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Dersou

Maybe there’s a right way to do Dersou, one that involves sharing a sixty-day aged steak and a bottle of Crozes-Hermitage, as the happy couple next to us was doing at 11pm. We who had signed up from the tasting menu – offered for 90€ from 7:30-9pm, were less pleased. Chef Taku Sekine’s food – a series of five inventive, generous and mostly delicious plates, each paired by with a cocktail from barman Amaury Guyot, is not well-enough supported by an adolescent staff that seems to be more enthralled with their own vibe than with the banality of service.

Caffè Stern

Many powerful names/brands have come together for this long-awaited opening inside the Passage des Panoramas. The Alajmo family (of the three-starred Le Calendre in Padua) have partnered with David Lanher (Racines, Vivant) to convert an engraving shop into an Italian restaurant. They had some help from designer Philippe Starck, but thankfully not too much. The historically protected space – a series of dimly glowing rooms that date back to the 16th century – is stunning. 

La Dernière Goutte

Terroir-driven, estate-bottled, organic and biodynamic wines from small producers are the specialty at this beloved shop, run for almost 20 years by Juan Sanchez. Especially strong in their selection of growers’ Champagnes and bottles from the Rhone Valley. Stop by on Saturdays for their free tastings with winemakers from 11am-7:30pm. Check our calendar of Paris food & wine events to find out which winemakers they’ll be hosting this week.

Semilla

Semilla currently holds the #5 ranking in our list of favorite Modern & Creative Restaurants in Paris.

Semilla is a very useful restaurant: it’s open every day, and it’s large enough that you can usually book a table on the same day (walking in without a reservation is a riskier proposition). The menu is large enough to make most people happy, including vegetarians. The wine list, including a lengthy selection available by the glass, is well-priced and always full of wines I want to drink. The generous air-conditioning has saved more than one sweaty summer night. The staff, led by jovial owners Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré are kind and professional. However, to focus only on these practical matters is to ignore the delightful fact that food here is really, really good. One winter evening, I tasted four different dishes based on a biche (deer) brought in by hunters. Last week during the heat wave I swooned for bright green beans with nectarines, and many other dishes tailored made for summer ingredients and sweltering temperatures. Rarely does a restaurant respond so well to both the season and the needs of their customers. For that reason, I find coming back year after year. 

Much Ado About Munster: Cheese Names Do Matter

There are a lot of inflammatory stories in the media about how Europe is trying to bully the US in trade talks into “giving back” its cheese names. Should producers in Vermont be able to name their cheese after a French or Italian village? Are these names about civic pride, or do they indicate something more? As someone who regularly encounters Americans’ confusion about names during my weekly French cheese tours in Paris, I have some thoughts. First of all: this isn’t new.

Yannick Alleno to Cook in Swimming Pool

Well, not exactly… but the Michelin starred chef will moving in when the Molitor swimming pool reopens next Spring as a splashy (sorry) new hotel.

The Art Deco landmark near the Bois de Boulogne will be transformed into a hotel with all 124 rooms (hopefully not the size of changing cabins) overlooking the pool. There will be a restaurant – this is where Alleno comes in – and a rooftop bar overlooking the city.

It is unclear whether, as with all Paris pools, guests will be required to wear a swim cap and (for men) a Speedo.

Molitor hotel restaurant Alleno Paris

Read more from the City of Paris – Piscine Molitor: le “Paquebot blanc” bientôt remis à flots

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.

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.

Daniel vs. Danny Rose: the battle for America-in-Paris

Danny Rose Bistro Americain

Appearing on Charlie Rose last week, the chef of Spring Restaurant joked with his interviewer about hosting a dinner for people who share the name, or a connection with the name Daniel Rose.

At the time, the American chef was unaware that a new restaurant had just opened in Paris bearing the improbable name of Danny Rose Bistrot Americain. Is it possible that the owners of this new place near the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont were unaware of another Daniel Rose in Paris, one who happened to be American and to have one of the most popular restaurants (and web searches) in town? After speaking on the phone with the owners of Danny Rose, the Spring chef Daniel Rose is persuaded that they just liked the Woody Allen film and were completely unaware of his existence. Still, lawyers are involved, since the original D-Rose spent thousands of euros to protect his name and doesn’t want it attached to a place that’s serving “American” specialties like gooseberry-slathered pork ribs.

——

p.s. is Le Fooding writing about just anything these days? http://www.lefooding.com/restaurant/restaurant-danny-rose-paris.html

 

Kei

After working for Ducasse for seven years, Kei Kobayashi has opened an eponymous restaurant in the old Gerard Besson space near Les Halles, offering four or five courses at lunch (38/48€) and six or eight (75/95€) at dinner. His cooking is spare and delicate, like the room that surrounds you, and service is formal. They’re clearly shooting for the (Michelin) stars here.

The Best Baguettes in Paris are again in Montmartre

For the 4th year in a row (see past results below), a bakery in Montmartre has taken home the top prize. Congratulations to Pascal Barillon of Au Levain d'Antan! We'll report on the remaining top 10 results as they are revealed later tonight. You can click on any of the links to see these bakeries on our Google map, and you can visit Our Guide to Paris Bakeries for practical information and reviews.

Paris Rankings Among the World’s 50 Best Restos

Paris Results

New Michelin Guide promotes Piège & Passage 53


Photo Bruno Verjus (Food Intelligence)

Michelin Guide France 2011

The Michelin Guide has just announced its annual star shower, with the following changes for Paris restos:

Get OFF for free

Score: the kind people at Omnivore have just provided 10 free passes for us to give away to readers who want to attend their three-day food & wine festival in Deauville (Feb 20-22). More on how to win these tickets below, but first a few words about the festival itself.

Having never attended the Omnivore Food Festival (OFF), I turned to a few local experts to explain what makes this event unique. Here’s a summary of what they said:

Omnivore is Young

It’s the “unmissable rendez-vous for young, creative cuisine,” says French food writer Bruno Verjus, who will be hosting the Omnivore radio program for this year’s festival. The chefs in the spotlight – Sven Chartier (Saturne), Inaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand), and Giovanni Passerini (Rino) – are all still young and unburdened by stars.

Omnivore is International

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s France’s one and only international food festival,” says food writer and Master Chef judge Sébastien Demorand, who will be hosting this year’s salé (savory) demonstrations. Celebrated French chefs like Jean-François Piège and Thierry Marx share equal billing at Omnivore with internationals like Rasmus Kofoed, Juan Mari Arzak, and Magnus Nilsson. Clotilde Dusoulier, the blogger-turned-food-writer (and PbM contributing editor) who will be hosting this year’s sucré (dessert) demonstrations, cited foreigners like Rosio Sanchez (Noma) as highlights on the sweet stage. In short, Omnivore doesn’t limit itself to the hexagon. It’s three-day tour of la planète gastronomie.

Omnivore is Sex?

According to Sophie Brissaud, a prize-winning food writer (and PbM contributing editor), the Omnivore Food Festival is “a terrific collective sex party where everyone gets naked and screws like bunnies while eating pleine mer oysters and drinking Plageoles wines.” She’s probably kidding, but I’m bringing my video camera just in case.

Omnivore is Free

At least for 10 of you, it is. To win a free three-day pass to the Omnivore Food Festival, all you have to do is send an email with your full name to parisbymouth@gmail.com. We’ll select the first ten responses and email you with confirmation before next Tuesday. Update: we have our ten winners, thanks for playing!

To learn more about OFF, visit the festival website or see this video report on last year’s event.

Paris Food & Wine Events February 3-10

Wine Tastings

  • February 3 (Thursday) at Spring Boutique: free tasting of charcuterie made from a chevreuil (deer) that was nabbed by their friend, accompanied by €5 glasses of Cornas. From 6-8pm at 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 75001.
  • February 4 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” wine tasting with nibbles from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • February 5 (Saturday) at Les Caves Taillevent: a free wine tasting from 10am-5pm at 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008.
  • February 5 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free wine tasting from 11am-7pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.

Wine Tasting Classes

  • Feburary 4 & 5 (Thursday & Friday) at Spring Restaurant: The “Grand Afternoon Tasting” is a 1.5 hour class in English and will “go over the basics of how to taste wine, introduce you to six different wines from our favorite artisanal producers, and discuss wine and food pairing. Cost: 60€ per person. Classes in the 16th-century cave beneath the restaurant at 6 rue Bailleul (1st) begin at 4pm. More information here.
  • Every Day (but Sunday) at Ô Chateau: wine tasting classes in English ranging from French Wine Introductory (30€) to the Grand Crus Tasting (80€). Classes (except the Champagne river cruise) take place at 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec in the 1st.

Paris Food & Wine Events Jan. 28-Feb. 3

Troglodyte Caves below the Chateau de Brézé where the "Roots, Sweet Roots" wine tasting will be held

Special Events

Wine lovers from all over the world are heading to the Loire Valley this week for some very impressive tastings. Check the SNCF site for travel times and ticket prices.

  • January 30 – February 1st (Sunday-Tuesday) at the Parc des Expositions in Angers: The Salon des Vins de Loire is a massive trade fair that features 600+ winemakers and draws more than 8500 visitors per year. The Salon is reserved for wine professionals only, as is the Renaissance tasting at Greniers Saint Jean and a host of others, but this next one is open to the public…
  • January 30 & 31(Sunday & Monday) at the Château de BrézéLa Dive Bouteille is hosting the “Roots, Sweet Roots” tasting down in the Troglodyte caves at the Château (dress warmly). Hundreds of the country’s most well-regarded winemakers will be pouring (the full list here). Admission is 10€, and shuttles will be running between the Château and the train station at Saumur (10km). Sunday from 2-7pm and Monday from 10am-6pm.

Free Wine Tastings

  • January 28 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” wine tasting with nibbles from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • January 29 (Saturday) at Les Caves Taillevent: a free wine tasting from 10am-5pm at 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008.
  • January 29 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free wine tasting from 11am-7pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.

Wine Tasting Classes

  • January 27 & 28 (Thursday & Friday) at Spring Restaurant: The “Grand Afternoon Tasting” is a 1.5 hour class in English and will “go over the basics of how to taste wine, introduce you to six different wines from our favorite artisanal producers, and discuss wine and food pairing. Cost: 60€ per person. Classes in the 16th-century cave beneath the restaurant at 6 rue Bailleul (1st) begin at 4pm. More information here.
  • Every Day (but Sunday) at Ô Chateau: wine tasting classes in English ranging from French Wine Introductory (30€) to the Grand Crus Tasting (80€). Classes (except the Champagne river cruise) take place at 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec in the 1st.

Paris food & wine events for the weekend of December 17-19

Book Reading & Signing

  • December 18 (Saturday) at Spring Boutique: contributing editor Alexander Lobrano will be hanging out, sipping Champagne and signing/selling copies of the new edition of his must-have guide to Paris restaurants (Hungry for Paris). The reading will begin around 5pm but the festivities will continue until 8pm at 52 Rue de l’Arbre Sec, 75001.

Free Wine Tastings

  • December 18 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” tasting with wine and chutney from Clothilde from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • December 18 (Saturday)at Les Caves Augé: A free tasting among “Vignerons de Champagne”, including Didier Gimonnet, Jérôme Prevost, Olivier Collin, Michel Drappier, Larmandier Bernier, Vouette et Sorbée, Anselme Selosse, Egly Ouriet, Lassaigne, Beaufort, Horiot, Jacquesson. From 11am-7pm at 16 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008.

Paris food & wine events for the weekend of December 10-12

Parties

Free Wine Tastings

  • December 10 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” tasting with wine and cheese from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • December 11 (Saturday) at Les Caves Taillevent: a free tasting of suggested holiday wines, “Noël provençal: quels vins pour le sublimer?” From 10am-5pm at 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008.
  • December 11 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free tasting with Isabelle Champart from Mas Champart (Saint-Chinian), Jean Gardiés (Cotes du Roussillon Villages) and Champagne maker Franck Pascal, who will be pouring the prize-winning Sagesse Brut Nature and other bubbles. From 11am-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.

Paid Wine Tastings

  • December 10-11 (Friday & Saturday) at the Carrousel du Louvre: Le Grand Tasting, a two-day tasting event hosted by Bettane & Desseauve and featuring winemakers from all over France, including many top producers from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne (consult list here). The price of entry is €20 for one day and €25 for both days and includes a Riedel wine glass for tasting. From 10:30am-8:30pm on Friday and 10:30am-7:30pm on Saturday at 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001.

Paris wine tastings for the weekend of December 3-5

Free (or really cheap) Wine Tastings in Paris

  • December 3 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “Happy Hour” tasting with winemaker Julien Labat (Jura) accompanied by a good Comté from the same region. From 4:30-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • December 4 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free tasting with three different winemakers from 11am-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
  • C’est (almost) arrivée: Beaujolais Nouveau to hit Paris on Thursday, November 18

    The annual festival of barely-fermented wine is almost upon us, so we’ve rounded up a few ideas to help you get your headache on.

    Les Caves Augé

    11am-7pm

    Free dégustation of Vins Nouveaux direct from the barrel, “ni filtré, ni collé, ni sulfité…” Winemakers to include Mas de l’Anglore, Chassorney, Morentin, Foillard, Foulards Rouges.

    Les Caves Augé – 116 boulevard Haussmann, 75008

    Spring Boutique + Le Garde Robe

    6pm-11pm

    The wine bar and the wine shop have teamed up to throw what will undoubtedly be the best Beaujolais party in town. According to Spring, winemaker Jean-Claude Lapalu will be “coming from the Beaujolais with a barrel of zero sulfite gamay, a funnel, 25 cases of empty bottles, and a corking machine. We’ll have the soup and the saucisson.” Our advice: get there early if you want a taste of soup, buy your own bottle so that you don’t wait in line at the bar, and be ready to dance in the street between the two locations.

    Le Garde Robe – 41 rue l’Arbre Sec, 75001
    Spring Boutique – 52 rue l’Arbre Sec, 75001

    Meg Zimbeck

    Meg ZimbeckMeg Zimbeck is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Paris by Mouth.

    Beyond the content on this site, she writes about food in Paris for the Wall Street Journal. In the past, she has served as the Paris editor for both Budget Travel and BlackBook and has contributed to Food & Wine, SAVEUR, AFARGridskipperthe BBC’s Olive 

    magazine, and the seat-pocket magazines of United, Virgin Trains, and Gulf Air. She also hosted a program on Paris Street Eats for the  Travel Channel (USA). Meg’s food photography has been featured in