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 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 Coffee Shops: La Bossue

My list of food places to visit in Paris is constantly expanding, so with almost 2 weeks off from work for the winter holidays (YAY :)) I had intended to check out a few of them for lunch. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that many restaurants and cafés had also decided to go on holiday (surprise…surprise…) until January. So I was really happy to stumble upon the charming La Bossue last week with my friend G. Located in Montmartre, it is just a few steps past the main tourist track which makes it a great place to enjoy a homemade lunch or a nice baked treat with a cup of coffee.la bossue_paris_tableWalking into this peaceful little tea house and cake shop is a true pleasure, with its large counter full of freshly baked treats displayed for all to see and the most amazing smells wafting through the air. The décor is a little like what you would find at a hip Grandma’s house with vintage wallpaper, mix and match furniture, retro mirrors, hanging potted plants and framed black and white family photos. The kitchen is open so you can see that everything is carefully prepared and baked in a large metal oven by the young and friendly owner.la bossue_paris_kitchen interiorWe sat down and ordered a pot of organic tea (4.50 Euros) at a table facing the cute inner courtyard, adorned with a pretty antique lamp. They offer a great lunch special which includes one of their 2 soups of the day (we both chose the seasonal veggie soup) with a savory baked dish (I chose the spinach and goat cheese pie while G preferred the creamy gratin dauphinois) and a side salad for 9.50 Euros. la bossue_paris_lunch specialla bossue_paris_lunch special 2Their comforting lunch is bursting with healthy vegetables while being incredibly tasty at the same time. Kind of like the type of meal a caring older relative would make for you. You can then be tempted by a large selection of sweet delights, such as a slice of carrot cake (3 Euros) or a delicate raspberry financier (1,40 Euros), to accompany a cappuccino (4,30 Euros) or a killer hot chocolate that comes with a tiny pot of vanilla bean whipped cream (5 Euros). Apparently they also serve a wholesome buffet brunch on the weekend (23,50 Euros), which I am going to have to try soon! la bossue_paris_coffeela bossue_paris_cakesVerdict: La Bossue is a real gem! Enjoy breakfast, lunch or tea time (open from Wednesday to Sunday) in a cozy and welcoming environment. And, as this is my last post of 2015, I want to thank everyone for following my blog this year and I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year! 🙂la bossue_paris_exteriorContact Details:
9 Rue Joseph de Maistre
75018, Paris
+(33) 09 81 72 65 59

Rating:

5 adorable grannies out of 5


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Paris Restaurant Review : La Balançoire

You’re in Montmartre and looking for a place to eat. If you haven’t done your homework before heading out, it is easy to sit yourself in one of the many busy restaurants along the main streets around Abbesses métro station which, I’m going to be honest, can be pretty disappointing. So to inaugurate my blog (*giggles of excitement*), my first post will be a review of La balançoire:  a great option if you’re looking for a restaurant in the 18th arrondissement (my favorite area of Paris FYI) where the food is freshly made and tasty, the service is super friendly and the atmosphere is cozy and playful.

exterior-balancoire-restaurant-paris

I had passed by this place on numerous occasions and finally got to check it out with my boyfriend on a Saturday night. Luckily I had made a reservation as, apart from our table for two, the place was otherwise packed. We sat down and immediately I saw it: a wooden swing attached from the ceiling with two long ropes! I mean I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less from a place called “the swing” (English translation of La balançoire), but I was still surprised. The immature part of me wanted to go over there and try it out, but I decided, or rather forced myself, to resist (although I am totally going to come back with friends next time and reserve that table)!

interior-balancoire-restaurant-paris

The smiling waiter arrived with the menu written on a big chalkboard and proceeded to explain, in detail, the 6 or 7 entrées and main courses offered. I definitely appreciated this and my usual questions (i.e. what does it come with? what exactly is in the sauce? etc.) were answered. I ordered the house cheeseburger (16 Euros) and added bacon (because if adding bacon is an option, I add it…obviously!) and my boyfriend chose the beef tartare (18 Euros). We then played with the forks and spoons that were floating above our napkins, thanks to a hidden magnet in the table, and admired the charming décor around us that included jars of French candies, cookbooks, rows of wine corks, and vintage telephones.

                                                                 floating cutlery-balancoire

Our dishes arrived along with a nice bottle of Bordeaux (24 Euros, but if you’re on a budget you can also just get a glass for under 5 Euros). My burger came served in an English muffin style bun (which I found original) with tomato, lettuce, a slice of cheese and two strips of crispy bacon, along with a side of super yummy fries and some mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette. I tried a taste of the beef tartare, presented nicely with an egg yolk on top, even though I have been scared to try this dish in the past (I’m a little paranoid when it comes to food poisoning)! It was clearly a finely chopped steak rather than the mince beef tartare I usually see, and the taste of Dijon mustard and capers mixed in that little bite I tried was divine. We still had some wine left, so we shared a mousse au chocolat (8 Euros) which was creamy and light and garnished with a few red currants.

burger-balancoire-restaurant-paris

                                                                    beef-tartare-balançoire-retaurant-paris

                                                                    chocolate-mousse-balancoire

When we finally asked for the bill, surprise, surprise: it arrived with a jar full of candies!!! And not just any candies, fraises Tagada (which, in case you don’t know, are those yummy little pink strawberry flavored and sugar coated marshmellowy treats)! We were too excited and started grabbing them by the handful. We paused at one moment wondering if perhaps we were in fact stuffing our faces with decorative candies that had been sitting in a jar for years, but we were reassured (yes…we asked) that they are in fact for us to enjoy and that they refilled the jars regularly. Awesome!!! I need to mention again, for those of you who don’t believe that polite Parisian waiters exist, that the two male servers were beyond friendly, laughed at our lame jokes (without even a hint of an eye roll) and told us that the owners have now opened a second restaurant, not too far away, called La boite aux lettres (which I will be sure to check out soon).

                                                                 candies-balancoire-restaurant-paris

La balançoire is equally open for lunch, featuring a starter+main course or main course+dessert special for 15 Euros or the 3 courses for 18 Euros. With its constantly changing menu made up of carefully prepared French dishes, I will definitely be back.

 

Restaurant details:

La Balançoire

6, rue Aristide Bruant, 75018 Paris, France

+33 1 42 23 70 83

http://www.restaurantlabalancoire.fr/

My Rating: 5 strawberry marshmallows out of 5!