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Vegetarian-friendly Paris: Successfully Navigating the Dining Scene

EverJean

Being vegetarian anywhere requires extra effort and planning when it comes to dining out. Being a vegetarian in a place that eats pigeon, adores offal, and extols a head to tail philosophy (that is, Paris) requires Napoleonic strategizing.

At least it used to. In recent years, the dining scene in the City of Light has been opening up to alternative styles and menus, making it easier than ever to go veg (although you can still expect the occasional eye-roll from a waiter who simply doesn’t understand les végétariens). But whether you chalk it up to Anglo and ethnic infiltration, acceptance of new ingredients and spices, or simple ennui with traditional French cooking, it’s a great time to embrace your inner green goddess and take this meat-eating city by storm. Here are four delicious strategies to help.

Merce and the Muse (Julien Hausherr)

Strategy 1: Eat a big lunch

When Rose Carrarini (who’s British) and her French husband Jean-Charles opened Rose Bakery in 2002, their focus on fresh market salads—think: grilled tofu and tomatoes, and artichokes mixed with millet and chickpeas—was shockingly different from the staple of steak frites that many Parisians ate for lunch. Ten years and two additional outposts later, it’s hard to imagine Paris without Rose’s organic market salads, fresh quiches and famous carrot and pound cakes.

Similarly, when Marc Grossman opened Bob’s Juice Bar in 2006, the smoothies and bagel sandwiches the native New Yorker served up were wildly novel. Since then Grossman has not only spawned another café, Bob’s Kitchen, which serves additional goodies like pancakes and muesli, but a whole wave of casual cantines have followed suit. Hypercool concept stores Merci and Colette both have veg-friendly subterranean eateries; take-out lunch spots like Lemoni and Cojean always offer beautiful soups, sandwiches and salads; and lovely little cafes and bakeries such as SuperNature, Merce and the Muse, Tartes Kluger and Bread and Roses all offer outstanding veg fare.

Chez Omar (Roboppy)

Strategy 2: Eat ethnic

Another way to sate yourself without a bite of bifteck is by taking advantage of Paris’ ethnic restaurants. In the first arrondissement, Rue Saint-Anne is an oasis of Japanese dining options including hearty udon soups (try Kunitoraya or Higuma) and “okonomiyaki,” Japanese pancakes made of flour, grated yam, water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage. Or you can get stuffed on Indian lentils and curries (Saravanna Bhavan, Krishna Bhavan) and Moroccan couscous and tagines (Chez Omar). Decent pizza (Pizza Chic, La Briciola), and Italian (Caffe dei Cioppi, Olio Pane Vino) abounds and, with last year’s arrival of Candelaria, Mexican is firmly on the ethnic eating map of Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 11 Comments »

March Events in Paris: Our Top Picks

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Paris in March, there are tons of things to do that don’t involve fashion week. Here is our list of not-to-miss events, foodie happenings, concerts, exhibits and general goings-on. -Geneviève

VuTheara Kham

La fête

March 10-11: Colette Carnival in the Tuilleries: Bon anniv’ to one of our favorite concept stores! Colette will be celebrating its 15th bday with a fab – and free – carnival in the Tuileries.

La bouffe

March 17-18: A Brunch Bazar weekend has to be the best one of the month. Two nine-hour days filled with little bits of the things we love: food, music, workshops and even a funhouse for the little ones.

March 11-13: After a long stint in Deauville, the Omnivore Food Festival heads to Paris. In case plentiful tastings from some of France’s greatest chefs isn’t enticing enough, the alcohol and tunes that are sure to be in abundance make this a must-do.

La musique

March 8: Phenomenal Handclap Band at Nouveau Casino:  PHB’s feel-good fusion tracks hit Paris and are not to be missed.  If some old-school soul meets disco is what you crave, get to Nouveau Casino on Thursday night.

March 11: Super Sunday with Patrice is a mixed-medium event inspired by music, dance, graffiti and gastronomy. Enjoy some indie artwork and a delicious menu by Nelson Muller before jamming out to Afro-German Reggae artist, Patrice. Take a peek at the menu here.

March 20-April 1: Les Femmes S’en Mêlent, a cross-Europe indie music festival celebrating female music-makers comes to Paris. Check out the lineup here.

Les arts

March 7-August 5: The magical Tim Burton Exhibition at Cinémathèque Française opens today. Following a wildly successful showing at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the fantastical works of Mr. Burton made it overseas. This show is a true pleasure and treat for the imagination of adults and children alike.

Through March 18: Experiencing the works of a creative mastermind is always a pleasure, isn’t it? The Jean-Paul Goude exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs is the designer/illustrator/photographer ‘s first retrospective, so it’s only appropriate that happening in Paris.

March 9-16: Louis Vuitton  – Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Décoratifs: Goude, Vuitton and Jacobs in the same location? That’s almost more genius than we can handle – but not quite. Once you’ve digested the former, be sure to check out the latter. The designers’ fabulous pieces are only on view for one week. In the mood for a teaser? Check out this video. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events | 3 Comments »

Your Boyfriend’s Guide to Paris


Your Boyfriend's Guide to Paris: Kissing on the Seine Riverbanks
Ralphunden

We’ll be the first to admit it: Paris is girly. It takes a strong man to admit he loves this city. But the good news is, such men exist! In fact, they’re everywhere, and they seem to be enjoying themselves. So we thought we’d dig a little deeper to find out what makes the Parisian man (or the Paris-going man) tick.

In researching this post, I polled a few of my Paris-savvy guy friends about what they love about the city, and across the board, the answer was pretty much the same: the women. Fair enough. Guys who like to gawk in a consequence-free environment would do well to position themselves at just about any café, and enjoy the show.

But if you’re traveling to Paris with your boyfriend or husband, then ogling ladies is probably not an activity you’ll want to encourage. If your man is docile and cooperative (go you!), he’ll let you drag him from store to store, from romantic park benches to cafés to the opera without complaint. But if he feels that certain stops on your agenda are a threat to his manhood, allow him to reassert himself by making the following detours.

Your Boyfriend's Guide to Paris: Place des Vosges, Balcony
Melanie-m, quinn.anya

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 14 Comments »

A Little Parisian Luxury this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of holiday. But whether you’re a cynic or a romantic, single or attached, you can probably justify making room in your life for a little Parisian luxe. Kim Petyt, an American wedding planner in Paris and author of Parisian Party, has a few gift ideas for lovers and haters alike…

monop

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Posted in Shopping | No Comments »