring the Paris bar scene back to its formidable roots.

HiP Paris A La Francaise front view

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The Return of the Classic French Bistrot: Spring’s Daniel Rose Opens La Bourse et La Vie

reportage réalisé au restaurant la bourse ou la vie, rue Vivienne à paris (75°

In case further proof that traditional bistrot fare is experiencing a renaissance in Paris was needed, look no further than La Bourse et La Vie. Opened by celebrated Spring chef Daniel Rose, this bistrot du quartier mixes the attention to product and preparation that people have come to love from Spring with French culinary history and tradition. And it’s a real treat.

I popped in for lunch with a colleague after spending the morning at Haven in Paris’ nearby Opera apartment and was pleased to find the menu, space, and décor induced immediate nostalgia. The menu was relatively short – four entrées, four plats, six desserts – and the wine list perfectly tailored, signs of real expertise and restraint in my book.

reportage réalisé au restaurant la bourse ou la vie, rue Vivienne à paris (75°

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Le Bon Saint Pourçain: Back with New Owners and a Traditional-Modern Mix

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. On the corner.

For years, dining at Le Bon Saint Pourçain was like stepping into a time machine set to the 1950s. Neighbors would come, their dogs and children in tow, spending as much time with the owner/waiter catching up on the local gossip as placing their order for a very traditional meal, invariably served with a glass of Bon Saint Pourçain wine. Suddenly, without word, the windows were white-washed over, rumors spread of a health issues (the owner’s, not the kitchen’s) and the neighborhood was left bereft.

HiP Paris blog, Le Bon Saint Pourçain, Eating in the restaurant

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris’ Canal St-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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Le Servan: Beautiful and Inventive Cuisine by the Levha Sisters in Paris’ 11ème

Le Servan: Beautiful and inventive cuisine prepared by Tatiana Levha in Paris' 11th arrondissement

Despite its unassuming exterior and simple table settings, Le Servan is where serious diners go to both talk passionately about food and enjoy eating it. Located in the 11th arrondissement, an area with one of the highest concentrations of interesting and provocative dining addresses in the city, the restaurant successfully mixes classic and modern French cuisine, delivering the best of both.

Le Servan: Beautiful and inventive cuisine prepared by Tatiana Levha in Paris' 11th arrondissement

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L’Ourcine: Paris Bistrot Dining in the 13th

One of the things I love most about life in Paris is the leisurely bistro dejeuner – that delicious two-hour affair complete with three courses and wine, bien sur.

When I moved back to Paris this spring, I couldn’t wait to try some of the new bistros that had opened in the years I’d been away. I’d heard plenty about the haute cuisine-meets-neighborhood resto concept and was anxious to indulge.

My search led me to l’Ourcine – an out of the way spot near les Gobelins – for the decadent lunch I’d been dreaming about.

With its unpretentious vibe, market-inspired menu and excellent rapport qualité-prix, l’Ourcine has earned a devoted foodie following. For 34 euro (26 for mid-week lunch formule) the three-course menu offers creative riffs on classics like onglet de veau, pigeon roti au foie gras, “open” ravioli in a creamy morel mushroom sauce and famously, les quenelles au chocolat.

But no matter what you order from chef Sylvain Daniere’s ever-changing chalkboard menu, the locals swear: it’s all good. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 7 Comments »

Bistrot du Peintre: A Legit Restaurant on Paris’ Right Bank

Zinc bar at Bistrot du Peintre (Julien Hausherr)

The trouble with dating someone who always thinks he’s right is that, sometimes, he actually is. On my most recent visit to Paris, my BF and I got into a lot of food-related debates, and I have to admit, he knows his stuff. While I tend to keep my ear to the ground for news about new restaurants, emerging chefs, and more concept-driven eateries, he has quietly and discerningly been working his way through old-school establishments that offer exquisite traditional cuisine in pretension-free (and mostly tourist-free) settings. He pays very little attention to reviews or buzz, so when he labels a place “legit,” I’ve learned to take note.

He recently introduced me to the Bistrot du Peintre, a two-story Art Nouveau eatery that’s been around since 1902. It’s located in the 11th, a short walk from the Bastille and the Marais, but slightly out of the fray. Upon entering, I noticed the place was busy but calm, the tables full of relaxed French people who work in the quartier or who have probably been coming here for years, because they know what we now know: this place is legit.

Bistrot du Peintre (Julien Hausherr)

We settled into a cozy banquette on the upper level and—like most of the other diners—ordered the day’s featured dishes: a silky mushroom soup with a secret ball of mozzarella at the bottom (sneaky! delicious!), braised pork on a mountain of velvety French lentils, and a not-too-creamy brandade de Cabillaud. Continue Reading »

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