There is an endless list of things that excite me in Paris, with the opening of a new eatery in my neighborhood being high up on that list! It’s been over a month now that I have been passing by Café Pimpin and watching its exterior slowly evolve into the adorable, white tiled facade with minty green awning that it is today. It finally opened last Wednesday so I decided to check it out with a friend on Saturday!The weather was pretty crap this weekend (rainy and cold) so the windows were completely steamed up, preventing onlookers from seeing what was going on inside. As we entered we were greeted by soft music, the sound of a blender, juicer or coffee grinder (I honestly can’t tell the difference), and the buzz of people talking and eating. The space is white and bright with vases of freshly cut flowers, potted plants and cookbooks (including an Ottolenghi) dotted about and an exposed stone wall on one side that adds a nice rustic touch. Owned by two friends, Clémentine and Marie, Café Pimpin is visually appealing with a soft and feminine interior that instantly puts you at ease. It wasn’t long before one of the owners saw us, smiled and pointed to one of the tables against the wall.We took a look at the menu and quickly decided on our game plan. We both ordered the juice of the day (apple, beetroot and various berries; 4.5€) along with an avocado toast (5€) and a toasted cheddar cheese and truffle ham sandwich (6€). The juice arrived first and the combination was tasty and refreshing, with what I think was a hint of ginger. Next came the avocado toast (cream cheese, crushed avocado, cilantro, alfalfa sprouts and black sesame seeds) and the truffle ham and cheddar toastie (think of a luxurious grilled cheese sandwich), served with a side salad. Everything was delicious! All of the action takes place from behind a large counter at the back of the room and as we sat there, clients (and I’m assuming friends) entered to congratulate the ladies with a “bise” before sitting down and placing an order. At times, it became very busy and the staff appeared to be a little stressed, but for an opening Saturday that’s pretty understandable.We still had some room for dessert so we both ordered a coffee (I had a cappuccino; 4€) with a slice of lemon cake and a chocolate chip cookie (that was packed with gooey chunks of chocolate). The coffee is supplied by Parisian based roasters, Café Lomi, and goes perfectly with one of their freshly baked products displayed on the counter. Everything they serve here is made with ingredients that have clearly been chosen with care, which results in a menu of enticing and healthy choices.I really enjoyed my lunch at Café Pimpin and will definitely be back! The food and drinks are reasonably priced, when compared to other trendy coffee shops in Paris, and it’s just so close to my apartment that I won’t be able to stay away for too long. I’m particularly looking forward to sitting outside, when Spring arrives, on their picnic style tables. Oh, and in case you were wondering: Pimpin is the resident goldfish, who you will see happily swimming in his vase on the large wooden table inside. Welcome to the neighborhood Pimpin!
It’s Saturday morning and I am obviously already thinking about one of my favorite weekend activities: brunch! Two weeks ago I had the most amazing brunch at the new and very talked about Hardware Société, so I just have to tell you all about it. Located at the bottom of the steps that lead to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, I can’t think of a nicer place for this Australian café to set have up their second shop in Paris (their first being in Melbourne). I was prepared for a huge wait and lots of tourists, as it was a Saturday in Montmartre, but to my surprise when my friend K and I arrived at about 1pm, we were shown to our seats in only 2 minutes! Score! We walked past a wall covered in a burst of colorful butterflies and were shown to a little table in the slightly elevated seating area at the back of the room. I made a quick stop to the bathroom and was captivated by a little window that offered a whimsical view over the rooftops of Montmartre. Back in my seat I took a look around and admired the stained glass doors attached on a wall and the pretty marble tables. The room was cheerful and full of sunlight and everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I immediately ordered a matcha latté, because it’s rare a find in a Parisian café, then took a look at the mouthwatering list of menu items.Being a huge fan of eggs Benedict and of lobster I chose the lobster Benedict, served on a black sesame seed covered bun with a small salad (18, 50 Euros). K ordered the scallop and langoustine poached eggs on a smoked sourdough bun with light potato salad, leaks and dill (17,50 Euros). Both were delicious and beautifully presented, although I have to admit that the lobster Benedict was a little light on the lobster meat. My matcha latté was equally visually appealing: a graceful swan floating in a radiant yellow cup of creamy matcha green tea, placed on a bright blue saucer.As you are quite close to your neighbours here, it allowed us to drool over the French toast dish that the two girls beside us had ordered. We hesitated for a moment but in the end both agreed that we needed to share the sweet special of the day: French toast with passion fruit curd, whipped cream, raspberries, kiwis, fresh passion fruit and adorned with meringue kisses and a sprinkling of icing sugar. HEAVEN on a plate! I could have eaten the whole thing myself, no problem!So, I think that I have accurately conveyed just how much I enjoyed my brunch here! The waitress that served us had a lovely Australian accent and we honestly felt like we were on holiday, somewhere far away from Paris. I loved the decor, including the wall covered in pretty floral tea cups by the bar, and I loved the overall laid-back, friendly atmosphere. The only down side is that the dishes are a little pricey, but the quality is definitely there. So if you’re a true foodie, then you need to give Hardware Société a try! Why not today? I know I can’t wait to come back for a second visit!