We had to head over to the 20th arrondissement this Sunday afternoon to pick up something we found on the Bon Coin website for bébé chéri who is arriving in just two months. And instead of making the trek over there just for this one transaction, we thought we would make a day of it. I was in a mood for brunch!
On our list of places to grab a fun brunch was the über trendy, very popular Mama Shelter, but when we dipped in to have a look at the restaurant, it looked dark, crowded, noisy and not the relaxing brunch/lunch we had imagined. Plus everyone seemed to be seated on tall stools, and my poor back can’t take that these days. So I promised myself we would head back there to take advantage of the terrace when the warmer months came back around if the opportunity provided itself. Read more →
Coretta is a restaurant that will forever mark an amazing change in my life, the reintroduction of dairy into my diet. For about ten years now I have nixed dairy from my intake, and at all the restaurants I visit, I must always inquire about the lactose contents of the menu and carefully select accordingly which often limits my choices to a sad one or two dishes. Often, the kitchen has to make special dishes for me, if they are in the mood. But recently, I have daringly tested out my dairy intolerance, because, they say that every ten years or so your body chemistry changes. It all started with a Pierre Hermé salted caramel cream macaron that DIDN’T make me feel sick. I was astonished. I made a few more attempts at Pierre Hermé macarons, and a couple bites of friends’ desserts to test the theory. It seemed to have some truth to it. Coretta was the first restaurant where I dared to have a whole dish that contained a little bit of cream in the sauce… A revelation of flavor came over me and I remembered what amazing food can taste like! Butter and cream and cheese really do make a difference.
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In my (unadmitted) quest to discover all the fun restaurants in the Batignolles quarter, I was able to suggest Le Club des 5 when planning a dinner out with Chéri and our artist friend Barbara. I had walked by it many times and it has such a fun delightful interieur that seems to dram me in, that I couldn’t wait any longer, so I insisted.
I wasn’t disappointed!
I do chose restaurants based upon décor and ambiance first, and food second. I feel that just as food presentation is important, so are your surroundings and the decorum in which you eat. I can’t eat in a messy room, for example. Read more →
Le Clan Des Jules
We found this fantastic little place on rue Brochant in the 17th. It has everything you would want on a cold dreary winter evening when you go out for dinner : warm colored décor, interesting and appetizing menu, friendly service, good wine, and a fun theme to the whole thing!
So the theme is a sort of tongue-in-cheek way of saying it’s a mob owned restaurant. It isn’t, that’s just the theme. From the vintage items strategically placed around the restaurant, to the 1920’s mobster machine gun racked up on the wall, to the bullet casings lined up on one of the shleves; even one of the menu items played into the theme : on the dessert menu the last choice was « Rien, le parrain m’attend 0€ » (Nothing, the godfather is waiting for me 0€).
We were set in a cozy corner, and although when we got there were only the second table to fill, in about 30 minutes there was not a single table empty… (all French people, no tourists) and it was a week night! Thank goodness we reserved. I highly suggested doing the same if you want to head there for a meal.
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After seeing the amazing David Hallberg dance the Sleeping Beauty prince… Chéri brought me to the Kong for dinner. We thought we would make a fabulous night of it and eat at what I assumed would be a swanky and chic address with amazing fusion food. (I had been to the bar for drinks this summer and had some grand illusions about dining out there).
So the swanky part was not to be denied. The place is prime Parisian real-estate. But the sparkle of all that was so tarnished by the down sides that it didn’t seem as fabulous as one would expect from an establishment that boasts presence in a Sex and the City episode. Read more →
So Summer seemed to end rather abruptly here in Paris, land of the grey skies. Buf before it did Chéri and I got in a fantastically fabulous brunch at a très chic address : 142 avenue des Champs Elysées. La Maison du Danemark, reknowned for their high quality fish and seafood serves up raw fish delicacies and lots and lots of salmon.
I thought it would be fun to sort of « bond » with my ancestral roots, and have a Danish treat (no not a fancy pastry), a real deal Dane’s dish of delicious! (Was that too much alliteration???)
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One of the places Chéri and I have discovered in our new neighborhood is this fabulous little Turkish restaurant in the heart of one of Paris predominantly Jewish quarters. And as I have heard, the story goes a little like this : Several kosher restaurant prospectors had tried to convince the owners of Seç to sell them the business, with plans to open a kosher cuisine joint there. But the owners stood their ground and now those prospectors are loyal and happy patrons of the place. It’s just that delicious! And popular. Read more →
My friend Lily visited Paris recently, and funny thing, SHE showed me places here that I have never been to in my own city!
She tends to have a knack and a nose for all things charming, chic, luxurious and opulent, so although she doesn’t live here she is somewhat of an expert.
One of these places she introduced me to is actually quite unassuming from the outside and if you don’t know about it, you wouldn’t even suspect its existence. It’s a hidden jewel.
The (5 star) hotel Vendôme hosts a charming and chic, gastronomic restaurant over looking the intersection of rue Saint Honoré and rue de Castiglione. We had made reservations and waited in anticipation for our fabulous luxurious splurge. Read more →
I love coconut.
I love curry.
I love mango. Shrimp. Coriander….
So naturally I LOVE Thai food. Usually Chéri and I head to the 13th to get our fix of it, but recently we tried a new place that is even closer to our home in the 12th. Chez Sawan, in the 11th at Faidherbe took over a café that used to be called Balthazar (aren’t there like a hundred cafés called Balthazar in Paris?). The decor remains somewhat similar to what it was before, typical Parisian café style, dark woods, colonial styled clocks and wall hangings, with an interesting looking light on the ceiling, bistrot syle chairs etc… (you won’t feel like you are in exotic Thailand here).
But the food was delish! The service was nice, not over zealous but not totally absent either. What I really liked was the entire front of the restaurant is movable window-walls that were opened so there was plenty of light and air circulation, and everyone can view the street. Not that the street is THAT interesting, but in Paris, people like to see other people, hence the desire to view the street.
We were hungry and didn’t want to mess around with an entrée, so we went straight for the main dish. I had a coconut with red curry chicken dish that was everything you would hope a coconut curry to be. Smooth and creamy without being too rich, and the proportion was perfect. I wasn’t stuffed afterwards. But I think that was also due to the fact that instead of getting rice with it I got the liserons d’eau, which is a green vegetable, that I believe just kind of grows everywhere over in Aisia, like a weed I guess, but the sautée it with garlic and well, I could eat mountainous plates of it! Yum!
For dessert I had the coconut rice with mango. It was sweet sticky rice with a coconut glaze drizzled over it and fresh ripe mango slices. There was a slight hint of saltiness to the dish that made my mouth water at every bite!
Sawan Bistro Thai, 35 rue Faidherbe 75011.
Tucked inbetween the Marias en the Bastille neighborhood Bofinger has been happily doing the restaurant thing since 1864. Frédéric Bofinger set up shop here, being the first to offer freshly pumped beer to the Parisians, and boasting a copious plate of Alscacien fare, which the restaurant still proudly serves today.
Authentic woodwork and glasswork, this venue is a veritable historical monument. It still has it’s urinals decorated in sculpted porcelain to portray beautiful dolphine heads. The stained glass domed ceiling. The lamps d’époque. All of this brings you back 100 years or so when you enter.
The early 1920’s was when this restaurant really underwent a significant embellishment concerning it’s décor, and is the period when the grande salle with the oval domed ceiling was built. But 10 years later, Jean-Jaques Waltz, or Hansi, brought his good taste in décor to improve the place even more and give it an even higher prestige. The restaurant was then restored again in the 1980’s just about the time when the Marias and the Bastille neighborhood were emerging as up and coming areas to enjoy the Parisian atmosphere.
What pleases me about this place it the attention to certain details like the lighting, a soft golden halo against a warm colored ceiling….it simply helps build an appetite, and makes us all look nice. I also love every inch of the décor : the brass railing, the carved wood, the opal glass, the leather seats…
The Brasserie continues to have abundant business, despite it’s sometimes noisy atmoshpere. It is helpful that the restaurant has several different dinnings rooms on both the ground level and the first floor.
The meal you will eat is not life changing, but then not many meals should be life changing, or else whe would have a revolution at every other meal with all the foodies around these days! But it’s well presented, well served, and wonderfully delicious.
Choucroute : the signature Alsacien dish
3, rue de la Bastille
Tél : 01 42 72 87 82
Fax : 01 42 72 97 68
Métro : Bastille