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 »
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.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »