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: 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!

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Paris Restaurant Review: Bibimbap

I know it’s a little (a lot!) late but Happy New Year from Paris! 🙂 With a new year comes new experiences and my first one this year has been trying a bibimbap at a Korean restaurant aptly named Bibimbap! It is located near Saint-Marcel metro station, which is not the greatest of areas when it comes to restaurants, but a friend of mine living in the area recommended it, and I was happy he did. I have been to Korean barbecue many times before in Vancouver, but the bimimbap had somehow escaped my foodie radar until now.Bibimbap_Paris_interiorFrom the outside I have to admit that the restaurant doesn’t look like anything special (and inside is no different with generic jazz music playing overhead) but what they may lack in decor they make up for in their cuisine. We sat down by the entrance at a table with a little doorbell button on it that you can push to get the waiter’s attention (FYI: it was very hard for me to resist pushing it)! Right away I saw pictures of their specialties posted up in the windows and the waiter brought us the menus with similar photos and descriptions of the tasty looking dishes.Bibimbap_Paris_Menu_CarteFor those of you who don’t know, a bibimbap is a Korean dish consisting of rice, vegetables (cooked in sesame oil and garlic) and meat/egg (if desired) served in a scorching hot stone pot (called a dolsot). As I browsed the list of possible choices I was tempted by all of them, but finally settled on the sensible option called équilibre (“balanced” in English) for 12,80 Euros.bibimbap paris_accompanimentsOnce we had ordered the waiter brought over the accompaniments that consisted of a tray of candied peanuts, lotus root and cucumber and a cold cucumber soup, as well as two bottles of Korean hot sauce (gochujang) and soy sauce (ganjang).bibimbap_Paris_equilibreMy dish came out piping hot with the mildly seasoned carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, cucumber and spinach spread out on top of the rice like flower petals and a fried egg placed carefully in the center. I could hear the rice sizzling underneath and immediately started mixing all my ingredients together, adding a bit of both sauces. The egg, that was only partly cooked, was quickly fried due to the heat of the dish while the bottom layer of rice stuck to the the bowl had a slight crispiness which I enjoyed. With the sauces added I found in to be quite tasty, however I tried my bf’s vitalité (“vitality” in English) bibimbab (14,80 Euros) and would definitely have that next time as the spicy pork added even more flavor to the meal.bibimbap paris_pork bibimbap 2We left feeling full but good about what we had eaten. There are many other dishes on their menu but bibimbaps are delicious and great for anyone looking for a healthy, satisfying and visually appealing meal that won’t interfere with your post-holiday detox plans. Plus, they are open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner! Bibimbap_Paris_exteriorContact Details:
32 Boulevard Hôpital

75005, Paris
+(33) 01 43 31 27 42

Rating: 

4 plates of kimchi out of 5!

 


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Fast Food, Fast Review: Ouh là là – Cantine St. Martin

I’m a big fan of fusion cooking, if it’s done right, so when I heard about Ouh là là-Cantine St. Martin and their French style tacos I was immediately intrigued. I mean I love tacos and I love French food…and I love saying Ouh là là, so it was really a no brainer for me! Located near Strasbourg Saint-Denis métro station in a quiet pedestrian street, this eatery is easy to spot thanks to its bright blue awning and cheery yellow chairs that really add some warmth to an otherwise cold autumn day.ouhlala_paris_exteriorInside, the welcome was equally sunny with one of the owners quickly finding us a seat and telling us our dining options with a smile. The decor is simple with a stone wall facing a geometric printed wall behind the food counter. It is completed by wooden tables and modern light fixtures that dangle playfully at different lengths around the room. The tacos served here are not at all Mexican, instead the flour tortillas are filled with a choice of homemade cold or hot concoctions, using quality ingredients, that change every week. Their special of 3 tacos for 10 Euros is great for a light dinner, or you have the option of adding a fourth taco for 2,50 Euros. They also offer a side of salad or roasted potatoes (2,50 Euros), if you’re really hungry.ouhlala_paris_menuWe took a while to decide because to be honest, all of the options sounded delicious. We watched as the other owner sliced a large Aveyron (a region in France) sausage from behind the counter and plunged her spoon into a pot of creamy polenta while preparing the tacos with care. I could tell that she took pride in the food she served.ouhlala_paris_chefAfter a long debate, the 3 tacos I opted for were: 1) pastrami, arugula, pickles and honey mustard sauce; 2) fresh goat cheese marinated in thyme and lemon with some mixed greens; and  3) Aveyron sausage with caramelized shallots. All of them were super tasty and very unique with their flavor combinations. I also had a side of roasted potatoes, seasoned with rosemary, which were really good too. They equally had a nice selection of French wines and other interesting drinks, which is always a good thing. I’ve taken a look at their Facebook page, where they post their weekly menu, and I am pretty impressed with what they have come up with to put in their tacos so far; with some eclectic examples including steak tartare, smoked duck breast with Fourme d’Ambert cheese and seabream ceviche. Oh! And did I mention that they have dessert tacos filled with such yumminess as banana and Nutella? ouhlala_paris_tacos2ouhlala_paris_potatoesWhile the restaurant is pretty and stylish, I found the chairs to be a little uncomfortable and I think that next time I would go for a take-out. The seating area is rather small and fills up quickly. You can also order some of their tacos through deliveroo.fr, if you’re not in the mood to go get them yourself (while we were eating, two delivery guys dropped by and picked up orders from the counter). So, what I learned that night was that you can really put anything in a tortilla, because why not! I think I am even going to be inspired to make some of my own at home…maybe with some Canadian ingredients! Of course I am a huge fan of authentic Mexican cooking, but these multicultural creations at Ouh là là-Cantine St. Martin are a great example of what good can come from thinking outside of the box and blending various cuisines from around the world. ouhlala_paris_interiorRestaurant Details:

94 Rue René Boulanger

75010 Paris

+33 (0)1 42 38 27 42

http://www.ouhlalaparis.fr/

Rating:

4 uniquely filled tortillas out of 5

 


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Fast food, Fast Review: Miznon

I’ve wanted to write a review of Miznon for a while now but it wasn’t until this weekend, with Paris being all cold and rainy, that I started craving one of their pitas and felt the urge to look through my photos, drool a bit and eventually type out this blog post.Miznon_Paris_boeuf bougignon pitaMiznon is located in the Marais, right off Rue des Rosiers, where you will find the very popular falafel shops. Miznon can be considered as a fusion between street food and fine dining as the dishes they stuff into their pitas are beyond delicious, and I am more than happy to pay a little more for a taste like no other in Paris. This is actually the second location of Miznon (the first being in Tel-Aviv), which was brought over to France by the amazing chef Eyal Shani.Miznon_Paris_interiorThe restaurant itself is unassuming and rustic with metal and wooden tables and unfinished stone walls. The decor is equally simple, consisting of fresh veggies that are used as necessary, with piles of zucchinis along one counter and cauliflower, tomatoes and artichokes placed on the windowsills. The chefs are behind the counter and prepare everything in front of your eyes, making it a real interactive experience. They are very friendly and bustle about quickly as they fill pitas with a beautiful medley of meat, veggies, sauces, herbs and spices.Miznon_Paris_veggiesMiznon_Paris_interior 2The menu is scribbled in colorful chalk, in a rather chaotic manner, on the blackboard behind the counter and features some French classics with a Mediterranean touch. I was with two friends from out of town and we chose the lamb kebab and the boeuf bourgignon pitas (11, 50 Euros each). The lamb kebab balls were complemented by onions, parsley and veggies; a light and fragrant delight. The flavorful boeuf bourgignon, complete with chunks of tender beef and carrots was loaded into the soft but sturdy pita and was rich and meaty.Miznon_Paris_pitasMy favorite, however, is the stuffed cabbage pita (of course I always have to like the most expensive menu item at 12 Euros): cabbage leaves filled with ground lamb and spices, cooked with vine-ripened tomatoes and then piled into their pita with other herbs and a creamy white sauce (I’m guessing a homemade mayonnaise). SO incredibly delicious! They have a variety of other pitas available ranging from 6-12 Euros each, which include several vegetarian choices (like ratatouille). Don’t forget to also try one of their roasted cauliflower heads (6,50 Euros), that are grilled with olive oil and coarse grain salt. Ours came out looking a little burnt but still tasted really good. Everything here is simple, fresh and natural and just tastes out of this world!Miznon_Paris_stuffed cabbage pitaMiznon_Paris_CauliflowerSo if you want to try some mouthwatering pitas in a crowded and extremely lively eatery then I highly recommend checking out Miznon. Keep in mind that they are open Sunday and Monday (but closed Saturday and Friday night) and that there is extra seating at the back of the restaurant if it becomes too crowded in the front (where all of the action takes place). Alternatively, you can take a pita to go and sit in one of the nearby parks or squares, like Place des Vosges. Just be warned: these pitas are addictive!  miznon_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

22 Rue des Ecouffes

75004 Paris

+33 (0)1 42 74 83 58

Rating:

5 gourmet pitas out of 5


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Restaurant Review: Come a Casa

Yesterday was a beautiful and sunny day in Paris, but after the sun had set I had the chance (or the desire) to stay in and write about Come a Casa, a cute little Italian restaurant in Paris that whisks you away to the warmth of Tuscany…if only for a few hours! My friend C raved about this place last summer, so since then I have been dying to give it a try!

come a casa_paris_tableLocated in a quiet street in the 11th arrondissement near Voltaire métro station, you are immediately drawn to this restaurant by the words Come a Casa (which, if I’m not mistaken translates to “like at home”) written in cursive on a bright green facade.

come a casa_paris_exteriorInside, you will find a very small and quaint room (reservations are recommended as seating is limited to about 20 people or so) that reminds you of a rustic farmhouse with an exposed stone wall, a pale green barn-style door concealing the bathroom, a large and well-stocked wine rack made from wooden crates and a tiny kitchen, clearly visible behind a counter cluttered with colorful vintage earthenware plates. Your Italian hosts for the evening are Flavia and Gianluca and together they have really created a cozy environment where you can sit back and enjoy some homemade Italian cuisine.

come a casa_paris_interior

come a casa_paris_kitchenWe were shown to our seats at a small table against the wall and immediately started browsing through the short but sweet menu. In regards to food, the choices are simple with only 3 main courses offered each day: an eggplant gratin, lasagna of the day, and a daily special. There is, of course, a more than adequate selection of appetizers, desserts and drinks (lots of great Italian wine!) to accompany your main course.

come a casa_paris_menuWe ordered a bottle of Italian red wine (I can’t remember what it was, as I have a terrible memory…especially after drinking, but it was around 30 Euros) recommended by Gianluca and to start, a plate of Chianti marinated beef carpaccio on a bed of arugula and grilled vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms and extremely juicy cherry tomatoes!) topped with shavings of Parmesan (16 Euros). The fine slithers of beef were divine and mixed perfectly with the vegetables that glistened with olive oil.

come a casa_paris_saladThen came our main dishes: porcini mushroom and provolone cheese lasagna (15 Euros) and the special of the day, which was ricotta, radish and asparagus ravioli combined with chopped asparagus and bresaola and mixed with a radish infused olive oil (16 Euros). My lasagna was delicious and not at all heavy like traditional meat lasagnas as it was filled instead with mushrooms, carrots and zucchini and topped with fresh basil. I tried a bite of ravioli which had a definite kick from the radishes, something that I had never tasted in a pasta dish before and found to be very refreshing. Both meals were extremely satisfying due to the expertly combined ingredients and the perfect portion sizes. We sat there chatting after our meal, trying not to be distracted by our neighbors, who we were almost brushing shoulders with (as I mentioned before, there’s not much space, but you soon adjust to this familial feel), as jazz music played lightly over the hushed conversations.

come a casa_paris_lasagna

come a casa_paris_ravioliGianluca returned to ask us if we wanted dessert and of course the answer was YES, as my friend C had said the tiramisu (8 Euros) was beyond awesome! I now have a confession to make: I’ve actually been here twice: the first time with my friend V and the second with the bf, which is why I didn’t specify at the beginning of this post. I know…I’m sneaky like that! Anyways, the first time I came with V we ordered a tiramisu and we were kind of disappointed as the mascarpone cream was too light and frothy and reminded me of egg whites. This time, however, it was how it should be: velvety, rich mascarpone cream mixed with coffee and alcohol soaked lady fingers and covered with a blanket of cocoa powder. I was happy to be able to report to V the next day that it was terrific the second time around, and we agreed that everyone has the right to an off-night!

come a casa_paris_tiramisu

Upon leaving I was already thinking about what I’d like to order next time, which is a positive sign, IMHO. So next time you’re in the mood for some creative and delectable Italian food, drop by Come a Casa, where there’s always something good cooking in this humble but homey kitchen!

come a casa_paris_cover menu

Restaurant Details:

7 Rue Pache, 75011 Paris

+33 (0)1 77 15 08 19

http://comeacasa7.tumblr.com/

My Rating:

4 glasses of Chianti out of 5


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Fast Food, Fast Review: Bob’s Bake Shop

I had the immense pleasure of taking a day off work last Tuesday, which gave me the chance to wander around Paris on a weekday and check out a place I have wanted to try for a while now: Bob’s Bake Shop!

bobs bake shop_paris_lunch

This American eatery is located in the new, eco-friendly Halle Pajol (which totally deserves  its own blog post…I will eventually get around to it), giving it a very unique and natural feel. It has a definite North American diner look and the staff speak English and are all casually dressed in loose sweatshirts and beanies, reminding me of coffee shop staff in Vancouver or Seattle.

bobs bake shop_paris_coffee

As soon as I walked inside, the smell of freshly ground coffee (from La Brûlerie de Belleville) drifted into my nostrils while my eyes were drawn to the glass display cases full of good old-fashioned pies, cheesecakes and brownies. I was hungry and craving a bagel so I looked up at the wide choice of homemade bagels and the list of possible ingredients to fill them with.

bobs bake shop_paris_pies and cakes

bobs bake shop_paris_sandwich menu

I was tempted by the Kalamata olive, feta, and grilled vegetable filling (7 Euros), because feta is the best thing ever!!!, but instead chose a classic smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel (8 Euros) from the list of delicious lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian choices. I equally asked for a fresh mint infused lemonade (3,50 Euros) and a matcha and chocolate chunk cookie (2 Euros) from the pile that were strategically placed on a plate along the counter by the till (it is not possible to resist taking one). Then I sat down by the window at a little table whose color matched my mint lemonade and waited for my bagel to be brought over.

bobs bake shop_paris_interior

From my cozy corner I looked around as soft folk/pop songs like Angus and Julia Stone “Big Jet Plane” played over the noises of milk frothing and ceramic cups clinking from behind the counter. They have an impressive list of other lunch choices available such as salads, soups, tartines, fresh fruit juices and even chia pudding! I glanced outside at the rain and imagined how nice it will be in summer to come here and eat in the sun on one of their large wooden picnic tables. My random musings were interrupted by the arrival of my sesame seed bagel. I took a bite and Wow! It was seriously delicious and filled with a generous amount of cream cheese, smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes and pickled red onions. I hadn’t had a bagel sandwich like this in a long time and tried to eat it as elegantly as possible, but I ended up with cream cheese all over my cheeks and fingers (hopefully no one was watching me eat, as I’m sure it must have looked like something similar to the porridge scene in Beauty and the Beast)!

bobs bake shop_paris_bagel

After sipping some refreshing lemonade I moved on to the green colored cookie and was very surprised by how light and crumbly it was, with large chunks of chocolate throughout and a mild taste of matcha. I was pretty full at this point but considered ordering a slice of pecan pie (4 Euros) before leaving. I hesitated for a moment and finally decided I would save that delight for next time…because I’ll definitely be coming back!

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With a great selection of high quality North American baked goods, I definitely recommend Bob’s Bake Shop. It is bound to please health freaks, or people like me who once in a while feel bad about all of the baguette and fromage they constantly eat and want something a little more wholesome/less fattening! So make your way up to Marx Dormoy métro station in the 18th arrondissement and check out this bake shop as well as Halle Pajol, which has really rejuvenated this often overlooked neighborhood. I think I will be dropping by fairly often for my bagel fix from now on!

bobs bake shop_paris_exterior2

Restaurant Details:

12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018 Paris

+33 (0)9 84 46 25 26

http://www.bobsjuicebar.com/bake-shop.html

My Rating:

5 irresistible cookies out of 5!

FYI: For info on Marc Grossman’s two other health food establishments in Paris, Bob’s Juice Bar or Bob’s Kitchen, please see: http://www.bobsjuicebar.com

 

 


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Fast Food, Fast Review: Persillé

As the French are real carnivores, there is no shortage of butcher shops in Paris, but up until now I have never come across one that also doubles as a casual dining/fast food joint! That is exactly what the two young men behind Persillé – Maison de Viande (translation: House of Meat) decided to do, and they do it well. I passed by this place a week ago on my way to the MK2 Bibliothèque movie theatre with my bf (where I go fairly often and am always saddened by the lack of places to eat nearby) and was immediately intrigued by their innovative concept.

persillé_paris_exterior

At first glance it looks like a bright and modern butcher shop, with two large, well-stocked refrigerators (filled with various types of meat and poultry), but once you see the wooden tables and the menu posted on the wall behind the white tiled counter, you realize that there is more to this place than meets the eye. You are, of course, more than welcome to buy a piece of Charolais beef or some pork from Auvergne to take home and prepare as you like, but at Persillé there is also the option of having that same meat prepared for you with care by their chef, and served with a choice of sauces and sides. We decided to try one of their burgers, made from their freshly ground beef and cooked in their kitchen. We sat down at one of the tables by the window with a line full of cured sausages hanging above us.

persillé_paris_interior

persillé_paris_menu_carte

The burgers came served on cute little metal trays with a generous pile of soft fries and their homemade (and totally delicious) tomato mayo spiced sauce. I chose the Persillé burger: a thick and tasty medium rare burger in a lightly toasted bun with a creamy parsley sauce, a slice of Emmental cheese and some salad greens. Super yum! My bf had the butcher burger with smoked pork belly, aged cheddar, lettuce, and a tomato and onion sauce. I managed to try one bite before he devoured it, and found it just as good as mine! The burger, fries and a drink specials range from 14-15 Euros each…not bad! They even have bottles (or glasses) of wine, which we ordered and enjoyed with a chocolate mousse (they have a selection of dreamy desserts for 2.70-3.50 Euros each).

persillé_paris_persillé burger

persillé_paris_butcher burger

persillé_paris_dessert

I took a quick tour of the place before leaving, past a deer head mounted on the wall and down the stairs, to find an additional seating area as well as the kitchen, concealed behind plastic strip curtains (the kind you would find when entering a walk-in freezer). For those of you more interested in their product for sale, they have a great selection of pâtés, sausages, salami, and hams, as well as cuts of chicken, lamb, pork and beef. For me though, it’s all about their burgers!

persillé_paris_meats

So if you’re in the area and need to grab something quick to eat that doesn’t feel like fast food, then I would definitely recommend Persillé: a butcher shop unlike the rest! The guys are friendly and their burgers are pretty satisfying.

Oh! And in case you’re wondering what movie I saw, it was Foxcatcher, which I recommend by the way! Steve Carrell was completely transformed in his role as the creepy John du Pont and all three main actors gave really powerful performances! Check it out!

Restaurant Details:

66 Rue du Chevaleret, 75013 Paris

+33 (0)1 45 82 98 96

http://www.persille.fr/

 My Rating:

4 tasty terrines out of 5