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 Coffee Shops: Café Pimpin

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!cafe-pimpin_paris_interiorThe 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.cafe-pimpin_paris_food-menuWe 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!
cafe-pimpin_paris_avocado-toastcafe-pimpin_paris_truffle-ham-cheddar-toastieAll 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.cafe-pimpin_paris_coffee-and-treatsWe 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.cafe-pimpin_paris_goldfishI 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!cafe-pimpin_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

64 Rue Ramey

75018, Paris

+33 (0)1 46 06 97 25

Rating:

4 goldfish out of 5!

 

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Paris Restaurant Review: Canard & Champagne

The days are slowly getting shorter and colder here in Paris. On the positive side, this gives me the excuse to seek out restaurants serving warm and filling comfort food all over the city (it’s official: bikini body, bye bye)!Canard & Champagne is one of those restaurants, as it mixes deliciously prepared duck with champagne (a pretty awesome combo in my opinion) and is located in a beautiful covered passage (Passage des Panoramas) away from the cold. The exterior of the restaurant is truly gorgeous: its wooden facade carved with intricate designs gives you the impression that and you are in the presence of something from another era and very unique.canardchampagne_paris_exteriorThe decor inside is a mix of classy meets modern meets fun, as one of the walls is covered entirely with a huge black and white still from the movie Le Grand Restaurant, starring Louis de Funès (the much loved French actor). This wall matches perfectly with the geometric patterned tiled floor as well as the cute waiters, dressed in their white shirts and black bow ties, that glide effortlessly from one side of the room to the other as soon as you look in their direction (yes, they are very attentive). canardchampagne_paris_interiorAfter looking at the menu, our group of four all decided to take the 2 course meal with a glass of champagne for 32 Euros. If you want two glasses of bubbly the menu rises to 42 Euros, a little pricey, but as we all know its an expensive beverage (26 Euros without any drinks)! Next you have to select one of the two entrees: duck foie gras or duck terrine. Although I am not a fan of foie gras (*gasp*, I know! I’m a freak of nature here in France), I was pleasantly surprised by its rich and delicate taste and actually enjoyed this French delicacy, spread on top of a piece of crisp toast with a touch of apple chutney. canardchampagne_paris_menuThis light starter was followed by a perfectly cooked magret duck, pink in the middle and incredibly juicy. My knife cut into the tender duck breast like butter! Three sides are offered to accompany your duck: fries, seasonal vegetables or the seasonal purée…and here’s the best part: they are endless! So I started with a sweet potato purée, followed by a bowl of fries and finished off with a side of carrots, cauliflower and zucchini (to be healthy, of course). As the sides are served in rather small bowls, and therefore equally small portions, we had fun calling the waiters over to fetch us another helping throughout dinner! In case you’re wondering, one of my friends tried the confit duck and said that it was equally tasty.canardchampagne_paris_magret-duckUnfortunately, after overdosing on all of the side dishes, we didn’t have any room for dessert but the choices looked pretty tempting (such as profiteroles drizzled in chocolate or a dreamy lemon tart). I suppose I should talk about the champagne we had, which was also very good, and made for the restaurant by JM Séléque. I don’t know much about champagne but it was fruity and refreshing, with just enough bubbles to make me happy! I should also quickly mention the bathrooms (no…I’m not weird) that I found to be rather quirky; their walls were chalkboards covered in chalk-written messages and drawings of ducks. A little more tasteful then the usual words you read scribbled on public bathroom stalls! I left a little drawing of my own, washed my hands, then went back upstairs to join my friends who were paying the bill.canardchampagne_paris_passage-de-panoramasWhat more can I say? This place was a hit! Maybe not the best choice for vegetarians, but if you have friends visiting from out of town then this elegant but relaxed restaurant in Passage des Panoramas (thought to be the oldest covered passage in Paris) is sure to please. They also serve a yummy looking brunch on weekends, and Parisians: they deliver! 😉

Restaurant Details:

57 Passage des Panoramas

75002, Paris

+33 (0)9 81 83 95 69

http://frenchparadox.paris/fr/

Rating:

4 hot ducks out of 5!

 

 


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Fast Food, Fast Review: James Bun

So…the holidays are officially over! I was in Greece (which I will try to write about soon), and I must admit that it has been hard getting back into the rhythm of work and city life after lying on tranquil and gorgeous beaches for 2 weeks. One of the things that got me through these past few weeks at work has been thinking about what I’ll eat for lunch, so I thought I’d share with you a little eatery I recently discovered called James Bun, perfect for a tasty, quick lunch and open 7 days a week!James bun_Paris_interiorWalking into this restaurant, located right by Place de Clichy, you are greeted by the most lovely smell coming out of the kitchen! The cooks are all dressed in brightly colored patterned shirts and you can watch them expertly toss ingredients in large woks from where you are seated. The walls are covered in shelves filled with cups, sauces, and Asian food products, giving you the feeling of being far away from the European continent. James bun_Paris_MenuOn the menu are typical Vietnamese dishes, but with a French touch: pho, bo bun and bahn mi! My friend and I decided to go for one of their bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches that I love, but have not yet tried in Paris), as I wasn’t in the mood for noodles that day. We ordered one chicken (8.50 Euros) and one beef (9.50 Euros) bahn mi, so that we could try a bit of both! We also ordered a James-T each, an iced green tea with lime, ginger and fresh mint (4 Euros).James bun_paris_iced teaSoon we had two tall glasses of iced tea placed on the metal table in front of us, and I immediately fell in love with the floral paper straws! Seriously, how cute are they? The tea was very refreshing and perfectly sweetened, and soon after the sandwiches arrived. The French baguettes were crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, the organic shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers gave a nice crunch, and the beef and chicken were exploding with fragrant flavors and cooked perfectly. I also really appreciated the large bunch of cilantro which I either stuffed into my sandwich or devoured on the spot. For those of you who don’t like cilantro (like my sister), it’s nice that it comes on the side, allowing you to quickly pass it on to someone who loves it (like me)! I should mention that there is also a veggie bahn mi, made with tofu, mushrooms and edamame. They have really thought of everyone when preparing the menu! James bun_paris_chicken bahn miJames bun_paris_beef bahn miAlthough I didn’t get a chance to try their pho or their bo buns this time, I did see a bowl or two on my way out and I can say that the portions are generous and that they look equally delicious. They have special nem rolls too, filled with organic quinoa, edamame, cilantro and “vache qui rit” (a spreadable cream cheese). Definitely need to try some of those next time!James bun_paris_tableJames bun_paris_exteriorJames Bun is open for lunch and dinner and, if that wasn’t enough, they even deliver via http://www.deliveroo.fr. The young and vibrant team is sure to impress you with their energy and good service! So make sure to check out this fun, creative and ecologically friendly restaurant as soon as possible. It is sure to put you and your tummy in a good mood!

Restaurant Details: 

10, bd des Batignolles
Paris, 75017
+33 (0)1 43 87 90 13
Rating:
4.5 bunches of cilantro out of 5!


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Paris Brunch Spots: Hardware Société

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). hardware society_paris_brunchI 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. hardware society_paris_interiorBack 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.hardware society_paris_menuhardware society_paris_matcha latteBeing 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.hardware society_paris_lobster bennedict hardware society_paris_scallops and eggsAs 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!hardware society_paris_sweet specialSo, 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! hardware society_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

10 Rue Lamarck

75018, Paris

+33 (0)1 42 51 69 03

Rating:

4 cheery Australian accents out of 5


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Paris Restaurant Review: La Cave de L’Os à Moelle

The wet and cloudy weather is back in Paris, making me long for some tasty and warm home cooking. As I unfortunately do not have a nice French family to cook for me, I have had to look for other alternatives and La Cave de L’Os à Moelle is definitely a winner. Located in the middle of nowhere (or to be more exact, in the South of Paris by Métro station Balard!) and therefore undiscovered by most Parisians and tourists, this cozy wine bar/restaurant gives you a taste of simple French country cooking in a welcoming hideaway. The dining experience offered here is very unique, and when I was first introduced to the place with friends over four years ago I was pretty blown away. It consists of an all you can eat buffet of entrées, main courses and desserts for only 25 euros! Have I got your attention yet?cave de los a moelle_paris_tableThe brick walled room is small with only a few large wooden tables at the back and walls of crockery and bottles of wine proudly displayed for all to admire. The table is set when you arrive and already covered with various bowls of salads and terrines (or patés) along with crusty loaves of bread. These large dishes can be passed around your table and are often traded between tables, which makes it all the more fun. As soon as I sat down I immediately started loading my plate with a grated carrot and beetroot salad seasoned with a light mustard dressing. I’m not a big fan of patés but I tried a little of the terrine de campagne (country paté made from pork with onions and various herbs) before my other friends grabbed it away from me.cave de los a moelle_paris_ovenNext we moved on to the old fashioned stove top at the very back of the room where casseroles and cast iron pots filled with tasty dishes are kept warm. The menu changes every night but this time included a shepherd’s pie made with tender pork, a vegetable pot-au-feu (stew), roasted baby potatoes, pork cheeks and tripe! As you can see, they are rather rustic traditional recipes that you don’t often encounter in other Parisian restaurants and, apart from the tripe which I didn’t try (sorry, it’s just not my thing), everything was very nice.cave de los a moelle_paris_dinnerMy favorite part of dinner, however, involves the long dessert bar that literally stretches the entire length of the room. This dessert buffet features many comforting favorites such as creamy rice pudding (took a big scoop of that), homemade apple sauce (yes please), warm apple crumble (love it), various cakes (added a thick slice of chocolate cake to my plate) and île flottante (or floating island, which is basically meringue floating on a sea of custard). There is also what looks like a little chicken cage filled with various French cheeses that you can also add to your plate. At this point, although you start to feel full, the urge to return and get seconds is just too strong. Your mind says no but your tummy says yes…or atleast that’s how it went for me!cave de los a moelle_paris_apple crumblecave de los a moelle_paris_dessert plateSo if you want to gather around a rustic table with family and friends and enjoy some simple French cooking then this is your place! It’s definitely not classy fine dining, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and they have an amazing (i.e. huge) selection of wine…something you probably wouldn’t find at your Auntie Hugette’s place! I should mention that just across the street there is L’Os à Moelle, their more elegant restaurant serving fancier dishes (I’ve never been, but I’m sure it is good). For La Cave à l’Os à Moelle, I suggest making a reservation, especially for large groups, as once you are settled you can spend the entire evening there with whoever you may call family.

cave de los a moelle_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

181 rue Lourmel

75015 PARIS

+33 (0)1 45 57 28 28

http://osamoelle-restaurant.com/index.php

Rating:

4 huge terrines out of 5


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Fast food, Fast Review: SAaM

Although I have a cold that won’t go away, I am currently in good spirits as my friend S from Canada is visiting me in Paris this week! Both of us share a love for good food, so when we randomly stumbled upon SAaM, a little Korean eatery near Canal Saint-Martin, we were more than thankful for our discovery!saam_Paris_our lunchWe were actually on our way to a craft fair in the area when S suddenly stopped and said, “Hey, Korean food!”, as we passed the small wooden exterior of SAaM. It wasn’t yet open so we couldn’t really see inside but we studied the menu, which consisted of Gua baos (or steamed Taiwanese buns) filled with Korean ingredients, and decided that this was where we were going to come back for lunch!saam_paris_interiorWe returned at around 1 pm and the place was packed, but we were seated in about 15 minutes, and by that time already knew what we were going to order. Inside, the place was super cute with a real mix and match decor that included an unfinished blank wall with a strip of pretty ceramic tiles in the middle, a pastel colored geometric design on the other wall, lots of dangling paper, bamboo and glass lamps as well as funky mirrors and plants. Adorable!saam_paris_kitchenWe ordered the lunch special of two buns and salad for 12 Euros (14,50 in the evenings and weekends) and I added a cup of jasmine green tea, to soothe my cough. From our seats we could admire the efficiency and energy of the Korean chefs in the open kitchen, silently preparing the buns with care in a sort of assembly line. The excitement for our meal only escalated as plates of food exited from the bustling kitchen.Saam_paris_carteOnce the colorful dishes had arrived and we had taken the necessary amount of food pics (I was not the only one at the table with my camera out!), we grabbed our chopsticks and dug in! I had chosen the pork belly and Dak (fried chicken) buns, while S had the Dak and the Boulkogi (marinated Black Angus beef) buns. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the accompaniments were more than just a salad; they consisted of pickled carrots and daikon, an arugula salad with a soya sauce-type dressing, two deep fried gyozas (not sure if there’s a Korean name for them, but I didn’t ask) and some seasoned, crispy potatoes. Saam_paris_gyozaThen we took a bite of our Dak buns: the little steamed buns were packed with a  nice piece of ginger breaded deep fried chicken, kochujang sauce, wild sesame, peanuts, apple slaw and pickled white radishes. The combination of flavors was amazingly good! My pork belly bun was next and it did not disappoint either as the tender and fatty pork came with sisho sauce, salted plum, spicy cucumbers, pickled red onions and was garnished with cilantro. They were finger-licking good (literally!! get the napkins ready and beware of the sauce that drips at the end)! saam_paris_bao chicken and porkI tried a bite of the fragrantly spiced beef from the Boulkogi bun and can confirm that the Korean marinade used was out of this world! Both of us found our lunch to be filling enough, but if you’re someone with a huge appetite you can always add another bun to your meal, or one of their accompaniments (such as the kimchi balls for 7 Euros, that looked super good) or desserts (like yuzu cheesecake, 5 Euros). saam_paris_bao chicken and beefSo, I think I have fully conveyed the fact that I loved my lunch at SAaM! They have very friendly service and the most tasty bao bun sandwiches. S and I have already decided to go back this week to try the fish and tofu buns before she leaves! That’s one huge stamp of approval from two Canadians!

Restaurant Details:

61 Rue de Lancry

75010, Paris

+33 (0)9 83 50 84 94

My rating:

5 kimchi balls out of 5!


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Paris Restaurant Review: Le Ruisseau

Although I live close by, I had not heard about the burger joint, Le Ruisseau, until I saw that it had been voted as Timeout’s best café/restaurant in the 18th arrondissement. At first I was embarrassed by the fact that I did not know of its existence, but then I quickly realized that I can’t know every restaurant in Paris and decided to get there as quickly as possible. My expectations were pretty high and I was worried that I would be disappointed, but I am happy to report that I, like many others, am now a huge fan of the place!
Le Ruisseau_Paris_burger and friesI convinced the bf to eat lunch with me on Sunday, knowing that it would probably be packed with the brunch crowd. Luckily, there were two spots at the bar that had just opened up and we took them without hesitation, as the wait for an actual table was 50 minutes! Settled on our bar stools we immediately started looking at the menu.Le Ruisseau_Paris_Burger menuThey had a long list of mouthwatering burgers to choose from ranging from 12-14 euros each. I chose the cheddar burger (with additional bacon, of course) and he chose the Tom burger (with delicious Tomme cheese). I also added a glass of their homemade iced tea and the waitress was sweet enough to point out that I should go with their brunch burger special (17 Euros), as for the same price it included an extra hot drink!Le Ruisseau_Paris_DrinksSatisfied with our choices, we took a look around and soon noted how loud and crowded the place was, but this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The grinding of the coffee machine and sound of ice cubes rattling in a cocktail shaker blended with the soft hip-hop music playing overhead and the overall liveliness of Le Ruisseau. My iced tea arrived: it was a perfectly sweetened and very refreshing mint tea. Soon after came our plates of burgers served with a side salad and a large bowl of homemade fries to share.Le Ruisseau_Paris_interior It didn’t take me long to fall in love with my burger. The bread was soft and fluffy (baked on-site), the meat was tender and juicy, the cheese was gooey and warm and the pickles, fried onions, iceberg lettuce and tangy sauce all came together perfectly in every bite. I looked over at his burger that had Tomme cheese oozing out the side and the little piece I tasted was out of this world! I should also mention that their fries are equally good (they come with a thousand island type dipping sauce with a hint of dill) and the side salad was tossed in a tasty vinaigrette.Le Ruisseau_Paris_Cheddar burgerLe Ruisseau_Paris_Tom burgerWhile eating, we noticed one of the waiters preparing several desserts (cheesecake and tiramisu) and think that I will have to give them a try next time! There was still line up of people waiting to be seated when we left, only confirming the fact that this place has quite the following. Although it may take a while to be seated when it’s busy, I know that I will definitely be back soon! The burgers are worth it!Le Ruisseau_Paris_dessertsLe Ruisseau_Paris_exteriorContact Details:
65, rue du Ruisseau

75018, Paris

+33(0)142 23 31 23

Rating: 

5 bottles of American mustard out of 5!