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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The Best Gift for Foodies in Paris: Le Food Trip Food Passport

I’ll admit it: I’m a total foodie! Discovering new restaurants in Paris is a thrill for me, I spend hours scrolling through Instagram looking at pictures of food and noting down the restaurants I must try next, I love avocado toast and bubble tea (this is purely FYI), I know that one of the reasons I have no savings is that I eat out far too often, when I travel to a new destination I strive to research in advance the local restaurant scene so that I don’t waste time in a tourist trap (nothing upsets me more), and I am extremely happy when eating an amazing meal (preferably with friends who are equally pleased).

I was therefore very excited when I received a Food Trip Food Passport from my co-workers as one of my goodbye gifts last month. Le Food Trip Food Passport is an amazing idea that involves discovering the city via its local food scene. It is basically a passport with 6-12 stickers and a map that pinpoints the various foodie locations (25 choices) to visit around the city. Each location is a food shop, bakery, wine bar or other food-related establishment. You choose where to go and, in exchange for one of your stickers, you receive a sample of one of their specialties. Translation: FREE FOOD SAMPLES!!!!lefoodtrip_foodpassportWhile I could rave about all the cool places I visited forever, here is a quick summary of all the yummy food I got to try:

A delicious « citronnade » éclair from L’Atelier de l’éclair: It was hard to choose an éclair from the pastry rainbow in their display case but I definitely made the right choice. The lemon and lime cream inside the choux pastry tasted like key lime pie filling (which I looooove) and it was topped with a sweet lemon glaze, lime zest, and the cutest little meringues.  All of their éclairs (4, 90 Euros each) are works of art and I will definitely be back to try others.latelier de leclair_paris_foodtripBeaufort cheese tasting at La COOP: The Beaufort cooperative has several stores in France but only one location in Paris. This store sells various products from the Savoy region but specializes in Beaufort, the cheese made from the unpasteurized milk of cows that graze in the French Alps. Sound delicious? Well it is, and I got to try two types of this popular cheese: Beaufort d’été (summer), with a lighter more floral taste, and Beaufort d’hiver (winter), that was slightly stronger than the summer version. We sat down at one of their tables and ordered a glass of Chablis to wash down the generous serving of cheese that was offered by the lovely ladies of this shop.la coop_paris_foodtripCured meat from A la main: This food store specializes in products from Corsica! One of the owners carefully sliced me some Corsican sausage made from Corsican black pig meat and it was delicious, with a slight peppery taste and a little stronger than a regular saucisson. I looked around their boutique and ended up buying a jar of Corsican beefsteak tomato ketchup: it tastes like a mix between regular ketchup and a tomato chutney. I’m sure that all of their products are amazing!a la main_paris_foodtripA slice of Comté cheese on toast from L’affineur Affiné: This cheese shop is different from most as it has a seating area at the back which offers customers the chance to sit down and enjoy a selection of their cheeses (and yes, they have a nice wine list too) in addition to other freshly prepared dishes. The owners are very knowledgeable and can explain the difference between a Comté and a Beaufort. They even offer a cheese-filled brunch on Sundays. This place is truly a cheese lover’s paradise!laffineur affine_paris_foodtripA glass of white wine from Les Petits Domaines: It wouldn’t be a Parisian food tour without a glass of wine! This little cave à vin (wine store) has a great selection of French wines (for all budgets). Isabelle, the owner, who just celebrated Les Petits Domaine’s third anniversary knows all about the wines in her boutique as she carefully selects wines from small winegrowers and visits vineyards regularly in order to find only the best. I tried a nice glass of white wine from Provence that was dry (I can’t stand sweet wines) but with a lovely floral undertone. This is a great place to pick up a bottle for a picnic at Champs de Mars (literally only 200 meters away) or to participate in a wine tasting session (offered on Saturdays).les petits domaines_paris_foodtripA filled waffle from Méert: So this was one of the stops that I was already familiar with, but it’s hard not to have heard of this famous chocolate, sweets and pastry house known for its waffles. The beginnings of Méert go back to 1677 in Lille but their thin waffles, filled with a generous amount of vanilla cream frosting are still famous today. A little too sweet for my liking but I brought my boyfriend along, who loves filled waffles, and let him enjoy one of his favorite treats. meert_paris_foodtrip.jpgChocolate sampling at Ara chocolat: One of the most interesting stops on my journey was this tiny chocolate shop that sells authentic organic chocolate. The owners are very knowledgeable (I was given a detailed explanation of the entire chocolate making process) and they make their chocolate bars on the premises using cocoa beans from various places such as Costa-Rica, Peru and Belize. You can smell the chocolate as soon as you walk through the door and it was pretty fun getting to try the various chocolates, all of which had distinct flavors. ara chocolat_paris_foodtripThree samples of iced tea from Kodama. I love tea (I have to say I drink much more tea than I do coffee) so this little tea shop definitely won me over. The two owners create their own mixtures of teas with various fruits and spices and as it was a hot day I was offered three samples of iced teas. My favorite was “poids plume”, an organic mix of Sencha green tea, basil and citrus fruits. No sugar is added and no sugar is needed. Their iced teas are perfectly balanced and so incredibly refreshing on a hot day.kodoma_paris_foodtrip3 Mini cookies from Jean Hwang Carrant: Jean is an American expat who started her cookie shop when she couldn’t find any good cookies in Paris. Her cookies are delicious and very creative, with flavors including matcha with white chocolate, black sesame, and nutella. I have to say that she is also one of the friendliest people that I met on the food tour and she was kind enough to give me 5 mini cookies (thank you Jean :)) instead of 3! jean hwang carrant_paris_foodtripA mojito macaron from Les Artizans: After seeing the usual suspects I opted for the most original macaron on the menu with its lime and mint flavor giving it the taste of a mojito. In addition to their macarons they also have a beautiful selection of French pastries and are equally a bistro serving carefully prepared French dishes. A great place for lunch!artizan_paris_foodtripA little pot of jam from La chambre aux confitures: I chose their raspberry champagne jam after browsing through their huge selection of jams and sampling quite a few. It was very hard to choose as they have all the classics (i.e. strawberry, apricot, and fig) in addition to more creative concoctions such as a mix of banana, rhubarb and passion fruit. While they have several locations in Paris (and in other French cities), their jams, chutneys and honeys are all made in France and therefore make great gifts.la chambre aux confituresA mini chocolate cake from l’Épicerie Fine Rive Gauche: This little specialty food store can be found just off of rue Cler and is packed with various foodie treats such as sardines, patés, mustards… AND fondant baulois: a chocolate fondant cake originally from La Baule (a posh coastal town near Nantes). There was only the gluten-free version left (made with rice flour) but this compact and moist chocolate cake was delightful and a great way to end my food tour!épicerie fine rive gauche_paris_foodtrip.jpg What’s best about the Food Passport (apart from all the free food)? You get to discover some amazing foodie spots in the city while learning some fun foodie trivia (i.e. how the éclair got its name) and meeting the passionate people that sell the delicious food you are eating. Apart from two or three places that I was already familiar with, the rest were great discoveries. I also hope to visit the places that were equally listed in the passport but that I didn’t get to (it’s nothing personal, it was just so hard to pick only 12).

It is, without doubt, the perfect gift for a foodie like myself. It is also a unique way to take a tour of the city. So, if you (or a friend) are thinking of coming to Paris (or Lyon) anytime soon, make sure to order your very own Food Passport!

Happy eating! 🙂

For more information, or to order a Food Trip Food Passport for Paris or Lyon, check out the Food Trip website: https://www.le-food-trip.com/en/

 

 

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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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Restaurant Review: Puce – Bar à Grignoter

There are lots of places to eat in SoPi (South Pigalle neighborhood of Paris), but not all of them have the charm that you will find at Puce – Bar à Grignoter. The word puce is often used as a pet name in French, which roughly translates as “sweetheart” or “honey” in English. It’s therefore a fairly appropriate name for this restaurant, which I can best describe as cute and classy. The benches are covered in pastel colored cushions with striped, floral and polka dot motifs, the food is served on vintage porcelain plates and the sleek bar is adorned with a mix of enchanting lampshades hanging from above.puce_paris_cute tablepuce_paris_interiorI went here with my friend K on a week night as we were looking for a place where we could get a drink and some share plates…neither of us was very hungry (I had eaten a huge chicken kebab for lunch)! We sat down in the cozy room, were greeted by the friendly owner and took a look at the menu. Drinks include a good variety of wines as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a random Japanese beer. As for the food, everything on the menu is incredibly tempting and prices range from 5.50-12 Euros. They are small portions, but they are meant to share, so depending on your appetite (and budget) you can choose as many or as few as you like to go along with a glass of wine, such as a Chardonnay « Patchwork » 2013, Tissot (my choice at 6,5 Euros). puce_food menu_parisWe settled on the chips and guacamole (served in a traditional molcajete), a cheese plate (that I admit was a little small), a lentil and feta salad and a creamy 4 cheese macaroni! The guacamole was amazing and full of fresh cilantro, just how I like it, and the macaroni was oozing with cheese and topped with a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs! While we only had 4 dishes between us, we ended up feeling full, as what we ate was rich and satisfying. At the table next to us I saw a plate of grilled pork ribs go by and later a slice of raspberry cheesecake, so I am convinced that everything they serve here must be really good!puce_paris-chips and guacamolepuce_paris_foodpuce_paris-macaroniNow that I have praised the food, I will mention a few drawbacks. Firstly, they played constant instrumental jazz music…which is not at all something I enjoy, but luckily it was only in the bathroom where I really heard it loudly. I guess it did go with the overall upscale feel of the place and there are many people that actually like this type of music…so I won’t judge. Close by, there was a table of bourgeois women enjoying their evening of discussing their partners and their new handbags, which got me thinking that Puce is mainly a really great place for a girl’s night out. Or a date night. I mean the decor is girly and the portions are small so it should appeal to people wanting to chat and drink while snacking on a light meal. I don’t, however, see a group of hungry guys (or hungry girls) ever choosing this restaurant…unless they’re loaded, in which case I’d be tempted to order the entire menu! Those slight criticisms aside, I have to admit that Puce is delightful, chic and a good choice for those of you who prefer quality over quantity. puce_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

1 Rue Chaptal
75009 Paris

3.5 pretty, floral plates out of 5

 


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Paris wine bars: Comestibles et Marchand de Vins

One of my favorite things to eat in Paris is a good cheese and/or charcuterie plate…along with a glass (or two…or more) of wine! Although you would think that every wine bar or restaurant in Paris would serve only mouthwatering cheeses and mind-blowing wine, this is far from a reality. So, as I want everyone to enjoy this experience as much as I do, here is a review of Comestibles et Marchand de Vins! It’s my go-to address for the best selection of high quality but simple French (for the most part) food products and amazing wine, located near métro Jules Joffrin.Comestibles_Paris_Cheese plateThe bright blue facade is easy to spot as you walk up rue Mont-Cénis (which is the street to take if you want to reach Place de Tertre) as it takes up a prime corner in this lively neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement. In the warmer months people are seated in a long row of blue chairs (complete with blankets for those chilly evenings) or around one of the two large wine barrel tables. The first thing you will notice is their huge wine menu (we’re talking pages and pages of expertly selected red, white, rosé and champagne to choose from) along with a page of tempting snacks to accompany that perfect bottle.Comestibles_Paris_exteriorComestibles_Paris_Wine MenuComestibles_Paris_Food MenuI have been here many times so I’ll describe my latest visit with the bf. We shared a small cheese plate (a selection of 4 cheeses, including Camembert from Normandy and Saint-Nectaire; 8 Euros) a small charcuterie plate (with a variety of dried sausages and paté, including one from the Ardèche region of France; 8 Euros) and a bottle of red wine (Maison Nicolas Perrin, Saint-Joseph 2013). I love how the plates are always garnished with flavorful additions such as a light salad, apricots, figs, olives, tapenades, pickles, jams or other exquisite condiments from their shelves…and they all come with a basket full of fresh bread.Comestibles_Paris_Cheese and charcuterieComestibles_Paris_MiravalYou can honestly taste the care that goes into the selection of every one of their menu items…they pick only the best. Their list of wine and food changes all the time but I am never disappointed. I have previously tried the most delicious truffle Pecorino cheese and paper-thin prosciutto that literally melted in my mouth. I have equally tried Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Miraval Rosé here (yes they make wine now too), for 26 Euros/bottle. They also concoct the most beautiful and luscious tartines that you have just got to try. Glasses of wine start at 4 Euros and a plate of something yummy starts at 8 Euros, so they cater to every budget. Comestibles_Paris_truffle pecorinoComestibles_Paris_prosciuttoIf there is no room to sit outside or inside, which after 8 pm is very likely, you can still browse their stock of numerous treats, where you are sure to find yourself a good Bordeaux, a jar of Edmond Fallot mustard (such as Cassis flavored Dijon mustard), or a can of Belle-iloise sardines to take home. The staff here know exactly what they sell and are happy to give you their recommendations based on your request.Comestibles_Paris_Interior Comestibles et Marchand de Vins is the perfect spot to enjoy an evening out in Paris like a true Parisian (i.e. drinking wine) and try some delightful regional products that will blow your taste buds away!Comestibles_Paris_exterior2 Restaurant Details :

65, rue du Mont Cenis

Paris, 75018

+33 (0)1 73 70 56 28

Rating : 5 plates of truffle pecorino 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