April 26, 2012
Fresh off the heels of their successes in Paris, London and now New York, the Experimental Cocktail Crew makes its culinary debut in Paris (where else?) with the Beef Club. If you stop by, let us know what you think in the comments! -Geneviève
Just a few steps from one of Paris’s least charming spots (Les Halles) has suddenly appeared one of its most charming. Le Ballroom du Beef Club, the month-old clandestine cocktail den from the team behind the popular hideaways Experimental Cocktail Club, Curio Parlor and Prescription Cocktail Club, leaves no doubt that Paris has arrived as a serious mixology destination. In the space of just a few years, the scene here has evolved from an experimental “cult” to a full-blown cocktail culture—largely thanks to Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros, and Romée de Goriainoff, the handsome young triumvirate behind the quickly expanding Experimental empire (they have a spot in London and will open their first New York outpost later this month).
This time around, the team has upped the ante. Upstairs, The Beef Club is a stylish steak house (we can’t wait to settle into one of those mid-century modern chairs for a night of carnivorous hedonism), and downstairs, the cavernous Ballroom du Beef Club offers a sensationally sexy setting where you can slip in for an after-work drink or linger into the wee hours of the night.
By 9pm on a Wednesday, multiple groups had already discreetly tucked themselves into the bar’s various dark nooks, and at around 10pm each night, the bar’s second lounge space opens to accommodate the larger late-night crowd. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »
July 22, 2011
A typical Parisian night out can mean any number of things. Some people like the club scene, while others prefer a quiet drink along the Seine. Some can knock back shots at the bar, and others look for a cultural infusions via acoustic guitar sets or art gallery openings. To accomplish all of these things in one night would, at the very least, tax your Navigo pass as you zig zag across town. Most likely, it would drive you crazy.
However, Hip Paris readers, I recently visited a place that is so all-encompassing, so varied in its vibe, décor and mission, that you and any number of your difficult-to-please friends can enjoy yourself, no matter what you’re looking for that night — or even that moment.
Entrance to La Halle Aux Oliviers (Kygp)
La Bellevilloise is an expansive, multi-tiered space in the hills of Belleville that, with seeming ease, incorporates every type of good time to be had under one roof. It is a jack-of-all-trades, where bar meets restaurant meets dance floor meets performance space meets brunch spot. Walking into each different area of the space brings a new experience, and I was drawn from doorway to doorway in a pleasant yet mildly schizophrenic frenzy of entertainment.
Entering from the street into the Forum drops you into a cavern-like club, dark and inviting. It’s like an Art Deco museum with a pulse. It’s a casual setting, and the various, mostly acoustic sets trade places up on the center stage for a packed room. Multiple floors of seating on both sides of the room allow patrons to watch the staff move with symphonic rhythm through the space, delivering tapas (the salmon wraps caught my eye more than once) and strong mojitos out from behind the imposing bar. The mood, despite the low lighting, is vibrant, cheery and unpretentious. On my last visit, I saw trenchcoats mixing with Nikes and flannels and fitted caps bumping hips with mom jeans…
After the cavernous Forum, emerging onto the Terrace, with its relaxed atmosphere among the Belleville rooftops, is a breath of fresh air. Gorgeous evening light is the setting for another bar, a partially covered deck, abundant greenery and wheelbarrow tables. Reminiscent of a Brooklyn beer garden, this space offers a reprieve from the energy and intensity of the other rooms. The rumblings of upright bass from the Forum are just a whisper out here. Everything about this cozy balcony says: take your time, have a drink. So I did. Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »
April 22, 2011
We are in love, here at the HiP Paris blog, with Candelaria. The tacos, the laid-back Brooklyn-like vibe, the secret back door… If you haven’t been yet, it’s high time you stopped by. Tory reports. -Geneviève
When I lived in Paris full-time, I experienced the occasional bout of FFF (French Food Fatigue). My friends and I re-energized our taste buds with falafel, ramen and freakishly cheap dumplings in Belleville, but we all agreed that Paris needed a low-key Mexican spot.
Enter Candelaria, perhaps the buzziest opening of the spring. Less than two months old, this tucked-away spot in the haut Marais packs a double punch. The front section of the restaurant is a sparsely-decorated taco stand, which leads to a sultry cocktail den that you could easily overlook if you weren’t paying attention.
So pay attention! Tacos up front, booze in the back. I highly recommend sticking around for both, as I did when I visited.
The taqueria dining experience is decidedly casual. Grab a seat at the counter if you want to observe the action in the tiny kitchen, or if you’re with a group, you can try to claim the restaurant’s only table. Regardless, prepare to battle the crowds: when it comes to seating, demand far outweighs supply at this point.
But if you time it right (they’re open from noon-11pm, Tuesday-Sunday), you will not be disappointed. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 11 Comments »
August 18, 2010
Forest Collins, the savvy writer behind discriminating Paris cocktail blog 52 Martinis, shares with us here her frustrations with France’s strange aversion to H2O’s solid incarnation. She also has the low-down on where to go for seriously refreshing cocktails. Hint: it’s not your corner bistrot.
As an American expat in Paris, the question I get most often is: What do you miss most about home? Honestly, this question usually stumps me.
While, of course I miss friends, they come frequently for visits, so it’s less of an issue. In a pinch I can find a reasonable substitute for many of the readily available items from the U.S. that I might miss. If not, said stream of friends usually keep me in a steady supply of goods and sundries that evade me here. But, there’s one thing I can’t ask even my nearest and dearest to lug over in a suitcase: Frozen water. Yes, you heard correctly. The thing I miss most about the US is ice.
When I’m back home, I get a special thrill out of sitting down to a table from the grungiest of roadside diners to the fanciest of upscale eateries and immediately being served a large glass of water full of sparkly, playfully tinkling, cold-making ice! While, in France, you’re lucky to get a small votive candle holder full of warm tap water after asking…twice.
And, this epidemic goes beyond commercial establishments into the very hearts of homes nationwide. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »
March 30, 2010
After enduring the heaploads of buzz generated by Mama Shelter — Philip Starck’s uber-hip hotel — HiP Paris Correspondent Amy Thomas decided to stop by its new Alain Senderens restaurant to fill us in on the eagerly awaited French fare.
I arrived at Mama Shelter well before any of my friends. Simply said, it’s a schlep out to its 20th arrondisement location and none of us expats, despite priding ourselves on being locals now, realized how long it would take to get there. But waiting was fine with me; it gave me an excuse to saddle up to the Island Bar—a giant square about two-thirds into the dining room—enjoy an aperitif, and watch the parade of fashion and design devotees go by.
By the time everyone showed up, I already knew I liked the place. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »
February 10, 2010
Erica Berman & Alain Ollier
I’ve always loved Europe in the winter—and Paris in particular. And by winter, I mean real winter: January and February, when the holiday crowds have cleared out and it’s gray, gray, gray all day. I can sense you raising your eyebrows as you read this, but bear with me. Not only is it a particularly tranquil time to be in Paris, but you can also find great deals, with airfare rates down and many accommodations offering discounted rates for visitors to the city.
Most peoples’ visions of Paris probably involve leisurely summer picnics, springtime flowers, and long strolls along the Seine on warm evenings. I would be lying if I said thoughts of these things don’t make my heart race, but winter has its own distinct charms, and on cold February days, I love feeling like I have the entire city to myself.
Plus: in the deepest, darkest depths of winter, we have an excuse to indulge in activities that might otherwise seem just a bit too decadent. Hot chocolate for breakfast? Bring it on… we have to stay warm somehow! Some favorite things (and guilty pleasures) to explore this winter… Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »