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May Events in Paris: Ron Mueck, Le Fooding, Lorna Simpson and More

Galou 2010

Shopping

Merci Goes Global: Merci has garnered a wide following, and rightfully so. Well, there is exciting news for (some) non-Parisians…Merci just launched its online retail shop, with shipping now available to Merci-lovers in the States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand! Shrieks of excitement and sighs of relief from fans of this impeccably curated fashion and interior design haven are totally appropriate here.

Ma Chere et Tendre

Food

Ongoing: Ma Chere et Tendre: Traditional French cuisine is known for, among so many other things, successfully incorporating a wide range of meats and their various cuts into everyday meals. This sometimes involves discovering more parts of the animals than many Americans might prefer. Those diners will appreciate a recent surge of vegetarian, gluten-free and other diet-specific options popping up around the city. Don’t get me wrong, I love this trend as much as the next person, but the opening of Ma Chere et Tendre, a new steakhouse tucked away in the 17th with a menu perfectly tailored for unapologetic meatlovers, really whet my palate. Ma Chere et Tendre, Beef Club, the recent Hotel de Ville BBQ…I think we’re seeing a resurgence of meals made for the loyal carnivore and I definitely don’t object.

Ma Chere et Tendre

May 10 & 11, New Friends Table: We covered New Friends Table nearly two years ago when it had just landed on the underground Paris food scene. Now the team is back with a new offering. They still host their beloved dinners – the goal of which is to bring like-minded foodies together around a great meal in a real Parisian apartment – but they’re now doing food tours around the Beaubourg neighborhood, home to the Centre Pompidou (and HiP’s Marais Triplex flat). The tour begins with a collective cafe and ends with a dejeuner consisting of products purchased throughout the morning… Perfection. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events | 6 Comments »

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 »

Three Weeks in Paris: Maggie’s Top Food & Shopping Picks

Alecska

In a few days, I’ll be sipping wine at un petit café in the Marais, just in time, we all hope, for the weather to finally swing toward Spring. There’s too much to squeeze into this 3-week trip.

Besides visiting Verjus and Au Passage bien sur, I hope to dine at Septime and Bistro Volnay. Perhaps I’ll splurge on a meal at L’hôtel Thoumieux. Though, the best part of being in my own Paris pied-a-terre is stocking up at the Marche des Enfants Rouge for home-cooked dishes that always seem to taste better in Paris.

Merci concept store (Liquidx)

While I hope to buy something special at Merci (a girl can dream), I’ll definitely pop into Les Mauvaises Graines, an urban garden concept store in Montmartre, and will likely fall in love with a handcrafted souvenir at Le Petite Atelier de Paris.

On one of my weekends abroad, I’m jetting to Copenhagen. Being a New England girl, I suppose I’m a sucker for the cold weather. I’m also eager to visit what’s hailed as the best restaurant in the world and after several odd-hour phone calls to Denmark, lucked out with a reservation at Noma. We’ll see if Copenhagen food stacks up to Paris culinaria.

Septime (Lindsey Tramuta)

More than anything though, I simply want to find my favorite spots near my Marais flat. I hope to take my daily espresso at Merce and the Muse, lunch at Glou and unwind with an evening wine at La Perle. I promise to only visit Jacques Genin’s fabulous boutique once or twice if, and only if, I take a few strolls around the Square du Temple. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Shopping | 11 Comments »

Merci: Shopping for a Cause in Paris

mer14photo courtesy of: www.lescarnetsdudesign.com

Photos Erica Berman (except above)

As the global economic climate has forced consumers to shop more selectively, it has also forced retailers to sell more creatively. Merci, Paris’ newest concept store, provides a breathtaking space where visitors can shop with a conscience. Created by Marie-France and Bernard Cohen, founders of renowned children’s clothing line Bonpoint, Merci donates all of its proceeds (after breaking even) to a co-op for young women in Madagascar. dsc_0061 Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 4 Comments »