Paris Favorites

My friend just moved to Paris and I sent her an email with a parsed down version of the below list of my “favorites.”  I figured, maybe you’d be interested too.  Anything I should add?

Favorite Café Crème:

  • Loustic – 40 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • 10 Belles – 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris (Canal St. Martin)

Favorite Parks:

  • Tuilleries
  • Bois de Vincennes
  • Butte Chaumont
  • Luxembourg (St. Germain)
  • Place de Vosges (Le Marais)

Favorite “Trendy” and/or Pricey Places to Eat:

  • Le Perchoir (sunset dinner) – 14 rue Crespin du Gast, 75011 Paris (Oberkampf)
  • Derrier (dinner) – 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Le Taxi Jaune (dinner) – 13, rue Chapon, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Café Charlot (for brunch, late night, afternoon, really, anytime) – 38 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Rose Café (for brunch, lunch) – 30 rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Fish Club (for dinner) – 58 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris

Favorite Places to Wander:

  • Le Marais
  • St. Germain
  • Canal St. Martin

Favorite Paris Blogs/Guides:

Favorite Markets:

  • Bastille Marché – Metro: Bastille.  I usually go on Sundays.  This is where I discovered my favorite cheese and practiced most of my French! (Haricot verts, s’il vous plaît?)
  • Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen – Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, 75018, Paris

Go to Stores for Necessities

  • BHV (stands for Bazaar Hôtel de Ville) – 34 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris.  This store is like Bloomingdale’s, Barnes & Noble, an electronics store, and hardware store wrapped into one.  You can find anything from leather and fabrics, art supplies, and kitchen wares, to the latest trends from Iro, Kooples, and Chanel.
  • Monoprix – These are everywhere.  Good place for groceries and toiletries.  You can also buy clothes and other things.  It seems to be the French equivalent of Target.
  • FNAC – Galerie commerciale Forum des Halles, 1-7 Rue Pierre Lescot, 75001 Paris ‎(but there are lots of these in Paris).  Good place for electronics.  I left my adapter in Corsica and seriously went to 4 places to find one before finding one here.
Must have foods:
  • Tuks (not even French, but a delicious cracker).  I have a song and dance that goes with these.  They are just that good.
  • Compté cheese (my fav!)
  • Pain au chocolat
  • Baguettes (obviously)
  • Falafel from L’as du Falafel – 34 Rue des Rosiers  75004 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Empanadas from Clasico Argentino – 56, Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Ice cream from Berthillon – 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île  75004 Paris (but you can find this ice cream in a lot of restaurants).  I can vouch for the moka, chocolat noir, abricot, and framboise.
  • Moules-frites
  • Foie gras (sorry, California)
  • Any and all wine (rosé is big here)
  • Yogurt – for some reason it is much better here than in the US.  Try weird flavors.  I liked the fig and rhubarb.
Shopping:
(Basically anywhere.  This is Paris.)
  • Rue Vieille-du-Temple (Le Marais)
  • Rue de Poitou (Le Marais)
  • St. Germain
  • Montmarte
For Overpriced (but Fun) Cocktails:
  • Experimental Cocktail Club – 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris
  • Little Red Door – 60 Rue Charlot 75003 Paris (Le Marais)
  • Candelaria – 52 Rue de Saintonge  75003 Paris (Le Marais).  They also have great tacos, but good luck finding a spot unless you go early!  (The bar is through a secret door at the back.)

Miscellaneous:

  • Detergent – Ariel.  I was an idiot and was using Soupline for 2 months before realizing I was washing my clothes with a fabric softener.  Good job, me.
  • Skin care products – Nuxe.  I went to buy lotion and after staring for what felt like 20 minutes ended up with makeup remover.  The pharmacist steered me in the right direction.  I love this line of lotions and skin care products – they are all “sans paraben.”

Favorite bookstores:

© Sarah Milstein 2013

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La Patache & Le Perchoir, Paris

After walking to Canal St. Martin the other day to check out a restaurant I read about on this awesome blog, I was bummed, but not surprised, to see that it was closed for August.  I’ve started to accept the fact that regardless whether a restaurant has a website, it does not mention whether it is closed in August, on said website.  It just lists its normal business hours.  Sigh.

So, I was left to my own devices and after wandering a bit, peaked through the window of La Patache (Rue de Lancry, 75010) and saw three women eating roasted chicken and potatoes.  Done.  I ordered the same and it was delicious.  Actually, the potatoes were pretty heavenly.

Saturday, my friend scored a reservation at Le Perchoir (Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011).  The rooftop bar reminded me a little of High at Hotel Erwin in Venice, California.  Only, instead of the Pacific Ocean, there are panoramic views of Paris, freshly sliced charcuterie, absinthe, abundant wine, and an amazing restaurant just one floor down.  The only option is a prix fixe, which comprised of 8 dishes, each possibly better than the previous (sea bass sashimi, ahi tuna, roasted eggplant, veal, roasted potatoes, tomato provençal, cantalope soup, and a berry variation of mille-feuille).  However, if you ask my friend, the tuna was the best.  It did come atop a giant potato chip like thing.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Angelina, Paris

Angelina

Was it worth the hype?  Maybe?  It was good.  But kind of just tasted like my mom’s hot fudge melted just enough to make it drinkable.  You’d think you’d be wired after all that sugar, but I felt more like sleeping.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Food Coma, Partie 2

I know, I haven’t been writing about restaurants or bars much.  But don’t worry, I’m still eating and drinking.  (Not that you were concerned.)  I don’t love taking out a giant camera at a restaurant, only to find it’s too dark for my camera to focus, and then standing there awkwardly like a tourist, so I’m giving you a small sampling of places I liked.

Le Taxi Jaune.  This restaurant in Le Marais is amazing, but pricey.  I actually went because it was written up for its “[s]pectacular mussels,” which were unfortunately not on the menu.  However, my friends and I were not disappointed.  After my friend talked us into getting a last-minute reservation (in French), we sat at the last table in the house.  The menu is seasonal–the chef only cooks meats and vegetables in their prime.  My vegan friends would not approve, so I will spare you the details.  However, I think between my friends and I, we counted five different animals that contributed to our meal (some were in the form of cheese).  The chef came to each table and spoke with the guests.  My only complaint was that I heard a lot of English being spoken, but we ordered in French.

L’Atelier Guy Martin Cooking Class.  Okay, so I’m not sure if it was false advertising, or my ignorance of French (I will go with the latter), but I expected my class to be taught by Guy Martin.  I suppose the price (only 60 Euros) should have been my first clue–a spot at his 2 star Michelin rated restaurant can easily run you over 300 Euros a person.  However, I had a great time, and we actually made things I would make again: Carrot gazpacho, duck, and a frozen berry soufflé.

L’As du Fallafel.  Who hasn’t written up L’As du?  (Besides Parisbymouth, see reviews here, here, here, and here.  There are probably more, but I’ll let you scour the Internet for them.)  The first time I went, I walked by, told the guy standing outside I didn’t want any, only to make a full circle around the neighborhood, look at an article on the best falafel in Paris, and find myself standing in front of the very same guy.  Awkward, yes.  However, we laughed and then he got me a chair.  That falafel was delicious.  The eggplant made it–it was hot and super flavorful.  I went back again and it was good, but not as good the first time.  I still finished it though.  Warning: Be prepared to get messy.

Amorino.  This probably isn’t the best ice cream in Paris, but you can find an Amorino conveniently located next to Place des Vosges (and every other tourist attraction in the city).  What’s nicer than ice cream on a hot day that’s slapped together to look like a flower?  I can’t really complain.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Paris, Semaine 6, Partie 1

Bonjour!  So my original intention was to capture this week with drawings.  However, I went to have coffee at my corner café on Monday without my camera, and two older gentlemen wearing identical color-coordinated outfits stopped in front of me.  I realized leaving my camera behind was not a good plan.  Ergo, this week I’m drawing and taking photos.  Also, let’s be real, I went on a food tour with Paris by Mouth on Tuesday, and Bastille Day is coming up on Sunday.  Drawings weren’t about to do these things justice.

Food Tour.  Basically this was just a gluttonous journey around Saint-Germain.  Delicious: yes.  Loose pants: definitely a requirement.  First, we visited Poilâne where we picked up bread.

Next stop was Pierre Hermé for macarons.  But this place also had other beautiful desserts, like the ones below.

Then we headed to Marchés Couverts de Paris, where we purchased a TON of cheese, and learned about chickens.  Apparently the Bresse is the Rolls Royce of chickens, costing up to 50 Euros a bird!  I was struck by the fact that this market didn’t smell, which was a first.  Particularly since they had a large fish section.  Thumbs up.

Next stop, Patrick Roger for chocolates.  You know how I said Georges Larnicol smelled so good, the chocolate lured me in (okay, I’m paraphrasing)?  Well, this place smelled even better.  There was a debate between the two guides whether Patrick Roger makes the best chocolate in Paris.  He does have his MOF, so he’s kind of a big deal.

Finally, we ate all our bounty in the back room of La Dernièr Goutte.

Tuileries.  I managed to lay out in the Tuileries on both Monday and Tuesday.  This is really some life.  I’m starting to feel a little guilty, but both days were amazing, so I’m just going to go with the fact that I’m ridiculously lucky.  Monday, I brought a picnic, drew, read, and got a little sunburned.  Tuesday, I had company.  We lucked out and got a private air show in advance of Bastille Day that seemed to go on for an hour!

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Food Coma

While I like to stumble on new places to eat, I have been cheating a bit with the help of Timeout and Parisbymouth.

Both blogs recommended Breizh Café (see photos below).  You can check out their reviews here and here.

Parisbymouth actually recommends Georges Larnicol (below), however, I only discovered their review after my nose found the chocolate.

My single photograph of the oysters at Marché Bastille doesn’t really do this massive market any justice.  You can read Timeout’s review here, but really, you should just go yourself.  Really.  But bring a bag, or maybe even a cart.  And be prepared to practice your French!  Vegetable vendors select, weigh, and bag your champignons, tomates, pommes de terre, haricots verts, and pêches.  (However, pointing also works, but where’s the fun in that?)

I discovered the charming, two-part Cantine Merci thanks to Timeout.

The rest of these photographs are of a random splattering of food and/or restaurants.  Some of these have reviews, but sometimes, you just gotta trust your instincts!

© 2013 Sarah Milstein