Monthly Archives: November 2013

Percolating in Paris: A New Coffee Scene

For a long time, the prevailing opinion of visitors to the French capital has been that the coffee in Paris is terrible. Well, it may be time to revise this long-running truism to “coffee in Paris was terrible.

This Fall has seen a veritable avalanche of openings (HolybellyBelleville Brûlerie, Fragments, Fondation, Coutume Lab) that have enriched the city’s specialty coffee scene with brews that are crafted by trained baristas using freshly roasted high-quality beans. And the local offer promises to get even better with upcoming launches of Lockwood and Rêves des Abyssines. So why are our cups of good coffee now running over like never before?

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What To Expect When You’re Cupping

Cupping is an intimate act.

Sniffing, slurping, then spitting one’s coffee in a room full of strangers is an easy way to look crazy, unless one is standing at the tasting table at Belleville Brûlerie. Then it is not only acceptable, but encouraged as part of the cupping process.

The table plays a key role. Cupping, the process coffee professionals use to evaluate the quality of coffee beans and analyze flavors and aromas, requires a lot of glasses and therefore, a lot of space. >> Read More

Ordering Coffee in Paris

It can be a struggle to decipher the coffee menu before you’ve actually had your coffee. We get it. We're here to help you understand how to order exactly what you want in a corner café or specialty coffee shop.

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Gâteaux Thoumieux

A mint green & marble pastry palace from Jean-François Piège, whose rue Saint-Dominique mini empire includes Brasserie Thoumieux, Restaurant Jean-François Piège, and Hôtel Thoumieux. The salted butter and pear tart was particularly pleasing, but skip the disappointing and aggressively chewy macarons.

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Beaujolais Nouveau Death March: Our 2013 Report

Having already taken on the unprecedented challenge of publishing (and thereby endorsing) a detailed guide to Paris’ best Beaujolais Nouveau parties, the editorial team decided to put its money where its Mouth is and attend as many as possible in one night.

Meg Zimbeck called it “the Beaujolais Death March”: a tipsy trek from the 14ème to the 11ème. Along the way we met winemakers, shared bottles with strangers, used car roofs as bars, and, completely by accident, obtained actor Willem Dafoe’s opinion on Beaujolais Nouveau (“I prefer full-bodied reds,” he said, before ducking into an anonymous café in an unsuccessful bid to avoid paparazzi).

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Angry Farmers Blockade Paris Today

Tired of getting taxed till the cows come home, belligerent farmers are protesting with a plan to blockade major routes in and out of the city this Thursday. Those venturing beyond the peripherique (shudder) will want to plan ahead and leave extra time to avoid cows, tractors, trucks and angry men with pitchforks.

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The Redemption of Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais Nouveau is rather like gin – people who won’t touch the stuff usually have a legendarily bad story to tell involving a harrowing experience with the worst product imaginable. At its worst, Beaujolais Nouveau is indeed something less than a wine, a creepy under-aged creation of greenish grapes rouged up with sugar and sulfur. But just as the last two decades’ international cocktail renaissance has redeemed gin for many drinkers, so too does Paris’ booming natural wine scene contain the redemption of Beaujolais Nouveau – a quaff that, at its best, is a dashing, sun-dappled débutante of a wine, a pristine and lively beverage whose unseriousness is a big part of its charm.

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Des Gateaux et du Pain Opens on the Rue du Bac

DGDPDes Gateaux et du Pain has just opened a new location at 89 rue du Bac. That’s two doors down from Pâtisserie des Rêves, a short amble from the chocolate mousse bar at Patrice Chapon, and a few steps away from prune Armagnac ice cream at Le Bac à Glaces. You 7ème-ers are some lucky bastards.

In Bûche de Noël season there is already a line of hundreds to pick up cakes at Pâtisserie des Rêves. With a rival Bûche pusher setting up a few meters away, we expect the sidewalk to completely collapse.

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Eating & Drinking in Pigalle

In case you missed his much-discussed lament in the New York Times, Thomas Chatterton Williams is upset that Hipsters Ruined Paris. More specifically, he’s annoyed by the proliferation of “burrata salad” at the expense of hostess bars in South Pigalle. He warns us against the anesthetizing effects of steel-cut oats and worries that there isn’t room for both kale and human trafficking in the neighborhood to which he moved two years ago. From Brooklyn, of course.

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Le Fooding Awards 2014 Palmarès

The newly updated Le Fooding Guide has just announced its annual awards with a focus on relaxed and affordable joints:

Fooding

Fooding d’honneur: la bande des Bars Populaires, Au Passage (11th), Bones (11th), l’Orillon Bar (11th), les Pères Populaires (20th)

Meilleur pizzaiolo: Salvatore Rototori, Il Brigante (18th).

Fooding d’amour: Buvette (9th)

Meilleur bar à délices: Le Mary Celeste (3rd)

Meilleur lèche-doigts (Best Finger Licking): Frenchie To Go (2nd), Grillé (2nd) &  The Sunken Chip (10th)

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Costco is Coming to France

The American behemoth Costco announced that it will be setting up its shop in the Parisian suburbs in spring 2015. This will be the first of 25 shops they hope to open over the next two decades.

We don’t expect this to make much of an impact on the lives of Parisians, who generally don’t drive and lack the space to store more than six rolls of toilet paper at once. But the suburbs and the countryside? They’re going to love it.

(via Grub Street, Le Figaro)

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Daniel Rose Publishes a Cookbook

Spring BookChef Daniel Rose of Spring restaurant has just published a cookbook. He drew the pictures himself, wrote recipes with Sophie Brissaud, and even included a few short stories (whah?).

In Paris, Spring Book is available at the restaurant (6 rue Bailleul 75001, 01 45 96 05 72) and at the Librairie Gourmande and Colette.  . International readers can purchase online and have it signed & shipped – more information here.

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Costes Puts (ugly) Baby in the Corner

In what will come as a surprise to no one, looks matter in a Costes establishment. According to accounts collected by Le Canard enchaîné and republished by Le Monde, servers are required to be young and to dress sexy. One former waitress recounts being told that they couldn’t see enough of her chest.

Customers, too, are seated according to whether they are “beau” (prime table) or “pas beau” (in the corner!).

Costes establishments include Georges (atop the Pompidou Center), Hôtel Costes, Hôtel Amour, Café Francais, Brasserie Thoumieux, and Café Marly, among others.

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Review: Lazare

Lazare was the biggest opening of the rentrée 2013 – a splashy restaurant from a three-star chef inside the Gare Saint-Lazare. Eric Fréchon, who has been branching out from his home base of L’Epicure (formerly Le Bristol) ever since he opened Le Mini Palais in 2010, was purportedly serving Normandy-inflected comfort food to travelers en route to that region or arriving from the other side of Paris. Reviews had been ecstatic, praising the menu as “glorieusement française,” (Gaudry), noting the “friendly, professional service” (Moore) and celebrating the casual openness of the place (Rubin).

In nine years of dining in Paris and writing about its restaurants, this was the worst service I have ever experienced. It was shockingly, almost comically bad. >> Read More

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Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau In Paris 2013

Wednesday November 20, 2013 (night before)

La Robe et le Palais (13 Rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune, 75001) Owner Olivier Schvirtz and sommelier Loic Mougene throw what is possibly Paris’ last remaining quality-conscious midnight-release party for Beaujolais Nouveau on Wednesday the 20th November. The multi-faceted event will run as follows:

  • 16h-19h : Book signing by wine writer Michel Tolmer.
  • 19h-22h : Normal restaurant service.
  • 22h-00h : Special Beaujolais dinner, with a fixed menu of regional dishes. Beaujolais Nouveau wines saved from previous years will be served to accompany the dinner.
  • 00h-2h : Party, in the probable attendance of many Beaujolais winemakers. Beaujolais Nouveau from Karim Vionnet, Jean-Claude Lapalu, France Gonzalvez, Xavier Benier. Music: Possibly.

Thursday November 21, 2013

Café de la Nouvelle Mairie (19 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 75005) Benjamin Courty and Corentin Cucillat are the latest owners of this historic natural wine bar in the 5ème, which has changed hands over the course of its 20 years in business, but has always remained a destination for magnificent wine and simple bistrot cuisine. A daube de boeuf will accompany the gypsy jazz and sought-after primeurs. Beaujo Nouveau by Guy Breton & Jean-Claude Lapalu plus vin primeur by Jean-François Nicq.

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Bouillon at Les Enfants Rouges restaurant in Paris | parisbymouth.com

Les Enfants Rouges

Practical information

Address: 9 rue de Beauce, 75003
Nearest transport: Filles du Calvaire (8)
Hours: Closed Tuesday and Wednesday; Open Thursday-Monday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Book a few weeks in advance
Telephone: 01 48 87 80 61
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Modern French
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

John Talbott (2015) “Amazing, astonishing… loved the veal brains with beans and pimento strips.  This guy knows his offal!”

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2014) “Les Enfants Rouges under Shinozuka points no new directions in Paris dining, and at first glance manages to underwhelm despite terrific cuisine and serviceable hospitality. But Shinozuka, evidently no fool, has made all criticism moot by opening on Sundays and Mondays, which instantly renders Les Enfants Rouges one of the most useful addresses in Paris, let alone the quality-starved Marais.”

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French Oysters Have the Herp

Oysters release sperm and eggs, plus their nasty herpes, into the ocean. Photograph by Robert Sisson, National Geographic

Oysters release sperm and eggs, plus their nasty herpes, into the ocean. Photograph by Robert Sisson, National Geographic

A nasty case of oyster herpes is compromising French stocks, and English oyster farmers are accusing French oyster pirates of coming over to raid their beds.

Insert cold sore joke here.

(via The Independent)

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