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Capucine: An Italian Café and Wine Bar Tucked Away in the 11ème

Capucine: An Clandestine Italian Café and Wine Bar in Paris' Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Emma Stencil

During a warm week in April I enjoyed a last meal at Paris’ favorite Italian restaurant, Caffè dei Cioppi, before it closed its doors for good. Although long-time fans of Fabrizio Ferrara’s flavorful cuisine were disappointed by the move, the good news is that the space has reopened as a relaxed Italian café and wine bar in the hands of Stefania Melis, already known to the Paris gastronomic scene as coupled with Simone Tondo of Roseval fame.

With the change of hands, the terrace tucked away in an alley off rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine hasn’t lost any of its charm. Folding metal tables and chairs are replaced by wicker stools and round café tables. A smart green awning reads Capucine in a curly script.

Capucine: An Clandestine Italian Café and Wine Bar in Paris' Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Melissa Leroux

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Yard: French Fare with a Fresh Twist in the 11ème

Yard Restaurant in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

Throughout our meal at Yard, I noticed my dining companion’s attention being drawn to nearby tables and the circling staff. He wasn’t looking at what our fellow patrons were eating, as we had ordered almost everything on the menu. At first I thought he was taken by the beautiful owner of the restaurant, Jane Drotter, which turned out to be true, but only partially.

Yard Restaurant in Paris' 11th Arrondissement

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Strolling Paris’ Still-Shifting 11th: rue Popincourt & rue de la Folie-Méricourt

Exploring Paris' Streets: Rue Popincourt & Folie Méricourt

Split only by the busy boulevard Voltaire, the rue de la Folie-Méricourt and rue Popincourt form a bridge between the Oberkampf and Voltaire neighborhoods of Paris. Starting at the southern end of rue Popincourt and rue de la Roquette, just steps away from the 11th arrondissement’s town hall, a neon horse head greets you as you approach Chez Aline. The horse head, along with the flashy yellow-tiled interior, is a throwback to the space’s former incarnation as an equine butcher’s shop. Chef Delphine Zampetti doesn’t specialize in controversial meat, but rather delicious lunch offerings, which do sometimes include surprising proteins. The octopus, salicorne, and cucumber salad is a particular favorite among locals as are the sandwiches, which are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Exploring Paris' Streets: Rue Popincourt & Folie Méricourt

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 4 Comments »

Brasserie Barbès: Changing Times in Paris’ Barbès Neighborhood

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

What must be this year’s most anticipated brasserie address in Paris finally opened its doors this April after a two-year refurbishment. While Brasserie Barbès has been criticized for being too expensive, contributing to making the unpolished Barbès neighborhood too “bobo,” and for having to queue for a table, the staff makes patrons feel welcome just as they are – whether they’re from this generation or the one before last, and whether they’re wearing scruffy trainers from their teenage years or have seemingly just stepped out of Vogue.

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

The brasserie sits on a street corner in the 18th arrondissement’s Barbès neighborhood, in the location of the former Vano discount shop and just across the street from the Louxor cinema, an Art Deco masterpiece. In fact, the new venue also comes with its own South Floridian Art Deco swing, echoed in its enormous bay windows, glitzy brass lighting fixtures, and flower-patterned carpets.

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

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Posted in Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Paris’ Best Natural Wine Bars & Shops

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

La Buvette

While it is exciting to live in a city that is increasingly open to international influences and imported ideas, it’s also reassuring to know that Paris holds its own as a trendsetter in certain fields. The natural wine scene is definitely one of the domains in which the French capital has gained and maintained solid footing. Senior natural wine sellers such as La Quincave and La Cave des Papilles established themselves as reliable outposts for vin nature in the early days of the movement, bringing low-intervention wine from small-scale vineyards to the city. These role models have inspired a new wave of wine bars to open in Paris, making natural wine increasingly present and accessible.

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

Le Mary Celeste

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Stinky French Cheese: Our Top 8 and Where to Find Them in Paris

Best Pungent French Cheese and Cheese Shops in Paris

It was French President Charles de Gaulle who famously said, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” That was in 1962. Today there are nearly 400 distinct cheeses in France, and discussing and eating them is a national pastime. Anyway you slice it, this is the land of fromage and it is a source of regional pride. Just like with wine, many varieties have their own AOC, or Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Roquefort only comes from Roquefort and it must adhere to strict regulations to earn the name. The types of cheese in France are as varied as the landscapes, and while it may seem like a love of pungent cheese is in the blood of the French, I believe it’s an acquired taste. Rather than going straight for the Brie on your next trip to Paris, push your palate by trying one of the following stinky cheeses and do as the French do: savor it after your meal, preferably with a digestif.

Best Pungent French Cheese and Cheese Shops in Paris

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

A Provençal Villa and Working Wine Vineyard in the Heart of Côtes du Rhône

A Provençale Villa and Vineyard in the Heart of Côtes-du-Rhone

Settled amongst the vines of the Rhone Valley, where the fresh air is perfumed with the scent of the surrounding fruit orchards and olive groves, you’ll find Nick and Sabine’s slice of paradise in France’s Côtes du Rhône region.

A Provençale Villa and Vineyard in the Heart of Côtes-du-Rhone

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Posted in Homes, Travel | 2 Comments »

Arrive and Imbibe: In-the-Know Wine Tastings and Classes in Paris

The Best Wine Classes and Wine Tastings in Paris

Wine Tasting in Paris, Thierry Givone

I’ve always found local wines and spirits an enjoyable way to sip myself into a different culture. So my travel M.O. is “arrive and imbibe,” whether it’s beer in Belgium or Unicum in Hungary. One of the best things about being in Paris is that “going local” means enjoying some particularly good French wine. Every once in awhile I like to crank that experience up a notch with a little help from a professional. While wine courses and tastings can be found all over Paris, here are a few of my favorites for education without intimidation.

The Best Wine Classes and Wine Tastings in Paris

Wine Tasting in Paris, Thierry Givone

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Posted in Wine | 4 Comments »

Ellsworth Restaurant and Wine Bar: Revisiting American Comfort Food in Paris

Ellsworth Restaurant and Wine Bar: Revisiting American comfort food in Paris

Emma Stencil

Paris doesn’t lack talented culinary couples. After waving bon voyage to Barcelona-bound Laura Vidal and Harry Cummins of Paris Pop-up, the City of Lights welcomes a new venture by the charming American duo Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins. More than three years after opening successful Verjus Restaurant and Verjus Wine Bar, the pair are introducing a sister restaurant that serves up wine bar favorites (including Verjus’ in-demand fried chicken) and other inventive variations on American comfort food.

Ellsworth Restaurant and Wine Bar: Revisiting American comfort food in Paris

Melissa Leroux

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Le Servan: Beautiful and Inventive Cuisine by the Levha Sisters in Paris’ 11ème

Le Servan: Beautiful and inventive cuisine prepared by Tatiana Levha in Paris' 11th arrondissement

Despite its unassuming exterior and simple table settings, Le Servan is where serious diners go to both talk passionately about food and enjoy eating it. Located in the 11th arrondissement, an area with one of the highest concentrations of interesting and provocative dining addresses in the city, the restaurant successfully mixes classic and modern French cuisine, delivering the best of both.

Le Servan: Beautiful and inventive cuisine prepared by Tatiana Levha in Paris' 11th arrondissement

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