Ellsworth

Following their success with Verjus, where the more elaborate formula of dégustation + wine pairings has drawn a loyal following of happy locals and visiting celebrities, Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian have decided to open something more casual. Let’s call it “serious casual” because at Ellsworth (named for Perkins’ grandfather), foods that you might see at a county fair are elevated through careful sourcing and a sincere spirit of DIY. Corn dogs are thus filled with house-made rabbit sausage and paired with bitter mustard greens. Potato skins are topped with melted tomme and enlivened by crunchy chicken skin instead of crumbled bacon.

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Five Great Paris-Brest

The Paris-Brest is traditionally a wheel of choux pastry sliced in half, filled with hazelnut praline cream, and topped with a crispy crust of slivered almonds and powdered sugar. It was invented in 1910 by pastry chef Louis Durand to celebrate the Paris-Brest bicycle race that pedaled from the city center past his shop in the western suburb of Maisons Laffitte and out to Brittany each year. Since then, the dessert has become a classic and is found in pastry shops all over Paris. But who makes the best?

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Le Grenier à Pain in Montmartre wins 2015 Best Baguette Contest

Félicitations to Djibril Bodian of Le Grenier à Pain Abbesses for winning First Prize in the 2015 Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris,  a.k.a. The Best Baguette in Paris Competition. If Bodian’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the Senegalese born, second generation baker also won the top prize five years ago. His bakery will be providing bread for President Hollande and the Elysées Palace for an entire year, just as he did for Sarkozy back in 2010.  Continue reading Le Grenier à Pain in Montmartre wins 2015 Best Baguette Contest

Our Favorite Three Star Restaurants in Paris

In discussing the three-star restaurant L’Ambroisie, which ranks among the most expensive in the world, people often bring up a quote by chef Bernard Pacaud. “Someone’s first meal here is never their best,” he once said. “It takes at least two or three meals for us to learn the customer and for the customer to learn us.”

This was true for food blogger Adam Goldberg, who wrote a scathing report of his first meal at L’Ambroisie. After returning more than twenty times, however, he declared “I am now certain that this is the finest French restaurant in the world.” Continue reading Our Favorite Three Star Restaurants in Paris

The 20 Best Bites of Haute Cuisine in Paris

Haute cuisine is not exclusively about what’s on the plate. Elaborately choreographed service, the spectacular number of dishes, the depth of a wine cellar and sumptuous surroundings – these are arguably the elements that separate restaurants with two and three Michelin stars from their starless competitors.

If we look exclusively at the food, however, ignoring the chandelier that twinkles overhead and the plush pedestal propping up our handbags, there is still much to celebrate in haute cuisine.  Continue reading The 20 Best Bites of Haute Cuisine in Paris

Behind the Curtain: Examining Haute Cuisine in Paris

More than 100 years ago, a tire company named Michelin began telling people about their best options for eating while motoring around the country. Travelers wanted to know what was worth a detour or a special journey, and that’s still the case today. The question I’m most frequently asked by our readers is where to go for a special blow-out meal. You want to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, a victory. You want to seal a deal, whether business or pleasure. You’re willing to drop some cash, but you don’t want to feel like a fool.

Until now, I’ve had a hard time answering this question. I know well the landscape of the city’s classic bistrosmodern French restaurants, and food-loving wine bars, but this class of two- and three-star tables is a different terrain entirely. There’s an obvious barrier to understanding these restaurants: the staggering, outrageous, almost immoral price of a meal. Prior to this project, in which I anonymously tested every three-star restaurant in Paris over a period of twelve weeks, I had only visited a handful. Continue reading Behind the Curtain: Examining Haute Cuisine in Paris