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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 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 meals 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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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Paris’ Best Indian Restaurants from Bollywood Kitchen Chef Sanjee

Indian Restaurants in Paris, Nalas Appakadai Bowls

Thali – Nalas Appakadai

Following our last post on Parisian Indian Chef Sanjee of Bollywood Kitchen when we visited her apartment in the very yummy-mummy 17ème arrondissement, she confirmed her frustration at the lack of good all-round Indian restaurants in the French capital. However, among the not-so-great restaurants, there are four that have held her attention (and palate), which she shares with us below.

Indian Restaurants in Paris, Nalas Appakadai Team

Indian Restaurants in Paris, Marcel

Sanjee at Nalas Appakadai; Marcel

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

La Cantine d’Aznavour Armenian Restaurant: A Hidden Gem in Paris’ 9th

Armenian Cantine, Cuisine

La Cantine d’Aznavour is not a place you stumble upon; even when you know the address, it’s tricky to find. Tucked at the far end of a cobblestone courtyard in the 9th arrondissement, this unusual little restaurant serves traditional Armenian food with a generous helping of hospitality.

Armenian Cantine, Restaurant Menu

Located on the second floor of the Maison de l’Arménie (the Armenian cultural center), the “cantine” looks more like a welcoming church basement. The jury is still out on whether Aznavour is a actually a regular, but other well-known members of the Armenian community have been known to drop in for a plate of meaty Georgian raviolis.

Armenian Cantine, Potsticker

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

Elegant Eighth, Paris courtyard

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

For many Parisians, a people who don’t typically identify themselves with their jobs, 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 all Haute Couture houses. period), 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 | 1 Comment »

La Jeune Rue: The Latest Cultural and Culinary Initiative in Paris’ Marais

La-Jeune-Rue-Vertbois

Rue de Vertbois, Emma Stencil

Three quiet streets in ParisMarais neighborhood are the site for one of the most interesting projects of the year. The name Cédric Naudon, French entrepreneur and millionaire, was splashed all over the French press this spring with the announcement of his sensational initiative La Jeune Rue.

La Jeune Rue, Empty Street

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

Not much is known about this low-profile businessman who is said to have made his millions in real estate and finance in the United States. The Gatsby-esque aura surrounding Naudon is reinforced by his reticence in interviews, as well as the flamboyant decision to purchase 36 storefronts over the course of a year to realize his vision for La Jeune Rue, a project that is estimated to cost over 30 million.

La Jeune Rue, Buildings

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

La Jeune Rue is set to transform three neglected Parisian streets – Rue Volta, Rue du Vertbois, and Rue de Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth – into a mecca for bohemian-bourgeois shoppers in search of locally-sourced and artisanal products.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 1 Comment »

Inaro: Local, Artisanal, and Organic Small Plates and Wine by Paris’ Canal St. Martin

Inaro, Tables

Opened in June of 2012, Inaro, a cosy restaurant specializing in apéro dinatoire style dining, has recently made itself more available to neighbors and lovers of all things local. Starting this month, the space is open in the afternoon, providing French-origin lunch options with a menu that is entirely locally sourced. Organic bread and artisanal ingredients are available for take away or to enjoy sur place in the comfortable dining space, which is lined with wood brought from Brittany and constructed by owner Johan Bonnet’s carpenter uncle.

Inaro, Aperitif

At Inaro, the constantly changing seasonal menu is accompanied by a wine list that favors organic and sustainably produced wines. Working with small, independent producers is at the heart of the restaurant’s philosophy (despite the fact that Nespresso managed to secure a place at the espresso machine, a familiar elephant in the room for dining establishments in Paris) and the perfect-for-sharing menu makes this a great spot for a quick drink or a laid-back dinner.

Inaro, Interior

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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 | No Comments »

November Events in Paris: Festival les inRocKs Philips, Fotofever & More

Lykke Li Concert, I Knew Photos

Lykke Li, I Knew Photos

November is true autumn to me; leaves fall, air becomes brisk, and the holidays are just around the corner. Despite the weather getting chillier, Paris is having a bit of a moment right now, with several highly anticipated new openings and events throughout the month sure to draw you from the coziness of your apartment.

Next Tuesday, November 11th, is concert night. Perfume Genius is taking over La Maroquinerie and Festival les inRocKs Philips kicks off with performances by Lykke Li, Chet Faker, and more.

November Events, Montage Passard and InRocks Festival

Alain Passard, Festival Les inRocKs Philips

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Wine in Bulk and Bottled Cocktails: Hip Alternatives for Drinking Chez Vous

Drinking at Home, En Vrac, full bottles

En Vrac

With everything from simple corner cafes to trendy nightclubs, Paris is a paradise for those with a taste for the nightlife. Even so, sometimes a night off is in order. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to eschew a bit of sipping, as Paris offers some interesting alternatives for your home-drinking pleasure.

 Drinking at Home, La Maison du Whisky, pac 930

La Maison du Whisky Fine Spirits

Natural Wine in Bulk: En Vrac 

While wine by the box may not be new, this popular bar and restaurant is providing a new perspective on buying wine in bulk in its two Paris locations. En Vrac means “in bulk,” and here customers choose from a selection of natural wines that can be sampled on-site or taken off-site in fun French lemonade inspired to-go bottles (or bring your own). At prices that start around 5 Euros a bottle, it’s easy to take a chance on a few and spend a casual evening holding your own private wine tasting. And, for those seeking something stronger, they also offer up a selection of bulk spirits like Poire Williams, Vodka, Rhum, and more in a variety of sizes.

 

Drinking at Home, La Cave à Cocktail, sign

La Cave à Cocktail

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Posted in Parisian Living, Wine | No Comments »