May 28, 2014
Aristide Boucicaut opened the world’s first department store in the 1850’s. Le Bon Marché was an instant and enduring success, changing shopping habits (and the neighborhood) forever.
The magnificent Hôtel Lutetia was built across the street to host out of town shoppers, and restaurants opened to feed them. Little has changed in the last 150 years and there are still a lot of great lunch options in the area, making it hard to choose just one!
Café Varenne – Although they all have similar menus, not all cafés are created equal and Café Varenne is a cut above the rest, using fresh, quality ingredients for simple, seasonal meals. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »
April 23, 2014
Lise Kvan and Sarah Mouchot at Holybelly (Holybelly & Kim Laidlaw)
As we know well, the promise of gastronomic delights is enough to inspire travelers to explore the world, seeking out hard-fought reservations and off-the-beaten-path restaurants in the name of really good food.
It’s easy to forget that behind these curated culinary experiences there is a team of dedicated professionals committed to using their talents and passions to improve and diversify the general landscape of food and dining. Certain events, TV shows, publications, and guidebooks spotlight some of these talented and resolute food professionals.
While these “foodie guides” are becoming more and more ubiquitous, they are unfortunately not always comprehensive as they far too often exclude women from their lineup. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »
March 4, 2014
Blue Valentine is the newest cozy address in the 11th, a neighborhood that plays host to favorites like Le Chateaubriand, Bones, Septime, Clamato… The list goes on. The restaurant focuses on carefully crafted cocktails and fresh, beautifully designed dishes. Chef Saïto Terumitsu (formerly of the Mandarin Oriental) seems to have found his place in this foodie quartier. And it’s worth mentioning that the ingredients are sourced from some of the top producers in the city, with from veggies coming from Terroirs d’Avenir and coffee from Brûlerie de Belleville.
One of our favorite foodie fest organizers is back for their 9th edition; yes, the Omnivore World Tour hits Paris from March 16 – 18 for three days of superior food from standout new chefs from around the world. Not-to-miss events? The Pop up Dinners, the Fucking Dinners, and, of course, the party at Le Perchoir.
From March 27 – 30, Art Paris Art Fair will bring 140 galleries from 20 countries into the famed Grand Palais for a great display of modern and contemporary art. This year’s exhibition focuses mostly on pieces coming from the East, with China as the guest of honor. Last year’s exhibition drew more than 50,000 visitors, and I imagine this year’s will bring even more.
A new dessert-centric restaurant has opened on rue des Archives in the Marais and is heaven for anyone who often thinks, “I’d rather skip right to dessert.” Dessance, Paris’s first dessert-only resto, is being headed by pastry chef Christophe Boucher, formerly of the Grand Vefour and Ledoyen, who has challenged the idea of what a meal should be. We’re intrigued, to say the least.
An adorable café and brunch spot has opened on rue des Martyrs and we cannot wait to try it out. Marlette, which has been selling organic cake and bread mixes for several years, recently opened a brick-and-mortar café and their brunch has got us salivating. You can still purchase their mixes to re-create the brunch chez vous and impress your friends. Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »
January 24, 2013
Dining in Paris is the stuff dreams are made of: elaborate dishes made with top notch ingredients, artfully presented by passionate chefs.
Unless, of course, you happen into one of the infinite restos where instead of having a mind-blowing meal, you’re served mediocrity along with impressive attitude. In fact, doesn’t it taste like those vegetables on your plate came straight from a bag?
Of course every town has its dining hits and misses. But for so long, it was unfavorably risky to gamble on your average neighborhood bistro in Paris. But finally the tides have turned. We seem to have arrived at a place where you don’t have to break the bank to have a fantastic meal that gets your heart and stomach juices pumping. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 12 Comments »
November 23, 2012
This was my second visit to Yam’Tcha, my follow-up reservation having been made on the spot after my first dinner. So my expectations were high for my return. Happily, it did not disappoint.
Yam’Tcha occupies a spot on a sweet little street in the 1st arrondissement – a street you might amble down if you like getting lost in Paris’ picturesque older streets, but one that most locals and tourists strolling down the busier Rue Faubourg St Honore would probably pass without seeing. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »
August 9, 2012
Located by Parmentier bobo hipster central and one of my personal favorite up and coming Parisian neighborhoods, Chateaubriand is certainly no new kid on the block.
After following the ups and downs and mixed reviews of Chateabriand for years — the best, most creative food in Paris for some, too inventive for others, small portions, amazing service, rude service, not accommodating, very accommodating, noisy, quiet… the list is long — my curiosity finally got the better of me. Being of a somewhat pessimistic nature, my expectations were low. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »
July 17, 2012
When a famous chef opens a restaurant, be it in Paris, New York or Kansas City, expectations always run high. Yannick Alleno’s new outpost, Terrior Parisien – open since March in an über cool space in the Latin Quarter – was certainly no exception.
Adding to the buzz was Alleno’s fresh concept – using ingredients sourced primarily within Ile-de-France – that led to almost frenzied expectations.
Would the passionate maestro behind the three-starred Le Meurice live up to the hype? Most critics and foodies have answered with a resounding “oui.” On a recent breezy summer evening, my husband and I happily agreed. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »
June 22, 2012
With our kids in their PJs and the babysitter on her way, everything was set for a perfect date night in Paris. Except for one thing. We had no plans. A busy week meant neither Greg nor I had made reservations, bought tickets or planned with friends.
So he grabbed the bistro guide and started dialing. The first five calls were met with terse “On est complet, monsieur,” until we scored with a last minute reservation at Claude Colliot in the Marais. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »
June 18, 2012
I have a friend who travels for the museums, spending each day snapping photos next to ancient art, otherworldly architecture, and every single monument she comes across.
All I can say is: pfft.
While I adore her, if you’ve seen one thousand-year-old building, you’ve seen them all, right? Okay, I’m teasing. But for me, history, art and language are pleasant fringe benefits best served on the side. Call me names and throw Monets at me, but I travel for the food.
In one flavorful bite, I experience history, art and years of culture passed down from generation to generation. For this humble foodie, an entire plate will tell me a story far longer and more interesting than the line at the Louvre on a free Sunday. You stand in line, mon amie, and I’ll skip around the corner to a 500-bottle wine bar to taste and learn the history of French wine.
Sadly, all Paris food spots don’t tell such fine tales. In fact, Paris food can be – gasp! – kind of bad sometimes. If you’ve dreamed of perfect foie and crispy frites on every corner, wake up, lovely. You actually do have to work for your food. And since I’ve narrowly escaped a lot of bad dishes, I’d like to share here five bits of advice that may help with your next visit to Paris – or any city, for that matter.
1. Charm doesn’t mean quality. Quaint Parisian bistros may bewitch you, but often the beautiful facade is not reflected in your plate. In fact, it feels like there’s a direct and opposite correlation between the two: the higher the cheesy charm quotient, the worse the food. I found charm and deliciousness at Coquelicot, Le Baron Rouge, Bistrot Paul Bert and Le Petit Pontoise. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food | 14 Comments »
June 14, 2012
The Paris weather has been decidedly grey and overcast this spring, with only brief displays of sunshine punctuating what seem like never-ending downpours. The usual sunny Paris picnic season has been mostly rained off—and this is where Le Conservatoire comes to the fore.
Le Conservatoire, the latest private dining experience from Cédric Casanova, is a Sicilian grocery store-cum-restaurant, much like its predecessor and sister establishment, La Tête dans les Olives. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 10 Comments »