February 23, 2015
I knew we were in for a treat at Heimat the minute we walked in the door. For one of Paris’ most anticipated new restaurants, located in the swanky Palais Royal neighborhood, my expectation was to encounter that certain form of snobbery that increases the closer you get to the center of the city. But the greeting at Heimat is just the opposite; despite being housed in a stony cellar space on rue de Montpensier, the welcome is warm, as is the lighting and the conversation that fill the cavernous yet cosy dining rooms.
Pierre Jancou, the man behind Racines and Vivant, seems to have stepped back from the pretense of his earlier exploits in opening Heimat. It offers a legit list of natural wines, but clearly has an interest in making these wines, and the food they are paired with, accessible to a curious lunch crowd. Heimat joins a handful of comfortable dining spaces – Café de la Nouvelle Mairie and Le Siffleur de Ballons also come to mind – that prove that natural wines have found their home in Paris, and the restaurants that serve them no longer need to have an achingly cool aura or inflated prices.
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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »
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 | 2 Comments »
October 2, 2014
The much-anticipated Faust, the new club/bar/restaurant space beneath the Pont Alexandre III, opened last weekend and this Friday promises a solid event. Spanish Hip Hop/Soul duo Cookin’ Soul are playing a 90s-jam DJ set along with DJ James of NTM and MYMY. More information on the Facebook event page.
This Saturday Paris’ 13th annual Nuit Blanche event returns under the direction of José-Manuel Gonçalvès, Director at Centquatre. Beginning at 19h and continuing through the night, not-to-miss performances, installations, and shows will take place in various locations around the city. You can see a detailed map and list of events here. And even if you don’t partake in the Nuit Blanche festivities, you can relish in the unique luxury of late-night Paris metro service, with lines 4 and 14 running all night.
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July 25, 2011
Slightly off the beaten track in an up and coming part of Paris’ 10th Arrondissement, Vivant was a delightful find for a fresh, simple dinner in a super cool ambiance with lovely service. Phyllis expertly sums up the restaurant in her review below. – Erica
It was no surprise that Pierre Jancou’s latest restaurant would be beautiful—his last two spots, Racines in the Passage des Panoramas and La Crémerie on the rue Quatre Vents in the 6th —are both stunning. Even so, I was still struck upon entering by Jancou’s knack for uncovering hidden gems. This one, located on the Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th, was an exotic bird shop in a previous life, hints of which appear in the motif of the bright green Art Nouveau tiles which cover the walls from floor to ceiling. It may be a new restaurant, but you wouldn’t know from the decor. With its faded charm and cool ambiance, it blends perfectly with this part of the up-and-coming 10th arrondissement.
Phyllis Flick/Erica Berman
Like its predecessors, Vivant serves meticulously sourced products and only natural wines. On the night of my recent visit there was a small blackboard menu and between three of us we were able to try nearly everything on offer. We started with a creamy Burrata from the Cooperative Latte Cisternino with tiny capers from the island of Pantelleria off of Sicily; delicate slices of fragrant Parma ham that were slightly salty and sweet; and seared Dupérier foie gras over shaved baby artichokes and a handful of greens—all delicious. Mains included cochon de lait (suckling pig) with hearty mashed potatoes, Challans Duck and line caught merlu (hake) from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, both expertly cooked and served with an assortment of vegetables that included fava beans, carrots, celery-rave, and spinach.
Fois Gras and Artichokes – Phyllis Flick
The wines on offer are 100 % natural — or “living”, as Jancou calls the wines he likes to serve. So what does that mean exactly? Continue Reading »
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