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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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 Cocktail Bars: Sunset

I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again: I love my neighborhood! So when I hear about a new restaurant or bar opening nearby I have got to check it out. Sunset opened last November, but it wasn’t until last week that I finally got a chance to visit this trendy cocktail bar with a friend.sunset_paris_foodFrom the outside, the first thing you see is a long and inviting heated terrace. It was a cold night and by the time that we had arrived it was already invaded by trendy looking clients. We went immediately inside, where we were greeted with a smile from a barman standing behind the glowing bar, followed by one of the very pretty waitresses. When we said we wanted to have a drink and eat something,  she escorted us to the back room. While the front area around the bar is lively and modern, the back room has more of a lounge vibe with comfy armchairs, candlelight, a red carpet and walls painted blue with an unusual pattern (that looks like they went crazy with a chisel and gauged out tons of small holes) that contrast with a yellow geometric pattern on the ceiling. A little busy and not really my style but it definitely grabs your attention.sunset_paris_interiorWe started with a cocktail and I naturally tried the “Red Sunset” (8 Euros), which I found to be quite nice but a little too fruity. The waitress was very friendly and when she heard my non-French accent (I can’t seem to lose it…considering a voice coach!), she immediately started speaking to us in English.sunset_Paris_cocktailsunset_paris_menuWe took a glance at the menu and each dish (6-10 Euros) sounded better than the next. We finally chose the following: roasted pumpkin (with smoked ricotta cheese, sunflower seeds and Parmesan shavings…beyond delicious!), hanger steak (cooked in whisky and served with pureed carrots, béarnaise sauce, herring eggs and sautéed potato cubes…divine!), and a spiced chicken burger (kind of a pulled pork-like texture to the chicken, which was combined with homemade guacamole and a mini side salad…pretty tasty!). The photos I took are not the best due to the dim lighting, but I think they’re enough to get you drooling a little, no?sunset_paris_squash and ricottasunset_paris_beefsunset_paris_chicken burgerOverall, we found that the food was amazing and satisfying, even if the plates were a little small. Then again, at these kind of cocktail/tapas bars you don’t expect huge portions. Intrigued by the dessert menu (and still a little hungry), we ordered a dessert: cheesecake with citrus fruits from the Amalfi coast and a side of limoncello and yuzu flavored shaved ice (6 Euros). A light, creamy and tangy treat.sunset_paris_cheesecakeNext time I go I will try to sit in the front of the bar, as it seemed to have more of a fun and relaxed vibe. I have to admit that the back room felt a little stuffy and posh. Or perhaps it was just the crowd that night, which I found to be a little too pretentious and “bobo”. Overall though, Sunset is a classy addition to the neighborhood and a great place to take a date or business client you want to impress. I’ll definitely be back for the food!sunset_paris_exteriorContact Details:
100 rue Ordener
75018, Paris
+33(0)1 71 28 99 33

Rating: 

3.5 red sunsets 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!


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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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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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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: L’Atelier Saint-Georges

It sometimes seems like a new trendy burger joint opens in Paris every few weeks, and while they all try to put their spin on this popular fast-food favorite, there are few that have managed to turn their burgers into a fine dining experience quite like L’Atelier Saint-Georges.Atelier SG Paris_yam friesFirst off, this place is located in the very hot SoPi neighborhood of Paris; right by Métro Saint-Georges, hence their name. Secondly, when you walk through the door of what was once a neighborhood bakery, you feel like you are walking into a refined bistro. I still remember the scene from Sex and the City (yes, I was a big fan of the series!) when Carrie wore the most gorgeous Oscar de la Renta dress and ended her evening at McDonald’s, incredibly overdressed for the occasion. Well if she had come to L’Atelier Saint-Georges for a burger, she would have blended right in! Glass mirrors cover the walls and beautiful decorative moldings add a touch of French class to the modern room that is filled with polished pale wooden tables and unique light fixtures.Atelier SG Paris_interior 1The burgers themselves are all named after renowned chefs and are gourmet creations that you won’t find anywhere else. The tender French steak is stated to be “haché au couteau à la main”, which means that it is prepared by finely chopping it with a knife, not passed through a meat grinder like most burgers. Some of the creations include The Monsieur which features a hand-cut beef burger topped with Tomme cheese (one of my fave French cheeses), bacon, caramelized onions and romaine lettuce. At the other end of the spectrum is the fancy Monsieur Paul which comes with a slice of seared foie gras on top of the chopped beef patty! They also have 2 chicken burgers and one veggie burger, as well as a choice of salads, so that everyone is happy. Of course, like any other fine French restaurant, L’Atelier Saint-Georges has a list of beer, wine (red, white and rosé) and even Champagne to accompany their classy burgers. They also do take-out, FYI.Atelier SG Paris_menuWe sat down and I chose the Monsieur Gaston (which made me immediately think of Beauty and the Beast!) with sweet potato fries, while my friend tried the burger of the moment named Monsieur Alain with regular French fries. The burgers came out with a huge heap of fries on the side (that were very good in their own right) and that were perfectly presented and super tasty. I bit into the soft brioche-like bun and was met with the creamy taste of Camembert cheese, the crunch of sautéed Granny Smith apples, arugula leaves and pine nuts, and finally the juicy and perfectly cooked chopped beef. My friend really adored her burger too, that was topped with asparagus tips, Parmesan cream, arugula and black olives. The cute little signature stamp on their buns was a nice final touch, proving once again their attention to detail.Atelier SG Paris_burger du momentAtelier SG Paris_cute bunAtelier SG Paris_gastonThe only criticism I can make is that they are rather small burgers (unless you get an “XL” size) and at a price of 12-17 Euros each (12 Euros for a regular, 16 Euros for an “XL”), they are a little pricey…and that doesn’t even include the fries (3-6 Euros)! Then again, you are not here to eat junk food, you are here to enjoy a luxury burger that truly honors French cuisine and that uses high-quality French ingredients. Definitely not for everyone, but a MUST a for all burger lovers! Atelier SG Paris_exteriorRestaurant Details:

6 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris

+33 (0)1 77 16 18 96

Rating:

4 posh burgers out of 5!