A Parisian Restaurant with Friendly Service!

Le Clan Des Jules

Le Clan Des Jules - Restaurant 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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Poo-Pooing the Kong Restaurant

Kong Restaurant 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. Continue reading

Brunch at La Maison du Danemark

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.

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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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The Salmon

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Seç, or Turkish Delights in Paris

I'm hungry! What's for dinner?!?
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. Continue reading

Le Vendôme – chic for lunch

My friend Lily visited Paris recently, and funny thing, SHE showed me places here that I have never been to in my own city!

LeVendome_champagne_decorShe 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. Continue reading

My new favorite Thai

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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).

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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.

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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!

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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.

Bofinger – a pillar of the Parisian restaurant scene

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.
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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.

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The early 1920′s was when this restaurant really undersent 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…

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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.

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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.

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Choucroute : the signature Alsacien dish

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Bon appétit!
 
3, rue de la Bastille
75004 PARIS
Tél : 01 42 72 87 82
Fax : 01 42 72 97 68
http://www.bofingerparis.com/
Métro : Bastille

Bottom of the pot

Bistrot du Boursier

88, rue Richelieu 75002

Savoyard restaurant, €€ between 15-30, menu around 18€

Telephone : : 01 42 96 83 59

Great place for fondue

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After

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After the fondue has been scarfed up by hungry cheese monsters, if left unattended the layer that has stuck to the bottom of the pot starts to cook into a sort of fried cheese pancake. We dug it out and photographed it as we were so enthralled with our discovery. If I could eat cheese, I would definitely have eaten that!
bottem of the fondue pot
I was told by a French person that in order to keep the cheese from sticking to mercilessly to the sides of the pot (and thus making the process of cleaning it interminably difficult) one would traditionally crack an egg in the bottom of the pot once everyone has scraped out all the melted cheese they can eat. The egg will then cook onto the side, and although I am not sure how it does this, keeps the cheese from sticking. Way to go egg! ;-P


Tasty pause in Tours

A weekend in the Loire stopping for the night in Tours now always brings me to a restaurant called l’Odéon, right near the train station. It’s got great service, presentation and wonderful food at prices you’d never find in Paris!

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Seated in a well lit, nicely decorated place with graceful servers who smile and take your coat… we all agreed that we were so glad to have come to this place for dinner. A couple of years ago, I had discovered it with a good and decided I needed a repeat testing of their menu. Their “menu du soir” at 32 euros includes an entrée, plat and déssert. Like I said, you don’t get to find such a nice meal in Paris for that price.

But…. it wasn’t just a 3 course meal. It was actually a 5 course meal. the first course, a mise en bouche, was a tiny bowl of foi-gras souffléé :
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For the entrée, at our table the only choices that were selected were the Oeufs brouillés à la crème de Morilles, feuilletés aux amandes = scrambled eggs with Morille creme sauce and flaked with almonds… that just doesn’t seem to describe correctly this wonderful little dish!

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The other choice chosen was the foie gras grillé avec brioche doré et vinaigre eux herbes :
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Main courses seen at our table were as follows :

Rouget roti with cheese raviolis and a shellfish safran cream sauce :
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Roast beef with Maxime potatoes and a tarragon broth :
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Roasted scallops with olive oil mashed potatoes (and fun plate décor!) :
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Dessert, the 4th course, was selected as follows by our already satisfied taste buds :
A Grand Marignier souflée with ice cream :
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A hot and cold chocolate and almond dish, that had two different flavors AND temperatures of chocolate :
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And a terrine d’agrumes for yours truly (sans lactose) :
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And what was the 5th course? What the French call a “gourmandise”. Gourmandise essentially meaning something to eat just-for-the-pleasure. We were given a plate of mini desserts of crème-brulée or an apricot confit :
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L’Odéon,

10 Place du Général Leclerc
37000 TOURS
Tél. 02 47 20 12 65
Fax : 02 47 20 47 58

IN OTHER NEWS : Something from my friends at POSHGLAM, Anna Toure a worldly woman indeed! :Style Profile: Anna Toure, We heart our Co-Founder!

Sometimes less frills is better – Grizzli café

Le Grizzli Café

7, Rue Saint-Martin, 75004 Paris

Tél : 01 48 87 77 56

We went there for an after work apéro, and ended up staying for dinner!
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A cosy little place snuggled in the Beaubourg neighborhood, that is un-assuming yet full of charm. Bistrot style decor and fare, on two levels with café tables in front and a beautiful bar, there are so many surprising things on the menu.
I had “nems” or spring rolls that were the best I have ever had, EVEN better than some I have had in Vietnamese restaurants! Maybe it was because I was hungry. But I really think they were the most delicious I have ever had. My dinner dates had creamy fennel soup that they seemed ecstatic over.
We had magret de canard as the main dish, and it was so succulent and the sauce so juicy that we Ooo-d and aahh-d over every bite.
The first half of dinner was almost void of conversation we were so enthralled in our food.
The kitchen was not visible, but the food arrived by one of those old pantry pully systems, and arrived in a tall cupboard where the servers would open the doors and pull out the plates, and returned the used ones down to wash.

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The service was kind, open and friendly. they were even meticulous about inquiring on ingredients (for my, the lactose-intolerant nightmare). I thank them kindly for that.
A menu and a moment that you will enjoy, guaranteed!
Bon appetit!

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