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Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris


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Clotilde Dusoulier is the ultimate Parisian insider, one who shares her tasty tales of life in Paris on her blog, Chocolate and Zucchini. In this very handy guide, a native Parisian happily leads us around Paris, taking us from little-known specialty food shops and classic bistros to authentic Japanese noodle bars and venues for wine tastings.

One of my favorite parts of Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris are tips on how restaurants and food shops work here. For example, knowing that you’re not a “customer” but a “guest” explains a lot of things to foreigners, who are used to the Customer is King attitude.

Other cultural tips, like keeping your hands on the table while you’re eating and not resting your bread on the edge of your plate, are explained so you can avoid making a faux pas, as I did shortly after I arrived in Paris and was scolded for my bread infraction by the host at a dinner party. And I always thought it was rude to scold guests! Who knew?

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Racines

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No complaints about the food at Racines. In fact, it’s one of the best places I’ve eaten in Paris in a long time.

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Unfortunately I took some of the worst pictures of one of the best-looking—and probably the most heavily-inked—restaurateurs in Paris, so you’ll have to go meet Pierre Jancou for yourself.

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Sunday Dining in Paris

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Here’s a list of some restaurants in Paris that are open on Sunday. Note that some are quite basic while others may fall into the slightly touristy category. Nevertheless, I still think they’re worthy of a visit. All but the most basic restaurants prefer that diners make reservations.

Another Sunday dining option is to visit one of the outdoor markets and make up a picnic. Markets open on Sunday morning (9am-2pm) include Richard Lenoir (M: Bastille), Aligre (M: Ledru-Rollin), Raspail (M: Sèvres-Babylon), and Place Monge (M: Place Monge).

Astier
44, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud (11th)
Tél: 01 43 57 16 35

Breizh Café
109, rue Vieille du Temple (3rd)
01 42 72 13 77

Excellent buckwheat crêpes served in a casual, yet sparse setting. Especially busy at prime lunch hours.

Café des Musées
49, rue de Turenne (3rd)
01 43 72 96 17

Excellent French food, especially the house-made terrine and steak-frites with bernaise sauce. Desserts always good, and wine by the carafe make everything go down better.

Chez Paul
13, rue de Charonne (11th)
01 47 00 34 57

This traditional French bistro flies under the radar of many but is a great choice for Sunday lunch, especially after a visit to the nearby Richard Lenoir market. Hearty fare.

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Le Jules Verne

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Alain Ducasse recently took over la direction of Le Jules Verne, the high-end restaurant in the Eiffel Tower that had lost its reputation and luster as a fine dining destination during the past several years. I hadn’t ever eaten there, since its reputation had preceded it. But this week, I finally got my chance to dine there.

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We waited patiently for the private elevator of the Tour Eiffel to lift us up to mid-tower, over four hundred feet in the air, above Paris.

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The Pâtisseries of Paris: A Paris Pastry Guide

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There’s a nifty guidebook to the bakeries, chocolate shops, and tea salons, called The Pâtisseries of Paris. This handy little book is full of great addresses and tips, and is just small enough to slip in your shoulder bag when hitting the streets of Paris, should you come to Paris on a mission for sweets.

I was surprised at how in-depth this guide takes you. Naturally, the usual suspects, like Ladurée and Stohrer, are in there. And chocolatiers like Jean-Charles Rochoux and Patrick Roger are always a stop whenever I’m on the Left Bank, so I was happy to see the nods toward them.

There’s few places that aren’t quite worth the calories. Such as Au Panetier bakery, where the pastries don’t make up for the glorious art nouveau tilework, although it is gorgeous.

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Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris

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In the last decade, the vegetarian dining scene has blossomed in Paris and you can pretty easily find vegetarian food. A number of years ago, I had a vegetarian friend, Gideon, write up his favorites (which are listed farther down below) and I’ve updated the list of newer places and they’re here:

Bob’s Juice Bar (15 rue Lucien Sampaix) is a lively, fast-paced vegetarian restaurant and juice bar where you dine at a communal table. Owned by an American, the place is genial and the food is delicious. Think tofu sandwiches, muffins, and futomaki. The same owner, Mark Grossman, runs Kitchen (74, rue des Gravilliers) as well.

Two other good bets are Rose Bakery and Bread and Roses. Both serve very fresh food, much of it vegetable-oriented, in a casual atmosphere.

The hip Eastside Burgers has vegetarian hamburgers and hot dogs.

In the Batignolles covered market, there’s My Kitch’n.

La Bonne Heure (72, rue de Moulin des Prés, Métro: Tolbiac) is a cozy, all-organic neighborhood spot and a flashback to the 80s, with rice plates piled with vegetable stews. The freshly-made vegetable tarts with whole-wheat crusts are nourishing, if not revolutionary. Still, it’s a sweet place and the staff is warm and friendly.

I’m very fond of Saravanaa Bhavan, an Indian restaurant (170, rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, Métro: Gare du Nord.) The food is great and the restaurant is completely vegetarian.

Tuck Shop: 13 rue Lucien Sampaix, Tél: 09 80 72 95 40 – Casual café with an Australian Bent, and very good coffee.

Green Pizz: 8, rue Cadet, Tél: 01 48 00 03 29

Soul Kitchen: 33, rue Lamarck, Tél: 01 71 37 99 95

Café Pinson: 6, rue du Forez, Tél: 09 83 82 53 53

Pousse-Pousse: 7, rue Notre Dame de Lorette, Tél: 01 53 16 10 81

Soya: 20, rue de la Pierre Levée, Tél: 01 48 06 33 02

Gentle Gourmet Café: 24, rue de la Bastille, Tél: 01 43 43 48 49 – A purely vegan restaurant, located in the Bastille.

Le Bar des Artisans (Vegan): 23, rue des Vinaigriers, Tél: 01 42 01 03 44

Thank you, My Deer: 112, rue St Maur, Tél: 01 71 93 16 24 – Tiny gluten-free bakery and café with very good coffee.

Vegan Follies: 53, rue Mouffetard, Tél: 01 43 37 21 89 – Vegan cupcake shop on the rue Mouffetard.

The Superfoods Café: 29, Avenue de Ségur, Tél: 07 50 27 99 34

Loving Hut: 92, boulevard Beaumarchais, Tél: 01 48 06 43 84 – vegan and vegetarian foods.


This guest entry is from my friend Gideon Ben-Ami, who graciously stepped in and wrote this post about vegetarian dining options in Paris…david

A you can imagine, being a vegetarian in Paris can be a challenge. During my 5 years in Paris I’ve witnessed many die hard veggies succumbing to the sins of the flesh. The usual excuse is that it’s just too hard (or the temptations too great) in the self-proclaimed food capital of the world. “I never ate meat till I tried the duck,” one friend told me while another announced, “Technically I’m still a vegetarian, though sometimes I do eat steak.”

If you’re dining at a neighborhood bistro, you’ll probably get by okay if you eat fish. But if you’re vegan, then you might need to smuggle in a nut cutlet or two under your raincoat as you’ll soon get tired of munching on side salads. Unlike many other European capitals, restaurants here don’t necessarily have a vegetarian option on the menu.

Paris does, however, have its fair share of vegetarian restaurants. Are they any good? I donned my corduroy jacket, slipped on a pair of sensible shoes and criss-crossed the streets of the French capital to find out. What I found came as a pleasant surprise—there’s quite a lot on offer and something for every palette.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the most well-known vegetarian restaurants in Paris:

Le Grenier de Notre Dame

18, rue de la Bucherie (5th). On the Left Bank a stone’s throw from Notre Dame this is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Paris, it’s a friendly place with a cozy atmosphere and a varied menu catering for vegetarian, vegan, and macrobiotic customers. English menu, serves alcohol.

Le Potager du Marais

22, rue Rambuteau (3rd), Métro: Rambuteau. A lacto vegetarian place near to the Centre Pompidou. The restaurant is very narrow with all the tables put together into to make one long community table. Looking down the restaurant I felt I was entering a Michelangelo painting. Our supper (maybe not our last) was quite tasty with a mainly French menu including classics such as French onion soup all made from organic produce. The desserts were especially good. English speaking staff, serves alcohol.

Grand Appétit

9, rue la Cerisaie (4th) Métro: Bastille. Closed weekends. Serves vegan, macrobiotic food. The food is a pleasant mixture of French and Far Eastern dishes such as soups salads quiches, lentils, vegetarian sushi. This place has a rather austere look to it, feeling more like a church hall than a restaurant. Has a macrobiotic shop next door.

Krishna-Bhavan

24, rue Cail (10th) Métro: La Chapelle. Indian vegetarian restaurant serving Thalis, Dosas, Pooris and all the South Indian favourites. Food is refreshingly spicy, which is not always the case at Indian restaurants in Paris. Good value with lunchtime menus from 9.50€.

Tien Hiang

92, rue du Chemin Vert (11th), Métro: Père Lachaise or Voltaire. Small Chinese vegan restaurant that with a large menu, food is tasty and freshly prepared with many mock meat options. Inexpensive.

Green Garden

20, rue Nationale (13th) Métro: Porte d’Ivry. Chinese vegan restaurant run by devotees of Ching Hai (known as The Supreme Master) whose pictures adorn the walls. Nice food with friendly service and a small store inside. Closed Tuesdays.

Maoz

8, rue Xavier Rivas (5th) Métro: St Michel. Maoz is an international falafel chain has a take away stall in Latin quarter. (Check out David’s write up on Maoz.) Also try the rue de Rosiers (Métro St Paul) several options including, L’As du Fallafel “as recommended by Lenny Kravitz” and Chez Hanna “The best fallafel in the world”.

Visit Gideon at his websites; Let Them Talk, a French-English language school and conversation exchange program in Paris, and at his blog, Paris Talk. Photo above courtesy of Gideon Ben-Ami.


Related Links

10 Restaurants Végétariens à Paris (L’Express)

Vegetarian Dining Tips in Paris

10 Ordering Mistakes People Make in Paris

Gluten-free dining in Paris

Paris Favorites

Mon Vieil Ami

My Paris

Noglu Gluten-Free Restaurant in Paris

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Flexitarian in France (Paris by Mouth)

Paris Restaurant Archives

Le Violon d’Ingres

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Christian Constant has a mini-empire of restaurants in the 7th arrondissement, taking over an entire side of a city block. On one corner is the Café Constant, bookended by his upscale bistro, Le Fables de la Fontaine. Violon d’Ingres was his high-end joint in the middle until he decided to go ‘downmarket’ and turn it into a more everyday dining experience. With linen table runners replacing the starched tablecloths and waiters shucking their Hugo Boss togs (which the menu duly noted), the food is some of the best in town and now it’s more accessible to many more diners.

I had a terrific roasted Guinea fowl braised in a casserole, and learned an obscure new French word; “luttée”, which I thought meant ‘fight’ (lutte), although here it meant a luting paste.

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Tips for Vegetarian Dining in Paris

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While Paris is a meat eater’s paradis, there are pockets of places that are vegetarian-friendly, or are completely vegetarian. As a sideline to my guest post Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris, here are my tips for dining out and getting by.

Root Vegetables
  • If you’re looking for a typical ‘Parisian’ meal, don’t limit yourself to bistros and brasseries. Nowadays, Parisian cuisine includes ethnic dining. There’s excellent Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern restaurants that offer lots of options. The good Indian places are clustered by La Chapelle, behind the gare du Nord, and the Asian places are mostly in the 13th. Couscous restaurants are scattered across the city. L’Atlas (12, blvd St. Germain) is a favorite, and offers a lot of seafood couscous selections.
  • If you eat cheese, crêperies are good places to go for authentic French food. Note that if you want a buckwheat ‘crêpe’, they might not know what you’re talking about since they’re called a galette au sarrasin; galette is the term for a crêpe made with buckwheat. Curiously, sometimes they’ll call it a crêpe de blé noir, too. Check links below for addresses I recommend.

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