From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.


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Paris Restaurant Review: Bistro Poulbot

Usually when I go out for dinner with my boyfriend I tend to choose the place, as I always have a long list of “must check out” places that I’m eager to try. This time, as it was a special occasion, I decided to let him take a shot at choosing a restaurant and when he suggested Bistro Poulbot I was relatively happy to give it a go. This cute little bistro is located in the quiet street of Rue Lamarck, only a short walk from Sacré-Coeur, making it the perfect place to enjoy a meal away from the craziness (and the many tourist traps with overpriced and dismal food) you find around Place du Tertre.

bistro poulbot_paris_sign

bistro poulbot_paris_exterior

I have to admit that this place can easily be overlooked with its simple red awning but as we crossed the street its glowing interior, complete with sparkling Christmas lights, really invited us in. Once inside we were greeted by a very friendly server who showed us to our cozy table for two by the window. The décor inside was that of a traditional French bistro with wooden chairs/tables and leather bench seating, chalkboard menus hanging on the walls and photos of chickens and other vintage prints scattered about.

bistro poulbot_paris_interior

bistro poulbot_paris_bar

The huge chalkboard menu was brought over to us and I immediately noticed some “interesting” items on the menu, and when I say “interesting” I mean things that I would not really choose to eat. I’ve never been a huge meat eater so eating veal tongue and veal brain with potatoes has never really appealed to me. I will give them a try if offered from someone else’s plate (I’ll try almost anything once) but I will never choose any sort of offal dish by choice. Luckily, I still had many other options, so everyone should be able to find something they like…well apart from vegetarians. The chef, Lorenzo Torrini, manages to expertly blend traditional and rural French cuisine with his own unique touches and at 35 euros for a 3 course meal (entrée, plat et dessert), you really can’t complain!

bistro poulbot_paris_menu_carte

I chose the courgettes en carpacccio as an entrée while he went for the duck foie gras, we both chose the bavette “tagliata” as our main course, and for dessert he chose the profiteroles and I the apple crumble… to begin with…then at the last minute I switched my order to the pain perdu (the waiter was super sweet and told me I had the right to change my mind…thank you). Our bottle of wine arrived with a cute little basket of in-shell peanuts. We were both hungry and demolished them immediately! By this time we had properly defrosted and were nice and warm in our little corner.

bistro poulbot_paris_wine

The first dish arrived as an attractive display of thinly sliced zucchini, folded and arranged like the big bows you find on top of presents, then drizzled in lemon vinaigrette and topped with crispy parmesan flakes and pine nuts. It was light, fresh and very tasty. Of course my boyfriend enjoyed his foie gras (he always does!) and I stole some of the spinach leaves from his plate that were tossed in a light but flavorful dressing.

bistro poulbot_paris_courgette carpacio

bistro poulbot_paris_foie gras

Next came the “tagliata” steak, covered in a yummy Bearnaise herb sauce (that had what I thought tasted like a hint of anise), cut into thick slices and cooked to perfection. It was accompanied by a small, but decent quantity of mashed potatoes. I was completely satisfied and although the quantity was not enormous my guy seemed to find it an ideally sized portion as well.

bistro poulbot_paris_steak

The best, however, was yet to come! I am not even going to talk about the profiteroles because for once I didn’t insist on trying his dessert as I was too incredibly blown away by my pain perdu (or French toast) topped with strawberries, bits of meringue and whipped cream. I don’t think I’ve ever found French toast to be so good! It was light and slightly crisp on the outside while bursting with buttery and sugary goodness in every bite! The strawberries and meringue pieces were classic yet genius additions and, once again, the portion was perfect. Not too much (to give you a sugar overdose) and not too little (to leave you feeling unfulfilled).

bistro poulbot_paris_pain perdu

In conclusion: with winter officially here and the holiday season upon us I can’t think of a better place to recommend for anyone wanting to find a little shelter from the cold while enjoying some good quality bistro cooking. Also, note to self: I’m not the only one who can  pick a good restaurant!

And with that now said, I am going to finish wrapping my Christmas presents. I wish you all a very happy holiday season and all the best for 2015: I’ve got so many great places to tell you about this coming year, I can’t wait! 🙂

Details:
39 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris
+33 (0)1 46 06 86 00
http://www.bistropoulbot.fr/

My Rating:

5 plates of pain perdu out of 5

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Paris Restaurant Review: Luz Verde

Luz Verde has only been open for about a month but this place has already got quite a following and is the talk of the town amongst the trendy Parisian crowd…so obviously I had to check it out! As these places get packed around 8pm I called up a friend and suggested we meet after work at 7:30pm, to be sure to get a seat. As expected, the place was fairly empty and we managed to pick a spot next to the window, decorated with Mexican skulls and some peppers and avocados from the kitchen.

luz verde_window_paris

luz verde_exterior window

My first impression was very positive: the stone walls blended well with the wooden tables and the long bar, lit with hanging lights that were sheltered with basket-like shades. It was dimly lit inside, but warm at the same time. I also noted that they were playing Raphael Saadiq’s “The way I see it” album, which made me instantly appreciate the place even more (it’s a great CD, FYI). We took a look at the drink menu and saw a list of various French wines and beers (5-6 Euros). I asked the friendly guy at the bar if they had other drinks available (because I had heard they have cocktails), and he informed me that on Saturday they have guest barmen come in and prepare various cocktails but in the week they only offer a frozen margarita (10 Euros). Wanting to do the whole Mexican thing, we chose the margarita, which was fine but came out of a slushy machine and was nothing special, if I’m being completely honest.

luz verde_bar_paris

luz verde_menu_carte

On to the menu: we decided to share 4 dishes between us (as we are both on a budget), thinking it would be enough and forgetting that in these hip places the portions are always itty bitty! We ordered quesadillas, filled with refried beans and cheese (and that I could have eaten in one bite; 5 Euros for 2), chicken tacos (2 corn flour tortillas filled with spicy chicken, red peppers, corn and onions; 6 Euros),  vegetarian tacos (which were super original, with shredded carrot and cabbage in lime juice and topped with ricotta cheese and peanuts; 5 euros) and finally the ceviche (11 Euros), presented as a colorful and artistic display of thickly sliced bonito fish (a mackerel-like fish apparently, I had to Google it!) with radish, grapefruit, cucumber balls, pomegranate seeds and shredded beetroot. Super delicious!!!! We suddenly wished that we didn’t have to share, but I guess it made us savor each bite even more!

luz verde_chicken_tacos

 

luz verde_vegetarian_tacos

My friend saved the day by noticing a small brown sack on the table that was hidden from my view and that was full of bread. We hungrily ate each slice, wiping up the last bit of vinaigrette from the ceviche and wishing that some sort of fairy grub-mother could come in, wave her magic wand and make more of their tasty dishes appear on our plates. Long story short, we were left wanting more.

luz verde_ceviche

By this time the place was packed with well-dressed people (and others curiously peering in from the outside) and we had managed to rake up a bill of 47 Euros. So we paid the waiter, who happened to be the Australian cousin of one of the owners and was super nice, and left the buzzing restaurant to step outside into the cold Parisian streets.

luz_verde_interior

What I learned was this: if I come here again, which I’d like to (as I would love to try all of their dishes), I would not get the margarita, and instead go for a glass of wine and another order of tacos…maybe the lamb or pork ones…*drools*! I noticed they had a 1.3 kg prime rib on the menu, to share, with potatoes and salad, so I’m sure that this dish would be good too. I’ll know for next time! Overall I enjoyed my evening at Luz Verde and think it’s a great place to meet up with friends for relaxed drinks and some light eats.

Restaurant Details:

24 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris (yes, it’s right next to Buvette!)

+33 (0)1 74 64 29 04

https://www.facebook.com/luzverdeparis

My Rating:

4 tiny but delicious tacos out of 5!