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Belle Maison Restaurant: Seafood and Ambiance in Paris’ SoPi ‘hood

Belle Maison is the little sister of two other celebrated restaurants in the 9th arrondissement- Le Pantruche and Caillebotte- and it has quickly garnered a faithful following of its own, with diners who appreciate the small inventive menu and calming décor.

Montmartre and Pigalle may be the home of many scenic spots and a wide range of cafés perfect for a quick lunch or coffee break, but the area is not known as a fine dining destination. Locals however, notably SoPi dwellers and habitués of nearby rue des Martyrs, know the best addresses for hidden neighborhood gems worth discovering. One such address is the newly opened Belle Maison.

Belle Maison is the little sister of two other celebrated restaurants in the 9th arrondissement- Le Pantruche and Caillebotte- and it has quickly garnered a faithful following of its own, with diners who appreciate the small inventive menu and calming décor. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | No Comments »

My Montmartre: Erica’s Favorite Spots In Montmartre

My Montmartre, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman

Montmartre. My Parisian neighborhood. My home, on and off, for more than 20 years. Over the years, many things in the neighborhood have changed and evolved but I have remained faithful and dedicated to this little slice of Parisian happiness.

My Montmartre, Photo by Erica Berman, Erica's Montmartre view

Erica’s Montmartre view

SoPi has exploded and Montmartre has gentrified. Real estate values are up. Abbesses now evokes hip, funky and stylish. Parisians come here for a weekend outing, no longer shunning it for the potential dangers of hoodlums and prostitutes.

My Montmartre, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman

L’Objet Qui Parle & Chairs from l’Objet Qui Parle and flowers from Des Fleurs Pour Soi

I wince at the increasing number of chain stores, the Starbucks that popped up around the corner, and the Subway sandwich shops exploding everywhere like mushrooms… Quelle horreur! Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 14 Comments »

A Day in SOPI: Eating, Drinking & Shopping in Paris’ HiP South-of-Pigalle Area

HiP Paris SOPI Sebastien Gaudard4 Didier Gauducheau

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).

HIP-Paris-SOPI-Rocketship2-Didier-Gauducheau

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.

HiP Paris SOPI Rocketship3 Didier Gauducheau

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.

HiP Paris SOPI Rocketship1 Didier Gauducheau

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

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 13 Comments »

Le Pantruche & Aux Deux Amis Are Paris’ Newest Scene-Stealers

When you’ve lived in Paris awhile, dining options can become a little, shall we say, lackluster. Don’t get me wrong—it doesn’t get much more delicious than French cuisine, bien sur. But one can only eat so many chevre chaud salads, salmon tartares and steak frites before ennui descends.

Thank goodness this past year has ushered in several exciting restaurant openings with creative cooking and cool scenes on equal display. Here are two to try right now.

The Scene: Le Pantruche, 3 rue Victor-Massé, 9eme Down the street from Le Lautrec; around the corner from Hotel Amour; not far from rue des Martyrs—in other words, the neighborhood of the moment. But instead of a feverish see-and-be-seen vibe, La Pantruche exudes smart and quiet elegance—c’est branché all the way.

The Set-Up: The compact 34-top dining room is dark but warm, thanks to dim lighting and natural wood banquettes. Support poles appliquéd with mirror chips glitter like disco balls, bringing a delicious taste of the neighborhood’s tawdriness inside. But the convivial-meets-cool vibe is best brought to life by the charming service, led by Edouard Bobin. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »