November 8, 2014
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.
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.
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Posted in Green, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »
October 16, 2014
Summer may be over, but there’s always something to celebrate in Paris. The end of September marked the long-awaited return of chef Harry Cummins and sommelier Laura Vidal, the well-known duo behind The Paris Popup. An initiative imagined while the pair were working together at Frenchie Restaurant, Paris Popup brings together the best of Harry’s inventive cooking and Laura’s dead-on wine pairings.
The popup group debuted last year with a number of successful one-day events hosted in notable Parisian venues like Verjus, Le Mary Celeste, and Bones. For their events the team worked closely with local suppliers and invited other notable chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, musicians, and artists to participate. After last year’s memorable Food Fest popup, hosted at the novel rooftop bar Le Perchoir, Paris Popup packed its suitcases and skipped town for a prolonged trip around the world. Dropping into the diverse culinary scenes of New York City, Oakland, Montreal, Québec City, and Kyoto, the group made friends and fans as they cooked their way across the globe.
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January 3, 2014
Before everyone gets a proper start on their New Year’s resolutions, we wanted to take a moment to look back over the past year and to thank all the wonderful and brilliantly talented contributors who help to make this blog what it is.
Before launching into all the exciting things we have in the works for 2014, here are some of our favorite moments of 2013:
We did our best to keep up with a number of exciting new restaurants and bars, including our picks of Paris’ best new cocktail bars, wine bars, hotel bars, and the best places to get really good coffee.
Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian (Diane Yoon)
We interviewed the lovely Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins of Verjus, Chef Haan Palcu of Le Mary Celeste, and reviewed the scrumptious sandwiches from Verjus and Frenchie, but the opening of Paris’ first cat café really stole the show. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 12 Comments »
August 22, 2013
Frenchie To Go
It’s 1pm, and your stomach is growling. For many in Paris, that means a stop by the closest boulangerie for a classic sandwich au jambon fromage. But for those of us who want a little more oomph between the slices, two of our favorite resto/bar à vin combos have opened up lunch operations as well.
Frenchie To Go
It’s no secret that we at HiP Paris are big fans of Verjus, Braden Perkins’ and Laura Adrian’s triplex that sits kitty-corner to the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. So it should come as no surprise that when I heard that they would be opening for lunch with a menu of creative sandwiches based on cult classics from the US, I went running.
Verjus Wine Bar
The menu features three sandwiches (as well as an off-menu vegetarian option), all of which are served with a daily choice of classic lunchbox desserts such as snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, or caramel brownies, plus a non-alcoholic drink, for €15. There is also an option to supplement wine or beer for an extra €3, for those of us who moved to France for the option to have wine at lunch. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »
August 6, 2013
The summer festival set is coming to a close this month, but fear not, we’re going out with a bang. Cinema au Clair de Lune began last week, but continues until the 11th with a film screening each night, each in a different outdoor venue.
And Festival Classique au Vert, a seven-week-long celebration of classical music from around the world, just kicked off at the Parc Floral and continues until September 15th. You’ll get your traditional concertos and preludes, but some performances offer funkier twists, from a group of Japanese Taiko players to New York style Hip Hop.
One of my personal favorites comes towards the end of the month with Rock en Seine from August 23 – 25, a three-day concert series boasting popular names that have graced my playlists over the past few months, like Alt-J, Kendrick Lamar, and Daughter, to name just a few. And Festival Silhouette, also beginning at the end of the month, offers film screening and concerts in the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge. Continue Reading »
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July 3, 2013
Until July 30 – Les Soldes: It’s that time of year again. The five-week summer shopping madness has begun; shops all over our favorite city are showing off their discounts, beckoning shoppers inside. Given the less-than-dreamy spring Paris just had, bargains should be even more irresistible than usual.
July 1- 9: There are a whole slew of concerts to experience this summer, and music festivals make this a far simpler undertaking (not to mention a bit easier on our wallets). One of my favorites for this month is Days Off. Events are selling out, but you can still catch the likes of Beck, Lou Doillon and James Blake if you jump on those tickets quickly.
July 6: The Paris Wine Company, a venture started by Joshua Adler formerly of Spring, is hosting its launch party at Verjus, one of our favorite restaurants. You can reserve a picnic lunch to enjoy from 12-2pm, and then stick around for free (yes, free!) tastings from 4-6pm. Continue Reading »
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May 30, 2013
By now, everyone’s heard of Verjus and its precipitous rise into the hearts of the food-obsessed expat community in Paris from its humble beginnings as the private supper club, Hidden Kitchen.
Having recently renovated the third floor of their triplex building into a private dining room for private parties of twelve to fourteen, and also having started a new lunch service, serving sandwiches to the ravenous masses, I wondered what was next for Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian, the team behind the venture. I sat down on a chilly Friday afternoon for a chat with Braden about their motivations in opening what Alex Lobrano called “the first real modern American restaurant in Paris.”
Braden and Laura landed in Paris, like many of us do, while taking a year abroad figuring out the next step in their careers. The intention was only to stay for a year or so. “So we’re here in Paris, and eating, and drinking, and traveling, but not meeting anybody. So we thought, let’s do a supper club once a month and just invite some people. And it worked exactly how we wanted it to work – we met tons and tons of expats, tons of bloggers, tons of cool people, and it was fun.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 14 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 »
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February 21, 2012
In a few days, I’ll be sipping wine at un petit café in the Marais, just in time, we all hope, for the weather to finally swing toward Spring. There’s too much to squeeze into this 3-week trip.
Besides visiting Verjus and Au Passage bien sur, I hope to dine at Septime and Bistro Volnay. Perhaps I’ll splurge on a meal at L’hôtel Thoumieux. Though, the best part of being in my own Paris pied-a-terre is stocking up at the Marche des Enfants Rouge for home-cooked dishes that always seem to taste better in Paris.
Merci concept store (Liquidx)
While I hope to buy something special at Merci (a girl can dream), I’ll definitely pop into Les Mauvaises Graines, an urban garden concept store in Montmartre, and will likely fall in love with a handcrafted souvenir at Le Petite Atelier de Paris.
On one of my weekends abroad, I’m jetting to Copenhagen. Being a New England girl, I suppose I’m a sucker for the cold weather. I’m also eager to visit what’s hailed as the best restaurant in the world and after several odd-hour phone calls to Denmark, lucked out with a reservation at Noma. We’ll see if Copenhagen food stacks up to Paris culinaria.
More than anything though, I simply want to find my favorite spots near my Marais flat. I hope to take my daily espresso at Merce and the Muse, lunch at Glou and unwind with an evening wine at La Perle. I promise to only visit Jacques Genin’s fabulous boutique once or twice if, and only if, I take a few strolls around the Square du Temple. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Shopping | 11 Comments »
December 1, 2011
The sweet couple behind Hidden Kitchen opened Verjus, Paris’ newest wine bar, a few months back to rave reviews. The adjoining restaurant space for Verjus opens tonight in Paris and we couldn’t be more excited for the entire team. We expect the experience to be well worth the wait. Below, Forrest shares more details on this highly anticipated spot. -Maggie
After standing strong at the forefront of the Paris underground dining scene for several successful years, the Hidden Kitchen’s coveted twice-weekly communal dinners are no more! And that’s actually good news. Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins, the culinarily gifted couple behind Hidden Kitchen, have moved from private to public with their latest new venture: Verjus, a wine bar and restaurant open now in the heart of the 1st arrondissement.
The wine bar and restaurant are located in two separate spaces just steps from each other. The wine bar showcases the foodie couple’s skill at bringing a fresh and creative touch to a classic concept, while respecting some of the cozy traditionalism characteristic of these types of venues. Here Braden has developed a limited menu of small-plate bar food; the fried chicken is already legendary among local foodies and hopefully will remain a staple. Other options may change, but you’re in for the likes of indulgent pork belly, plump dumplings or delicately crisp fries served in sturdy silver cups. At prices ranging from 4€ to14€ per plate, it works equally well for a quick apero or a longer, tapas-style meal. And leave room for dessert! The menu offers up a few fantastic sweet choices as well.
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