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Dilia: Delectable Dining in Paris’ 20ème

Dilia is one of those unassuming restaurants that you can return to again and again.Dilia/Erin Dahl

Dilia is one of those unassuming restaurants that you can return to again and again. Nestled on a small corner of rue d’Eupatoria, the neobistrot took over the former Simone Tondo-run Roseval space in 2015 and is hopefully there to stay.

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Fraîche: A Summer Must for Light French Fare Along the Canal St-Martin

Canal St-Martin bistrot, Fraîche. A summer go-to for light French fare.

Everything about Fraîche is in keeping with its name: light and refined dishes made with market-fresh ingredients, surprising flavor combinations, and a sunny yet airy space that puts you immediately at ease. Whether for a weekday lunch with colleagues or an intimate dinner date, you’ll walk away from a meal at this unpretentious Canal St-Martin bistrot full and restored.

Canal St-Martin bistrot, Fraîche. A summer go-to for light French fare.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Dersou: Vegetable-focused Dining Near Paris’ Bastille Neighborhood

Inside Dersou, veggie-focused dining in Paris' 12th arrondissement

Japanese chef Taku Sekine, formerly of Clown Bar, and Sherry Butt alum bartender Amaury Guyot have teamed up to open their first restaurant in the Bastille neighborhood, Dersou. Situated smack in the middle of an area lacking in fine dining – between the Marais and Bistrot Paul Bert territory – Dersou is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Inside Dersou, veggie-focused dining in Paris' 12th arrondissement

The owners of the restaurant wisely decided to open early (9am) and leave the porte ouverte almost all day, save a brief late-afternoon pause. Tired shoppers, area employees, and intrepid tourists now have a place to rest their weary feet and enjoy a cup of coffee, thoughtful food, or even a much-needed cocktail.

Inside Dersou, veggie-focused dining in Paris' 12th arrondissement

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Les Chouettes Restaurant and Lounge: Hip Dining in Paris’ Fashionable Marais

Les Chouettes Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge: A Cosy and Refined Art Deco Gem in Paris' Fashionable Haut Marais

Newly opened on Rue de Picardie in Paris’ Haut Marais neighborhood is the visually pleasing Parisian bistro Les Chouettes. With an elegant interior by design firm Lázaro Rosa Violán, the three-story restaurant and cocktail bar feels like a modern rendition of the Parisian art deco lounge.

Les Chouettes Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge: A Cosy and Refined Art Deco Gem in Paris' Fashionable Haut Marais

From the ground-floor restaurant situated beneath a soaring glass ceiling, a winding staircase leads to the second and third stories where you can enjoy a drink at the old-world cocktail bar or lounge, dotted with leather armchairs, iron globes, and an impressive little library collection.

On a chilly December afternoon, I cozied up in a chair by the fireplace to enjoy lunch with a friend who was visiting Paris for the weekend. The daily prix fixe menu was too good to pass up, beginning with a warming butternut squash soup sprinkled with lardons and crowned with a foamy mushroom mousse de lait.

Les Chouettes Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge: A Cosy and Refined Art Deco Gem in Paris' Fashionable Haut Marais

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »

Bloom: Local and ‘Fait Maison’ Cuisine in Paris’ 11ème

Bloom Cantine: Local and Home Made Cuisine at Paris Café in the 11th Arrondissement

On a quiet street in the 11ème, a few blocks away from the bustle of Bastille, sits a quaint canteen that opened this past spring and embodies the local, fait mason trend we’ve been seeing so much of in Paris recently. I cozied up at Bloom on a recent rainy Friday afternoon with a visiting American friend and enjoyed a lovely lunch.

Bloom Cantine: Local and Home Made Cuisine at Paris Café in the 11th Arrondissement

Bloom Cantine: Local and Home Made Cuisine at Paris Café in the 11th Arrondissement

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Le Timbre: Changes at the Well-Loved French Bistro on Paris’ Left Bank

Le Timbre Restaurant, Interior Tables, Paris, Cuisine

One reason I hold a special place in my heart for Alec Lobrano and his book Hungry for Paris is because his guide to Paris restaurants led me to Le Timbre, a tiny establishment tucked away in the 6th arrondissement. After my first lunch there three years ago, the restaurant quickly became a favorite of mine and a regular stop on my itinerary when showing friends and family around the city. Each time I went to chef Chris Wright’s restaurant I knew that I would enjoy happy hours of eating at the tiny tables that line the space whose name- literally “the stamp”- commemorates the cozy size of the dining room.

Le Timbre, Montage Exterior and Table, Paris Cuisine

English by birth but francophile by choice, Wright’s cuisine was inspired by his childhood travels in France, particularly in the southwestern regions of the country. Wright’s menu proposed hearty servings of fresh fish and typical meat-and-vegetable dishes along with nods to his native land, such as a Stilton and sherry dessert. Despite the odd foreign cheese or charcuterie, the restaurant remained a typical French bistro, its simple menu exemplifying the joy that comes with enjoying quality ingredients and leaving the table well fed and happy. 

Le Timbre Restaurant, Wine Bottles, Paris Cuisine

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Paris Farm-to-Table Restaurants: Delicious, Local and Fait Maison

Farm to Table, Le Timbre 25

Le Timbre, Palmyre Roigt

Over the past few years there has been a lot of conversation around the startling statistic that around one-third of France’s cafes, brasseries and restaurants are actually using pre-frozen ingredients or entire meals that only need a microwave before reaching your plate. In typical French fashion, this was a drawn out discussion that needed a government vote and while restaurants now can mark on their menus “fait maison,” when items are truly made from scratch, you might not always be able to see the menu before sitting down.

Farm to Table, Verjus 4

Verjus, Diane Yoon

A few months ago, I attended a question and answer session about French food and the fait maison/frozen food question was raised. A few people said, “you just should know where to go.” But without any mandate and as a visitor to Paris, “knowing where to go,” is easier said than done. And for first-time tourists, it’s easy to end up somewhere that is beautifully authentic and appears to be using all fresh ingredients but well, isn’t. Here are five tips to keep you street smart when eating fresh, seasonal and farm-to-table in Paris.

Farm to Table, Verjus 5

Verjus, Diane Yoon

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Posted in Green, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Slow, Simple and Delicious at Le Chapeau Melon

Julien Hausherr

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left a quirky store or hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Paris and thought, “How does that place stay in business?” And I mean that as the highest compliment.

While commerce in the rest of the world seems to be accelerating at a highly unpleasant rate, Parisian proprietors, on the other hand, know how to slow down—and still manage to survive.

Julien Hausherr

Olivier Camus’ Le Chapeau Melon is one such place. I first visited three years ago, just after I moved to Paris. The warm reception, perfect filet de boeuf, and eye-opening bottle of Morgon solidified my notion that I had come to the right city.

When I finally returned this spring, I was reminded all over again why Paris is the best place to eat in the world: nothing had changed. And rightly so—why mess with a good thing?

Julien Hausherr

Camus (who is also involved with foodie hub Le Baratin, just up the street from Le Chapeau Melon in Belleville) is known as one of Paris’ most dedicated cavistes and as an early proponent of the natural wine movement that is now sweeping the city. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »

Rino: A Darling New Bistrot in Paris

Rino - Girl's Guide to ParisBarbra Austin – Girl’s Guide to Paris

My boyfriend recently informed me that he had made a dinner reservation: “Someplace new… someplace I think you haven’t heard of.”

“That’s not possible,” I replied, and I meant it. For the past six weeks, in preparing to launch a new website, I’ve been following the restaurant press quite closely. If I hadn’t heard of it, I thought smugly to myself, then it probably wasn’t worth knowing about. I then proceeded to mock his choice. “Rino (the French pronounce this Reeeno)… will there be gambling after dinner?” He looked puzzled, knowing nothing of the Nevada town, and then decided to drop the subject. His redemption would come soon enough. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Rosa Jackson Tests Pramil with Erica, A Favorite New Marais Neo-Bistrot

I was pleasantly surprised to discover Pramil with Rosa Jackson and Paule Caillat for a tasty dinner of refreshingly delicious, and reasonably priced French fare and excellent company. Pramil is a tiny bistro tucked away on a small side street in the hip Arts and Metiers neighborhood of Paris. I’m already plotting my return and thanks to Rosa’s great write up, I can re-live the savors and the experience until I’m able to find my way there again! — Erica.

PramilcutEBB

When it comes to restaurants, I’m not really that demanding. I want the basic ingredients to be seasonal and good. I want the cooking to show restraint: nothing puts me off more than an overly complicated plate. And I want the chef to have a heart that shines through in the food.

Sounds simple, right? Yet these three elements come together more rarely than you might think, even in Paris. That’s why a recent meal at Pramil felt so refreshing.

Pramil - Rosa JacksonRosa Jackson

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Posted in Food, Tours and Classes | 2 Comments »