March is roaring into Paris like a lion: full of fierce happenings throughout the month, including Paris Fashion Week. There seems to be something for everyone, from fashionistas to antique shoppers to art lovers and music aficianados. (more…)
Eric Fraudeau should be Paris’ ambassador to the world. Not only does he immediately dispel any notion that the French are standoffish, but he also has a passion for the French capital that is quite contagious. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of French cuisine, which shouldn’t come as any surprise given his 20 years of experience as a chef in the restaurant and hotel industry. Eric has worked around the world — Canada, Mexico, the U.S., and France — rubbing aprons with the likes of Robuchon and Ducasse.
After realizing he wanted to share his love for creating savory cuisine, Eric opened up Cook’n With Class, an authentic French cooking school located in the heart of a real Paris neighborhood. The gleaming, beautifully-designed facility in Montmartre offers state-of-the-art teaching kitchens, where students from around the world learn how to create everything from breads to sweets to full-course meals. I had the pleasure of taking one such class, and all I can say is that it was one of the most delicious experiences of my life.
Eric has taken the time to share some of his favorite places in and around Paris … but, fair warning: some may make your mouth water.
I really like the 12th when you are close to the 11th. You know, Aligre, Trousseau, Ledru Rollin, Paul Bert… I love the feeling when I walk in the streets of this area. It is like a village. Everybody knows each other, and it is a family oriented neighborhood, with the ‘’promenade verte’’ and a few nice little parks. Lots of the good, new trendy restaurants are in this area, Rino for instance. Even if it is becoming very BOBO, it is, still, in many ways a popular area. But I leave and work in Montmartre, and I love every part of that, too.
La Table d’Eugene (rue Eugene Sue in the 18th, Metro Jules Joffrin). The restaurant is small and the kitchen ridiculously small. He deserves an award just to be able to get such awesome food out of that kitchen. The food is good, not pricey. What I like is that the Chef creates modern cuisine with a traditional twist. The seasonal menu changes all the time and is always made with the freshest ingredients. It’s a great price value for the food. This is a restaurant that deserves one Michelin star for the food but, because they choose such a small place and to have no tablecloth, the red book keeps ignoring them.
Azabu on rue Mazet, Paris 6th. I have never been to Japan, but I love Japanese food. I learned in the US how to understand and enjoy Japanese food at places like Morimoto in Philadelphia and Nobu in New York. In Paris, good Japanese food is rare. Azabu has a very French approach to Japanese food, but the result is great. The food is expensive, and it has to be. You just cannot make great Japanese food with average quality ingredients. You need to reserve, and try to be on the ground floor facing the grill to enjoy watching the Chef playing with your food.
La Pizza De Loretta in the 9th. I love the pizza by the weight, it’s very tasty. It feels like Rome. A little bit pricey for pizza, but worth it. They also have a short but good Italian wine selection.
La Grande Epicerie at Bon Marche. There’s nothing original there, but the place is great. Lots of food from everywhere in the world. Lots of different pasta shapes and candies. I go there sometimes just to get some inspiration… they have more than 30 kinds of salt! If it was less expensive, I would buy all my food there.
I am not sure I have one. After a few minutes in a department store, I start to yawn like crazy.
Without hesitation, Pierre Marcolini , Rue de Seine Paris 6th. He is the best chocolatier in Paris. The quality is consistent and the flavors are the flavors I like. He uses very dark chocolate and makes small bites. The one I prefer is with the Yuzu filling, even if he is very famous for truffles, I prefer the chocolate with filling. I always like Belgium chocolate more than Swiss chocolate; I believe it is less sweet and maybe the flavor stays in the mouth longer.
I am a cheese addict, I go for cheese almost every day. My favorite cheese shop is Marie Quatre-Hommes they have a store in the 18e, on the rue du Poteau. I’ve built a very good relationship with all the vendors, so I get all the tips about cheeses and they ask me to taste the new arrivals.
Boutique (women’s or men’s)
I am not really a shopper. When I need clothes I go to Printemps. They have it all: cheap, expensive, trendy, boring. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I cross the street and try Galeries Lafayette. I usually end up buying some stuff at Zara. I like the style or the ‘’no style’’ they offer.
Place for Cocktails
Probably Mama Shelter. I like the mojitos and Martini list they have. They also always have a DJ or some live music, and it is a fun atmosphere. Lots of trendy people around. The last time I went was for brunch, and Vincent Cassel was there. A few months before, again for brunch, Alain Ducasse was there.
Les Trois mailletz, rue Gallande Paris 5th. I discovered this place a long time ago. It’s a cabaret, filled up with lost tourists and some habitués, but everybody is here to have fun. The Piano bar is on the ground floor, but the place to be is underground. It’s a show that you become part of, if you like dancing. The live music is happening in the back of the room and the dancers, singers, entertainers move, dance , and walk on the tables. Keep your glass in your hands and enjoy. I can spend hours there before I realize it’s 5 am…
I recently discovered Café Pouchkine — I like it a lot. Conticini and Hermé make me happy, too, when I need some sugar in my blood. A great éclair au café from La Maison du Chocolat can also do the job. For bread, Le Grenier a Pain does a ‘’ pain de trois’’ that I think is very, very good. Au Pain d’Antan on rue Ramey in the 18th does also a great job — their pain au Noix for the cheese is to die for.
Parc Monceau is quiet enough to read a book and to have a picnic, if the weather permits it. I will also go to the Café Garden at the Petit Palais for a quiet tea in the afternoon.
I am currently studying Histoire de l’art at l’Ecole du Louvre. I try to see every expo that comes to Paris, but just walking through a museum makes my day. Obviously, Paris is full of cultural experiences of all kinds.
Day Trip from Paris
Lets go to Versailles! The food market is really nice, probably the best one in and around Paris. After the market visit, stop for lunch at Zin’s (125 rue Yves Le Coz F – 78000 Versailles), and then go for a walk in the park. I also like to go to Provins, a small medieval village full of antique boutiques and small cafés.
Above planes and automobiles, trains are the way to travel through Europe. Paris knows this to be true with its multitude of gares stationed throughout the city. But even if you come to Paris with plans to stay put (and who can blame you?), there’s a place in the 10th arrondisement that offers the thrill of travel without moving you a mile. Above the humming engines and frenzied energy of the Gare de l’Est sits Au Train de Vie, a brasserie where, beyond classic menu conventions (an array of salads, steaks, frites, wine, and coffee), tradition is left at the curb. (more…)
Amy Thomas is a lot smarter than I am. A lot. Whereas we both have a love of all things sweet that crosses way over the border of obsession, she’s parlayed this indulgence into a blog and, now, a book. I, on the other hand, simply hoard my confections and ravage them without a word to anyone. Then again, if I thought for a moment that I could use my endless purchases of macarons, éclairs, and even cupcakes as a professional tax write-off, I’d probably have a much bigger problem with my waistline. (more…)
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it’s time for me to admit that I have had an ongoing, wondrous, and sometimes tumultuous relationship with chocolate. In Paris, I’ve been able to indulge this great love in ways I never thought possible. For instance, just when I thought chocolate mousse was destined to be my great love, I was introduced to the darkly seductive Crème au Chocolat. Baked and served in delightful little pots, each morsel of this custard-like concoction melted in my mouth, and before long I realized I was truly in love. (more…)
Often not found on visitors’ to-do lists is the far west side of Paris’ 16th arrondisement. Home to Bois de Boulogne, a 2,000 acre expanse of wood, water, and sky, the area is also home to one of the city’s lesser known artistic jewels: Musée Marmottan- Monet. (more…)
In Paris, Valentine’s Day seems almost like a redundancy, given that the city celebrates romance every single day. But Parisians do mark the holiday much the way those in the U.S. do: with flowers, small gifts, and words of affection. Of course, when presented during a stroll along the Seine, or while dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant with views over the French capital, such trinkets take on even more significance. (more…)
I had, like most of the Paris expat community, known of Terrance Gelenter long before I actually met him, on a beautiful spring day at a (now defunct) café in St. Germain. It was a chance meeting. I was having lunch with my dear friend John, and Terrance was sitting a table by himself. Because he and John were friendly (bien sûr), we sat down at the table next to his, and spent the next hour or so chatting away. Terrance was holding court, for both us and the café staff who knew him well. (more…)
Story by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent
With all this talk about disappearing bee colonies, few realize that there’s one place in Paris where the bees have a thriving home: the Luxembourg Gardens. (more…)
Thierry Breton had every intention of studying veterinary medicine when he arrived in Paris in 1985. Instead, the man who was born in Senegal, and who grew up in Africa and Martinique, fell in love with clay. (more…)
Kasia Dietz has exquisite taste — evidenced in her own personal style and the fabulous bags she designs. She also has a thirst for exploration and adventure — she spent 13 months traveling through 32 countries. This, after spending 10 years in New York City as an art buyer in the ad agency biz.
But after returning from her extended voyage abroad, Kasia literally bumped into the Italian who was to become the love of her life and would, five months later, follow him to Paris. That was nearly three years ago, and in the time since, Kasia has gotten to know the French capital inside and out, delighting in new discoveries and familiar haunts alike.
And, it should be noted, Paris has fallen in love with Kasia. Her collection of bags is sold in the oh-so-prestigious Le Bon Marché … but for those who cannot make it to Paris to, they’ll find the Kasia Dietz collection online at Shop.ParisienSalon.
In the meantime, pour yourself a glass of wine or tea, sit back and let Kasia share her favorite places in the City of Lights.
Le Marais. It’s cobbled streets, hidden courtyards and endless charm always felt like home, even before it was.
I adore everything about Le Petit Marché. It’s exceptionally good French fare with a touch of Asian influence and just the right ambiance, steps away from Place des Vosges. (The mille feuille au thon is a must!)
I have yet to discover a favorite ethnic eatery (where’s the Chinese takeaway in Paris?) but often find myself table hopping at Le Marché des Enfants Rouges with plenty an ethnic option including Japanese, Italian, Moroccan, Caribbean and Lebanese.
There’s a single crêpe stand at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés metro stop that I frequent when I’m craving a local taste followed by a stroll in the rive gauche. (Yes, I do cross the river on occasion.)
Aside from occasional morning marketing, my weekly trips include Marché Saint-Martin, a covered market in the 10eme, filled with a wide array of fresh produce, regional wines, foreign delicacies and most importantly, many a smiling merchant.
I have great loyalty for my little neighborhood boulangerie and always feel privileged when I happen upon a fresh, warm baguette. As for patisserie’s, I cannot easily walk past a Ladurée without tasting at least one macaron, preferably rose-flavored.
My latest favorite breakfast or rather, brunch spot is Coutume Café. (And not merely for its breakfast burrito, in accordance with all the rave reviews the coffee is one of the best in Paris!)
I recently discovered a little gem called Meert in the Marais. It’s a quaint 18th century chocolatier which truly feels like stepping into ‘old Paris’, filled with divine handmade chocolates and various other confections. And, it’s close!
I enjoy strolling through Le Bon Marché, as it’s never too crowded and has the appeal of a gallery, each carefully selected piece waiting to be admired.
One of my secret passions is interior design with an affinity towards Danish modern. Conveniently close to home sits the Nordik Market, with a selection of Scandinavian furniture and housewares that I dream to furnish a Paris apartment with.
Boutique (Women’s or Men’s)
A boutique combining my three loves of fashion, literature and art is Ofr., located in the ‘Haute Marais’. There is always a book or two to peruse, often followed by an exhibition in the back gallery.
Place for Cocktails
The streets of Paris prove the most fitting spots for music to be heard, particularly on one of Paris’ most enchanting nights, La Fête de la Musique, when musicians take to the streets, and out of every hidden corner is heard song. As for a proper venue, La Cigale is a classic.
Where I most love to lose time is in Village Saint-Paul, a hidden world of inter-connected courtyards in the Marais, revealing antique shops and one particular cafe that I am very fond of as it does indeed taste like home, Comme à la Maison.
Tea at Mariage Frères is a luxury. I feel quite like being on the set of Casablanca. (Tastings at the various chocolatiers doesn’t count, does it?)
Day Trip from Paris
All photos provided by Kasia Dietz. You can follow Kasia’s adventures in Paris and beyond at her blog, Love in the City of Lights.
It’s been half a century since black & white movies were made virtually obsolete by their technicolor counterparts, save for the occasion art house release. And except for a handful of homages to the genre, silent films went silent in the late 1920s. (more…)
The days are shorter and colder, but January in Paris offers plenty of warmth. Perhaps they’re still wrapped up in the joy of the holiday season and the excitement of a new year, or maybe they just need more diversions to get through the winter months, but Parisians have filled the month with some of the most exciting events of the year. (more…)
Here we are, ready to once again mark the end of another year and celebrate the start of a new one. I’ve already spent my time reflecting back on 2011 and contemplating all the things I want to accomplish in 2012. I don’t believe in resolutions — I broke too many in my younger days to find any real use in them. But, at this time each year, I always try to find “The Lesson To Be Learned” from the preceding year. I think Oprah would call it an “aha moment.” (more…)
While the editors and writers of ParisienSalon.com enjoy a holiday break, we thought we’d offer this delicious little gem that we ran a few years ago.
When I mentioned to Toma Clark Haines that I found Les Puces de Saint-Ouen intimidating, she laughed. It wasn’t the first time she’d heard someone say this. In fact, it’s one of the things that led to her transformation as The Antiques Diva®. (more…)
Jules Pansu, the son of a modest weaver from Voiron, had a dream to design and manufacture his own fabrics. After seven years of traveling by train all over Europe and Russia, selling silks for a company from Lyon, he knew the trade and was confident he could create the highest quality fabrics—fabrics that would add to the elegance and beauty of any furnishing. His dream came true—in 1878—launching a family-owned dynasty that, 133 years later, still remains one of the most respected purveyors of luxury fabrics around the world. (more…)
Story provided by the Paris Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Edited by Sophie Delon.
Philippe Renard has been the chef of the Hotel Lutetia kitchens for 20 years. Under his leadership, the reputation of the starred restaurant, brasserie and all the restaurant areas of the mythical Left Bank hotel have spread beyond Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A lively discussion with a chef passionate and dedicated to his “house.” (more…)
Situated in the seventh arrondisement between the Eiffel Tower and Orsay Museum, Esplanade Invalides is a stretch of Parisian history that’s often overlooked. En route to work, school or tourist spots like the Rodin Museum and Rue Cler’s market, it can be more a place of crossing than destination. Dare to pass though and you’ll discover charming sketches of Parisian quotidian in this stretch of grass and sky. (more…)
What’s one to do on a warmer-than-usual Friday night in Paris while in the company of a handsome and stylish friend? That was the question I found myself asking last weekend as I met up with my friend in the 6th arrondissement of the French capital. As it turns out, the answer was a no-brainer. (more…)
Story by Linda Donahue
In the heart of Paris’ fashionable 6th arrondissement is the rue Jacob, a delightfully quiet street perched between the Boulevard Saint Germain and the Seine. Most of the people found strolling down this street are local residents, people who know the treasures that can be found here—including the enchanting showroom of the American jewelry designer, John Agee. (more…)
Last November, the night before I left for my winter stay in Paris, I had a classic “slip and fall” in a store that resulted in a few stitches in my knee. And this past Sunday, hours before I headed to the airport for that same winter stay, my back started to bother me. A nine-hour airplane ride later, it was a goner. I spent my first day in Paris immobilized and in pain. (more…)
In a few days, I’ll be heading back to Paris for my annual winter stay. Temperatures will be brisk (to say the least). There will be no flowers, colorful or otherwise, blooming in the parcs and jardins, and daylight will be fleeting. It’s for these reasons that my friends and family members question my sanity, wondering why, for Pierre’s sake, I would leave warm and sunny Miami for time in cold and dark Paris. (more…)
Story and photos by Adam Wayda
With no fewer than a million pastry shops within the city limits of Paris, there’s no shortage of éclairs, macarons, and tartes to keep you happy. But what if you’re chasing that ultimate pastry experience? Most self-respecting foodies would suggest you make your way directly to Pierre Hermé or Ladurée. There’s no argument that both, particularly Monsieur Hermé, produce brilliant work you shouldn’t skip, but when it comes to an all-around experience, both are still just shy of the pinnacle.
The reality is that some of the greatest pâtisseries have opened only within the last three years. Unlike many that came before them, the shops themselves are as much a delight as the sweets they hold. Here are four virtually guaranteed to knock your socks off, from the second you walk in the door.
Hugo & Victor: When French Champion pastry chef Hugues Pouget left his role as head pâtissier of the Michelin three star Guy Savoy, he took a little time to travel the world and began collaborating with his childhood friend, Sylvain Blanc, to open the ultra-luxe Hugo & Victor (top photo). Looking like Dior and Cartier fused into one and decided to just sell pastries, it’s home to some of the most innovative sweets around. Ironically, Monsieur Pouget generally uses about 1/3 the sugar others employ, so look forward to sampling elegantly complicated studies on flavor. Top Picks: Hugo Vanille, Earl Grey Chocolate Tarte, Hugo Passion, Victor Verveine (Réligieuse), mango macarons, blueberry macarons, combawa lime macarons, vanilla macarons.
Jacques Genin: After leaving his starring role at La Maison du Chocolat, Jacques Genin built an empire on caramels and chocolates, supplying many of the most famous hotels, restaurants and cafés of Europe – all from a private facility in Paris. Then, in 2008, he opened his sprawling pâtisserie/chocolaterie/confiserie/café in the Marais. No one denies that he has mastered the caramel; you have never had anything close . . . ever. His chocolates are legendary, arguably better than those of Patrick Roger, Michel Chaudun and other greats. His pâtes de fruits are incomprehensibly amazing. And his pastry selection is a lineup of some of the most exquisitely crafted French classics. Top Picks: chocolate éclair, lemon tarte, baba au rhum, caramel éclair, mango-passion caramels, macadamia caramels, ginger caramels, lemon caramels, apricot pâte de fruit, pineapple pâte de fruit, tonka chocolate, réglisse (licorice) chocolate, basil chocolate, dill chocolate.
Un Dimanche à Paris: Heir to the famed French chocolate dynasty of his father Michel, Pierre Cluizel had a vision for an all-chocolate concept store, pastry shop, restaurant, bar, and hot chocolate lounge. He spared no expense bringing it to life. Tucked down a corridor off the popular Boulevard St. Germain, and spanning almost half a city block, Un Dimanche à Paris is two floors of chocolate-centric opulence. Enter the main boutique and get ready to be blown away. The ceiling has been carved to look like the tropical canopy that shades the cacao trees, and you can watch the chefs toil-away all day long in their glass-enclosed kitchen. Top Picks: Hot chocolate (available for 2 euros in the main boutique), Choux Pistache, Croustillant au Grué de Cacao, coquelicot (poppy flower) macarons, candied clementines.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves: French hotelier, Thierry Teyssier, teamed up with world champion pastry chef Philippe Conticini to bring the world of 23rd century pastry to us a couple hundred years earlier than expected. Counterweighted glass bell jars, suspended from the ceiling, showcase a sublime array of treats – from a Venezuelan chocolate-sheathed éclair to a space-age tarte tatin and an impossibly beautiful Saint-Honoré. Even their selection of humble viennoiserie (breakfast pastries) will leave you in awe. Top Picks: Grand Cru, mango tarte, Saint-Honoré, Cylan, chausson aux pommes, brioche.
Adam Wayda is an American gourmand with “a bit” of a sweet tooth. Spending half of each year in Paris, he chronicles Parisian pastry and the great chefs behind it on his site ParisPatisseries.com, which poses the very real risk of making your computer’s monitor ooze with crème pâtissiere.