April 10, 2012
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.
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 »
August 1, 2011
My job frequently requires me to eat elaborate three-course meals at lunch and dinner several days in a row. It’s something I have trained myself to do over the years and my stomach rarely utters a peep of complaint, as long as I don’t overdo the wine (not as easy as it sounds). I am grateful, though, when I come across a restaurant that acts as a kind of cleansing interlude, replenishing my body with crunchy vegetables and wholesome grains.
Until recently Rose Bakery served that purpose: after munching my way through one of their colorful mixed salad plates, I always felt ready to face another multi-course feast. But as this café has grown ever more popular and expensive I have started looking for alternatives, and Nanashi has become my new haunt. Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 7 Comments »
May 9, 2011
Having lived in Paris for five years, I have experienced a full spectrum of highs (euphoria) and lows (disillusionment) of expat life. And throughout those emotional dips I’ve observed the local evolutions – the highs and lows – of the city itself.
Kedgeree – typical British dish
Perhaps the most noticeable evolution has been in food and drink with the warmly welcomed arrival of foreign talent. Ethnic fare and American diners and burger joints aside, the Anglo food curve has largely been dominated by the reigning hipster brunch institution, Rose Bakery, which opened back in 2002. But Rose is no longer the only canteen on the Paris food scene cooking up high-quality, authentic English dishes, as evidenced by the recent spate of Anglo-inspired eateries. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »
March 17, 2011
I always know I’m in New York when, on Sunday, everything is buzzing and churning as if it were any other day of the week. Does no one in this city ever rest?! It makes me pine for Sundays in Paris, when the city retreats into its secret corners and everyone does their own thing.
But if you’re new to Paris or simply passing through, Sundays can often beg the question: now what do we do?
Never fear. Though the city’s pulse has slowed, its heart is still beating, and Sundays have their own unique array of activities to be uncovered. Here are a few of our favorite weekend activities.
1. Linger over brunch. Brunch has most definitely become “a thing” in Paris, and there’s no shame in passing your entire day partaking in the act. Check out some of our favorite spots here.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »
July 16, 2010
At the risk of sounding cranky, there are two things I hate that everyone else seems to love: brunch and bowling. In my humble opinion, both are a lot more trouble than they’re worth. We’ll leave bowling for another day, but for now, brunch. It’s not the actual food I object to—it’s the scene, particularly in New York, where a 1-2 hour wait at popular spots is standard. Seriously… who wants an omelet that badly?
So the fact that Paris used to be a brunch-free zone came as somewhat of a relief to me. (Traditionally, the French eat a very simple breakfast of whatever’s lying around—coffee, a tartine… a cigarette—and then wait it out for lunch, the main event). Of late, however, the concept of “le brunch” is slowly but surely creeping its way into Parisian culture.
Initially, I was skeptical, but I’m happy to report that the French put their own unique spin on the hybridized meal. Just as it’s hard to find a true dirty martini in Paris (a tragedy), it’s still rare to come across a true American-style brunch, which is fine with me. As long as you’re not holding your breath for Bloody Marys and maple syrup-drowned pancakes, you’ll be more than satisfied.
Here are a few HIP-approved brunch spots that indulge American-style gluttony without sacrificing French-style gastronomic refinement.
Coquelicot. One of our favorite bloggers and Francophiles, Nichole Robertson, tipped us off to the great brunch at Montmartre’s rustic Coquelicot boulangerie. On the weekend, a lavish brunch—which entails a variety of pastries, a soft-boiled egg, toast with smoked salmon, fruit salad, and steaming bowls of coffee—is served all day long. 24 rue des Abbesses, 18eme (01 46 06 18 77). Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 7 Comments »
July 9, 2010
Merce and the Muse – Julien Hausherr
Life used to be so easy. At least my lunch choices were. I’d saunter over to the Haut Marais, into le Marché des Enfants Rouges, and hit up Alain, “my” sandwich guy. It started one day when I ordered the delicious organic smoked salmon sandwich that he made on ciabatta and slowly, patiently toasted up to crunchy perfection on his crepe burner. I quickly became addicted. Then he introduced the Cornet Vegetarien, and suddenly all bets were off. Inside a savory crepe, he’d combine gobs of delicious ingredients (“tout bio!” he’d proudly point out) such as fresh greens and mushrooms, grated carrots and fennel, marinated onions, sliced avocado and chèvre, olive oil, chives, sea salt, diced parsley, lemon juice, lime zest, and, à la fin, honey—or, ”the French touch!” in Alain’s words. In my own words, the best sandwich in the city.
Merce and the Muse, Tartes Kluger – Julien Hausherr
But suddenly, my choices are a lot more plentiful. Casual eateries keep popping up, making me feel a little torn about sampling the new goods versus sticking to what I know and love. But let’s be honest: a girl can’t live on sandwiches alone. And as much as I’d like to eat several lunches a day, I must make my choices wisely. So, while I still visit Alain as often as possible, I’ve also been eating up the other fresh dishes put forth in the Haut Marais these days.
Cococook – Julien Hausherr
Say it’s a nice, sunny day and I’m heading to Square du Temple or Square Georges Cain, craving something beyond a sandwich for lunch. I exit the back of the Marché des Enfants Rouges, on rue Charlot, to the brilliant Cococook. Open for nearly a year now, it’s the kind of fresh and simple take-out food that has been perfected in U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco: a simple spinach salad, studded with sesame seeds, for example, or quinoa with coriander chicken and butternut squash. There are healthy drinks (carrot-ginger-orange juice) and naughty desserts (chocolate caramel tarte). But maybe the best thing is that the cute and clean operation is open every day and every night and even delivers—a true rarity in this city. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »
February 18, 2010
Carrot Cake at Rose Bakery: rachelwoodmassey.files.wordpress.com
After all the great things I have heard about Rose Bakery on rue des Martyrs, and the number of times I have tried to go there but never made it for some reason or another, I finally made it for lunch yesterday at their new (well not so new anymore) location on rue Debelleyme in the Marais. I was fairly certain, being somewhat of a pessimist at times, that after all the fab reviews I had heard, I might be disappointed. Wrong. Rose Bakery was all it’s touted to be, and more. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »
October 8, 2009
Food blogger, photographer, and world traveler Heidi Swanson reflects on 10 idyllic days in Paris. From the flea markets at Clignancourt to the gelato at Pozzetto to dinner at Le Verre Volé, she hit a number of our favorite spots.
Text and photos by Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks
It’s 5:45 in the morning, the sky is starting to glow ever so slightly near the horizon, and all is still and quiet outside. I’m sitting on my sofa wide awake. My body thinks it’s the middle of the day, and there is no way around it – I’m in for a couple more early mornings before I can shake this jet lag. So. I thought I’d make myself some tea, watch the sun come up, and take a bit of time to share my notes on Paris, before the details of this adventure start to slip my mind. Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Parisian Living, Travel | 2 Comments »
August 31, 2009
Photo courtesy of TimeOut.com
By Rebecca Leffler, La Fleur de Paris
As Edith Piaf once said, “Je vois la vie en Rose.” I certainly see la vie en … Rose Bakery. The bakery / eatery, co-owned by a British woman (Rose) and her husband, is a Franco-Anglo-Saxon twist on all things breakfast, lunch and brunch. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Green, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »