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Mamma Primi: The Newest Italian Trattoria from Hyped Big Mamma Group

Mamma Primi, New Italian Dining from the Big Mamma Group, in the Batignolles District of Paris

Tristan Treeby

When searching for solid Italian cuisine, you know you have chosen well when the chefs and wait staff can be heard passionately chattering away in Italian on the terrace during their quick break between rushes. It is understandable why Parisiens, and in-the-know tourists alike, are flocking to Mamma Primi, the newest address from Big Mamma Group.

Following from the success of East Mamma and Ober Mamma, Mamma Primi saw its doors open to eager diners, ready to get in on the hype, on the 1st September in the Batignolles district of the 17th arrondissement, just a stone’s throw from Place de Clichy and the Butte Montmartre.

Mamma Primi, New Italian Dining from the Big Mamma Group, in the Batignolles District of Paris

Tristan Treeby

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews, Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Elegant Eighth: Affordable Food and Superb Culture in Paris’ Chic Business District

Elegant Eighth, Paris courtyard

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

For Parisians, many of whom don’t necessarily identify personally with their professional alter egos, the Eighth Arrondissement represents the office. True, it’s pretty, with row after row of Haussmannian edifices and wide, tree-lined boulevards. But isn’t so much of Paris just that?

Elegant Eighth, Paris street view

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

Covering an area of 3.88 km² with a population a bit larger than 40K people, the Eighth is one of the wealthiest arrondissements in Paris. Second only to La Défense as home to multinational firms and banks, the Eighth also caters to tourism (Champs-Elysées), culture (Musée Jacquemart-André, Salle Gaveau/Pleyel, the Petit and Grand Palais), fashion (avenue Montaigne is home to the most prestigious Haute Couture houses), churches (La Madeleine, St Augustin, and my own favorite, the little-visited royalist Chapelle Expiatoire), and luxury (George V, Plaza Athenée, the Bristol, Hôtel de Crillon).

Elegant Eighth, Paris flowers

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Eat Pray Love in Paris: Our Top Picks

To celebrate the French release of Eat Pray Love (Mange, Prie, Aime) today, Amy Thomas has put together a fabulous little list of the best places to eat, pray and love your way through Paris.

Eat Pray Love ParisLove Locks on the Pont des Arts: Hipposrunsuperfast; The Cook’s Atelier

I wonder how the French will receive Eat, Pray, Love? It seems decidedly dorky and American with none of the glamor or decadence that Sex and the City, the other chick-flick import, had. Rather, just an earnest exploration of the meaning of life for a newly single, thirty-something year old.

Me? I love this sappy-pseudo-spiritual-go-sister-rah-rah sorta movie. So not only do I have a (girlfriend) date to see Julia Roberts smiling her way through Italy, India and Indonesia, but I’ve been plotting the best places in Paris to eat (yummy Italian), pray (or at least feign meditation while in downward dog) and (peut-être find) love.

Paris Pizza: GreenPizzPizza from GreenPizz

Eat

In a town that devours nearly every body part of almost every animal, it can be surprisingly tough to find a satisfying plate of pasta. So what’s a carb-loving signorina to do? Suss out the neighborhood gems. Beneath Sacré-Coeur’s shadow, you’ll find Corso (10 avenue Trudaine, 9eme, 01 48 78 55 81), a modest Costes brothers establishment that serves heaping piles of al dente pasta, homemade gnocchi with ricotta and spinach and a mean tiramisu.

It took me awhile to find a good pie here in Paris but now I have two reliable pizza places. With toppings like rocket, baby peas, and roasted eggplant, my new favorite is GreenPizz, but for a more traditional experience, go to La Briciola (64 rue Charlot, 3eme, 01 42 77 34 10). The caprese’s sweet sauce, beautiful mozzarella and modest basil leaves are pitch-perfect. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Tours and Classes | 16 Comments »

Life in Italy vs. Life in France: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, Erica Berman shared her most telling anecdotes about the difference between life in France and life in Italy. While most of us can only envy the lifestyle that makes intimate knowledge of those details a part of daily life, Erica’s insight into the particularities of French and Italian culture helps us live the dream. In part two, she moves beyond general life to get to the juicy stuff : how the natives operate.

Vongole CamogliPhotos Erica Berman – Seafood Pasta in Italy this summer

Differences between the French and the Italians…

  • Nothing is a problem for the Italians…everything is a problem for the French. I think there are numerous posts to be written on this thought… a suivre!
  • Italians miss pasta and coffee when away from their beloved Italy. The French are hands down pining for bread and cheese when far from home.
Croissant Erica ParisCroissants in Paris
  • The French do not ask personal questions. Italians ask many. The French find asking questions a sign of indiscretion, and they take the utmost pride in being discreet, sometimes to the point of ridiculous (when applying for a job they may not feel comfortable asking the salary).
  • The Italians are curious and their inquiring minds want to know. In elevators in Italy I have had personal conversations on where I’m from and why I’m in Italy with people I have never seen before and will probably never see again. In France a bonsoir or bonjour is possibly all the chatting you will get after years of being neighbors.
  • Italians remember you after seeing you once. The French might, of course, remember you, I am convinced they do, but will do their very best to pretend that they have never seen you before (my corner bakery in Montmartre is in the running for longest possible non recognition of a regular customer – almost 18 years. The bread is so amazing and their complete neutrality so fascinating, I keep on going).
Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Parisian Living, Travel | 50 Comments »

Italian in Paris: La Pizzetta (più grande)

pizzettapiugrandePhoto Erica Berman

Many people come to Paris craving traditional French cuisine: boeuf bourgignon, croque monsieur, omelettes at lunch… the list goes on. And it’s true that the French create amazing dishes. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have a bit of variety. This impulse is what led a group of us to La Pizzetta Più Grande for dinner a couple of weeks ago, which in turn inspired me to try their smaller sister restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, La Pizzetta.

As you might suspect from the names, these restaurants do pizza – and do it well. However, their menus go beyond pizzas, boasting creative appetizers, excellent pasta dishes, main courses of meat and fish, and intriguing desserts. I tried La Pizzetta Più Grande first – literally, the bigger Pizzetta. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »