February 18, 2014
On a windy night this past fall, I brought my godfather to his first proper Paris dinner. Naturally, I went with a restaurant I was dying to try: Roseval. Tucked away in the 20th, north of Pere Lachaise and just off the Rue de Menilmontant, the location was sort of perfect. I’ve come to know this off-the-tourist-path neighborhood a bit better over the past few years and love the foodie ventures it draws.
The exterior of Roseval is unassuming — a beautiful and perfectly aged stone façade. The interior, a rustic-meets-industrial space with just a handful of wooden tables.
Upon being seated, two menus were quickly dropped off for our review. Listing several ingredients for each course, we were given a brief glimpse into what we’d be eating that evening but no sense of the form, as is becoming increasingly common with this style of new wave, low key gastronomic bistro. I love this element of surprise though it may not be best for a pickier eater (also in part because there are no options; you get what they give you). Our ingredient list included:
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January 30, 2014
The increasing popularity of craft beers in bars across the capital brings a welcome change to the watered-down pints of 1664 or Kronenbourg that are typically served in Paris bars and cafés. Now more and more of the city’s watering holes are opting for higher quality quaffs, both from France and abroad.
While beers from Brooklyn Brewery and other American and English brewers are becoming common at Paris bars, some of the most interesting beer options are homegrown. A selection of bars, founded by and for beer lovers, specialize in locally brewed, artisanal beers. Here are a few favorites:
Le Supercoin- This neighborhood bar located off the beaten path in the 18th arrondissement brings locals together to cheer on the city’s football team, enjoy a relaxed weekday drink while listening to Belle and Sebastian, or take part in a monthly tournament of the classic French card game Belotte. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »
January 3, 2014
Before everyone gets a proper start on their New Year’s resolutions, we wanted to take a moment to look back over the past year and to thank all the wonderful and brilliantly talented contributors who help to make this blog what it is.
Before launching into all the exciting things we have in the works for 2014, here are some of our favorite moments of 2013:
We did our best to keep up with a number of exciting new restaurants and bars, including our picks of Paris’ best new cocktail bars, wine bars, hotel bars, and the best places to get really good coffee.
Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian (Diane Yoon)
We interviewed the lovely Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins of Verjus, Chef Haan Palcu of Le Mary Celeste, and reviewed the scrumptious sandwiches from Verjus and Frenchie, but the opening of Paris’ first cat café really stole the show. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 11 Comments »
December 30, 2013
“I don’t cook for everyone; I cook for those I love.” So says Mariko, the Osaka-born owner/chef/gallerist who helms La Maison des Frigos, the tiny café on the ground floor of the artist squat, Les Frigos, in a rejuvenated section of Paris’s 13ème. Indeed, to eat in her dining room is to be invited into her world and – word to the wise – to follow her rules.
(No chatting on your cell, no photos, no credit cards, and – in an overheard admonishment to some fellow diners: Chez moi, we eat our main course before the melon…).
But for Mariko, a former painter and longtime Paris transplant, cooking is a labor love, inspired by the riot of color and creative chaos that defines the building she inhabits. It’s a unique place. Continue Reading »
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October 15, 2013
Imagine: it’s 1pm in Paris. It’s lunchtime, you’re hungry, and you really need to take a break to unwind from a stressful day at work. Where do you go?
The answer will soon be, to Le Café des Chats.
The concept of a cat café is nothing new. Wikipedia tells me the first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998, but Japan has since perfected the business model. The concept dug its claws into Europe with the 2012 opening of Cafe Neko in Vienna. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 20 Comments »
October 3, 2013
Early fall has always been my favorite season in Paris. Residents return for “La Rentrée,” tanned and smiling (at least for now) after les grandes vacances and itching for some quality terrace time in their still seasonal summer looks.
Kids go back to school (hence the smiling parents), the weather is often lovely and the energy in the air is palpable. There’s always a lot happening – from restaurant openings to new exhibitions and film releases.
One of my favorite discoveries this rentrée is “Les Berges,” the newly pedestrianized waterfront that spans the Left Bank from the Pont de l’Alma to the Musee d’Orsay. Continue Reading »
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September 19, 2013
For decades, Pigalle was known mainly for its sex shops, seedy shows and working girls. During WWII, this sketchy section of Paris earned the nickname “Pig Alley” thanks to its bawdy rep. But these days, Pigalle has earned a few new monikers as well as a cleaner reputation. Now, in NYC fashion, trendy locals refer to it as either NoPi (North of Pigalle) or SoPi (South of Pigalle).
While both North and South have plenty to offer, it’s SoPi that’s become the latest neighborhood to watch. Moving beyond nighttime entertainment, SoPi is packed with plenty of destination restaurants, food shops, cafes and enough to make an itinerary that runs from morning until nighttime.
To get a day’s worth of enjoyment out of one the city’s hippest ‘hood, kick start things with some caffeine at Rocketship. Like many places in Paris, they don’t open until later in the morning, so make your way there leisurely. In keeping with the neighborhood’s NY-inspired nickname, this concept coffeeshop works a Brooklyn vibe and offers chai lattes alongside coffee from Coutume.
After coffee, take time to browse the boutique. Benoit, the owner, prides himself on finding unique treasures and includes a good number of pieces from SoPi-based artisans.
Le Rocketship, 13 bis rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 78 23 66
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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 13 Comments »
September 12, 2013
It’s no secret that some of the most interesting things in a city happen off the tourist grid. New restaurants, music and, of course, lots of art gets made in places where the rents are cheaper, the residents funkier and the tourists far fewer. Paris is no exception. Such is true of the area in north eastern Paris in and around the 19eme. Thanks to some major cultural attractions and a smattering of fun eateries, it just may be on the brink of its moment.
Setting off from Metro Stalingrad one recent afternoon, I discovered a quartier in exciting transition. Where its once dilapidated streets were lined with international call centers and cut rate shops, a new energy is palpable in a smattering of neighborhood boutiques, vegetarian eateries and performing arts centers.
Here are the highlights.
Le Centquatre. In 2008 the Marie de Paris unveiled Le104 (Le Centquatre), a performing and visual arts center that serves as the creative hub of the area. It’s a vast and luminous space that features rotating exhibitions and installations from this summer’s epic Keith Haring retrospective to “interactive” work that quite literally invites audiences to experience art first-hand. Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »
April 30, 2013
Tucked away on a tiny side street near Square Temple, across the street from hipster hangout Nanashi and bobo haven The Broken Arm, Café Pinson is serving up quality coffee and healthy eats to expats and natives alike.
Eschewing the grungy chipped paint aesthetic of so many new openings in the city, the bright, welcoming space features classic details like white-paneled walls, wicker chairs, and geometric-patterned tables. It’s the kind of place that invites any and all to come in and get cozy – I would feel comfortable cuddling down into one of their sunken chairs with an engrossing book and tea and pastry for a couple of hours, just as I would be happy meeting a big group of friends for a quick catch-up session or hunkering down with my laptop for a good old-fashioned work crunch. The honest-to-goodness friendly staff was all smiles as I took up a precious corner table for hours and hours one busy Friday afternoon. Continue Reading »
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March 27, 2013
When friends come to visit in Paris, I always get a little nervous. It’s Paris after all, the most-visited and eulogized city in the world. They’re expecting a lot. And I live here.
That means I’ve got the place wired, right? No exhibition ticket should be too hard to acquire, no chic table impossible to book. Such were my anxieties as I prepared for a recent visit from my sister and brother-in-law. We’d have ten days together but only a couple of kid-free evenings. Those dinners had to be perfect.
And so I searched. I scoured reviews, made calls and asked friends for recommendations. Of course I know plenty of great restaurants. I have dozens of favorites and an ever-growing list of places to try. But could I select the perfect place to eat? The one that says “this is the best of Paris” – that elusive combination of great food, distinctive atmosphere and, most importantly, a place where I could actually score a table on the night we had free?
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