Count down the days… - Paris/Local Food And Wine
posted by Paige Donner
TOP TEN OF WORLD’S BEST RESTAURANTS, 2011
This year Chef Inaki Aizpitarte’s Le Chateaubriand made it into the Top Ten of the World’s 50 Best list.
129 avenue Parmentier 75011 Paris
+33 (0) 143574595
The dinner choice is Prix Fixe and no one has ever complained. If you have one restaurant to try when you are in Paris, this is a Winner!
In 2010 Le Chateaubriand was #11. In 2011 Le Chateaubriand is #10 on the 50 Best Restaurants in the world list.
By Paige Donner
There’s a new sandwich shop in the shadow of the Louvre and it’s called 144. Very catchy name considering it is at 144 rue St. Honoré. I half suspect that its young owner, Italian-French “Tony,” is internet savvy enough to realize that this is the way to rank high in a mobile search. Name your shop the address. Simple.
Well, it’s good thinking, because on a hot, dusty summer afternoon after you have been traipsing through the priceless halls filled with magnificent artwork that is the Louvre, the last thing you want to do is scurry your way past all the souvenir shops on Rue Rivoli in hopes of finding an affordable place to rest your weary feet and quench your parched throat.
Just one street up from Rue Rivoli and close to Metro stop Palais Royale, 144 is the coffee shop-lunch café that serves up comfort not just in its decor but also in its choice of menu items. Want a bagel and cream cheese? (the real kind, the Kraft Philadelphia kind), you have come to the right place.
Want a slice of cheese cake? The NY kind. You can have it. There is also a small salad bar that you pay for by the gram. (A gram is sort of like an ounce but smaller - in case you’re new to the European thing. Think of it like miles and kilometers. Or Fahrenheit and centigrade. Same thing just different.)
Also in the glass lunch counter are delicious Focaccia including a salmon and cream cheese with thin slices of red onions foccaccia that Tony or his staff will toast for you on the spot. There is also the California Bagel, cream cheese and avocado, the Miami Bagel and the Bagel 144.
It’s not all American, however. There’s also a good selection of Italian choices. And you can have cupcake or a cookie to go with it. Wash it all down with an Orangina, Smartwater or our favorite, Pulco, Les Recettes Citronnade. Very refreshing and no added sugar, coloring or preservatives.
Tony just opened up 144 rue St. Honoré mid April. So give a guy a break and go get your cupcake. Wi-Fi complimentary.
144 Rue St. Honoré, Paris 75001 M. Palais Royale or Louvre Rivoli
by Paige Donner
Bob’s Kitchen is the place in Paris that all the New Yorkers say is THE place in Paris for Sunday brunch, - and lunch and breakfast any day of the week. Mark, the American co-owner and original instigator of Bob’s Juice Bar, and his French partner, Amaury, import their bagels from Brooklyn. So now you know.
The popping place is open from 8am to 3pm. Good luck finding a stool at one of the two communal tables in this fairly cosy Marais locale. Apparently health is not just a craze with the vacationing fashionables in Paris, it’s a staple to be relied on every day. The partner-owners are young(ish) and for Amaury, who majored in business, this is his first restaurant. He got lots of good experience, however, when he used to deliver pizzas. Mark has been at his Bob’s Juice Bar for a good six years and had already built up a following when Mark convinced him to partner on this new venture two years ago.
Bob’s Kitchen is reliable and tasty, and, yes, reliably tasty. You can count on a daily freshly made soup, juice blend, stew and sandwich (on a - yes, you guessed it! - bagel). The ingredients change every day. So one day you might get a pumpkin soup and the next day a tomato cashew basil soup. And one day you might enter the Paris lunchroom to find a hummus bagel to greet you and the next day it might be grilled vegetables. The countertop also always has the maki handrolls, vegetarian, that people seem to grab as soon as they walk in.
Mind you, none of my hippest Parisian foodie friends (some of them editors) seem to really know about the place. I heard of it when, during Fashion Week, I was strolling one of the showrooms with a chi chi Fashion PR Exec and he and one of the young designers (from Brooklyn) were making lunch plans and the conversation went something like this: “Do you know Bob’s Kitchen?!” “I love Bob’s Kitchen! I eat there every Sunday for Brunch!” “OMG! Me too! Well, when I’m in town from Brooklyn.” And thus their date was made.
The buzz is that all the Fashion Editors ate at Bob’s Kitchen during Fashion Week. But, honestly, if you work as a journalist, or an editor, during Paris Fashion Week, you don’t have a minute to eat, let alone sit down to a meal and eat, and definitely not in the Marais which is near absolutely nothing (from a Fashion Editor’s perspective).
Nonetheless, the reason to go to Bob’s Kitchen is that the food is good, it’s healthy and nourishing, the people are nice, there’s an electric guitar in the window and a piano in the corner and rue des Gravilliers is right smack in the center of the wholesale shopping district, the Marais. Enjoy. I know I do whenever I pop in. And remember to get yourself some of the carrot cake or at least a matcha green tea and white chocolate cookie.
Starting Thursday March 10
10€ to play
Spring Boutique, 52 Rue de l’Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris
30€ and Under Red League:
A tasting of 6 artisanal French wines in the 16th century Spring wine cellar with special afternoon snacks from the Spring Kitchen.
By Paige Donner
Several of Paris’s Starwood Group Hotels, in addition to independently-owned restaurants and cafes have dedicated their Spring menus to using exceptional, locally Ile-de-France sourced ingredients. Local here is defined as originating no farther than 200 km. outside of Paris. This both supports Ile-de-France regional growers and eliminates much of the negative environmental impact that long-distance transportation of food products requires.
At the Paris restaurants: L’Orénoc duMéridien Étoile, the First at the Westin Paris-Vendôme and the Étoiles at the Sheraton Paris-Charles de Gaulle, you will find these specially crafted “Local” gastronomic menus that are being served in their main dining rooms, for room service and even for conferences and meetings.
In addition, at Le Meurice, the triple-Michelin-starred Chef Yannick Alléno has created a “mythical and savory” menu which he has dubbed « Terroir Parisien® » that he is serving for his lunch time guests. A range of products he has sourced from nearby Ile-de-France villages including mint from la Forêt (52 km).
Similarly the new trendy Lafayette Organic on Grands Boulevards is featuring all organic produce and products from Ile de France. And if you choose to dine at the restaurant, Chez Bruno, you will have the chance to enjoy artisan coldcuts from Michel Ballereau, of Sceaux (14 km), farm-raised chicken from Pouligny à Jouy in Morin (76 km), and fresh cheeses from the 30 Arpents Farm in Favières (41 km). And that’s not all, you will also get to try local honey from beekeeper Rémy Vanbremeersch and Carl Marletti’s artisanale pâtisseries. And when you find yourself in the Denfert Rochereau quarter with an appetite for some local flavor, stop in at Ghislaine Arabian’s restaurant, Les Petites Sorcières, where she is spotlighting the local produce of Claude and Catherine Gallienne from Neuville (67 km), and the fresh-baked breads of Parisien Jean-Luc Poujauran.
by Paige Donner
March 20th is Macaron Day in France where famed patissiers such as founder of Macaron Day, Pierre Hermé, are giving out samples of the flavorful crispy/soft cookie-dessert of choice of French gourmets all throughout the city and even in his Tokyo locations.
All the members of Relais Desserts participate in this joyous and delicious celebration of the arrival of Spring, hosting tastings and sample giveaways in their confectionaries and bakeries not just in France but also in Belgium, Luxembourg and even as far away as Japan and the U.S. The day benefits the rare disease charity dedicated to those who suffer from the Williams and Beuren syndrome.
Some flavors to try: passion fruit, rose, orange blossom, chocolate, foie gras with fig filling…and so many more!
Some addresses in Paris to get you started:
56, bd de Port Royal - 5e ardt - Tel : 01 45 35 36 80
35, rue de Vaugirard - 6e ardt - Tel : 01 45 44 48 90
2, rue Wurtz - 13e ardt- Tel : 01 45 65 00 77
238, rue de la Convention - 15e ardt- Tel : 01 45 33 85 09
Pierre Hermé (also in his boutiques in Japan)
4, rue Cambon - 1er ardt - Tel : 01 43 54 47 77
39, av de l’Opéra - 2nd ardt - Tel : 01 43 54 47 77
72, rue Bonaparte - 6e ardt - Tel : 01 43 54 47 77
Publicisdrugstore - 133, av des Champs Elysées - 8e ardt - Tel : 01 43 54 47 77
Galeries Lafayette (espace Luxe et espace Souliers) - 40, bd Haussmann - 9e ardt
185, rue de Vaugirard - 15e ardt - Tel : 01 47 83 89 96
58, av Paul Doumer - 16e ardt - Tel : 01 43 54 47 77
Jean-Paul Hévin (19th march)
3, rue Vavin - 6e ardt - Tel : 01 43 54 09 85
231, rue St Honoré - 1er ardt - Tel : 01 55 35 35 96
23 bis, av de la Motte Picquet - 7e ardt - Tel : 01 45 51 77 48
Lafayette Gourmet - 48, bd Haussmann - 9e ardt
53, rue Caulaincourt - 18e ardt - Tel : 01 42 57 68 08
57, rue Damrémont - 18e ardt - Tel : 01 42 55 57 97
For more addresses go to: Jour du Macaron
What are some of the latest food trends in Paris?
Wine bars that serve food have been popping up all over in the past year, and it’s been nice to have more options that don’t require advance booking or a three-course commitment. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good four-hour meal, but wine bars are great for those nights when you just want to nibble without breaking the bank.
There are 6360 restaurants in Paris. But there is only one that lays claim to the throne of the Trocadéro. There, seated at the right hand of arguably the most recognizable monument in the world, is the Café de l’Homme.
It would be easy to choose to stop in at the Cafe to warm up or cool down, depending on the season, after a session of sightseeing. But it’s not really that kind of cafe. Indeed, it’s not at all a cafe, not even in the French “brasserie” sort of way. It’s a full-on restaurant.
Just slightly at arm’s length, despite its famous address, it is a restaurant that is easily overlooked. You reach the Café de l’Homme by entering through the same monumentally sized doors as you do for the Musée de l’Homme. This is probably why it took me a bit of time to brave the experience.
But once inside, I realized that the Cafe’ is completely independent from the Museum and neither are places that are even remotely intimidating. The Café de l’Homme’s actual entrance is shielded by a floor length dark olive velvet curtain that the Butler/Coat Checker and the Maitre d’ keep firmly shut to keep in the warmth.
Once through the olive emerald veil, the red warmth with tones of leather couches and sparkling wine glasses, greets you. That’s if you can peel your eyes away from the straight-shot view of the Eiffel Tower.
It would be lovely to be able to order a drink at the bar as you await your dinner mates, but, alas, the Maitre d’ will fussily try to seat you straightaway or usher you back outside into the cold hallway to wait. Not exactly overabundant in the art of graciousness. There is a couch-loungey seated area off to the far left of the dining room where you can share drinks with friends. It seats one group. Only.
All snootiness is forgotten however once your meal is served. Appetizers include choices of Riquette salad with parmesan shavings and pine nut kernels; Tuna belly with Basque Country lettuce hearts; and even King Crab salad.
For the main dish the Grilled Iberico Pluma (pig) marinated in ginger is tender, sweet and spicy; the roast French Rack of Lamb with Terragon sauce is a classic; and if you want steak, they serve a 200 gr. Fillet. It’s not cheap: the main courses start at 23 Euros, and quickly average at around 32 Euros.
Remember, you are paying for the view. When you think about it, those across the river who are dining at Jules Verne and looking down at you don’t even have the view that you do. And you didn’t even have to take an elevator to get where you are.
Reservations are definitely recommended. The dining room might have some empty seats at 7:30 but by 8:00 they will all be filled. Leave room for dessert. They do the chocolate molten cake pretty well, but their Strawberry soup with Sichuan pepper and organic vanilla cream is interesting enough of a blend of flavors to have to try. They also serve a satisfying plate of A.O.C. cheeses.
Café de l’Homme. Come for the view. Stay for the food!
Restaurant Café de l’Homme - 17 Place du Trocadéro, Musée de l’Homme - Paris XVIe - Tel : +00 33 (0)1 44 05 30 15