All posts by Meg Zimbeck

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.  >> Read More

L’Avant Comptoir

Push back beyond the crêpe window up front and and you’ll find a convivial and crowded counter packed with elbows, charcuterie boards, communal pickle jars, and wine glasses. It’s standing room only at Yves Camdeborde’s small plates wine bar, a hit since it opened in fall of 2009. Delicious and hearty bites like duck hearts, ham croquettes and boudin noir macarons are washed down with an impressive selection of wines sold by the bottle or the glass. The opening of seafood spinoff L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer next door and, more recently, L’Avant Comptoir de la Marché just a few blocks away has dispersed the devotees throughout the neighborhood. The original remains packed, however, so go during the off hours or be prepared to be get to know the person next to you very, very well.
>> Read More

Interior at Ledoyen restaurant in Paris | Paris by Mouth

On the Menu at: Ledoyen

Here’s a snapshot of we tasted as part of our (lowest price) lunch tasting menu soon after the arrival of Yannick Alleno. Total price for two at lunch including wine, water and coffee: 448€
>> Read More

Ryst Dupeyron

The real specialty at this classic, luxe shop is Armagnac, with vintages dating back to 1868. Don't know the first thing about Armagnac? Just ask, and one of the friendly staff will pour you a taste. The back room houses an impressive collection of first growth Bordeaux (Margaux, Latour) and Chateau d'Yquem, and R-D bottles their own lines of port and Scotch, too.

>> Read More

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.

>> Read More

Arpège

The most divisive of the three-star restaurants, Arpège is a place you’ll either love or hate. I’m in the former camp, through I acknowledge a worrying amount of repetition in Alain Passard’s tasting menu and the fact that his acolytes (David Toutain, Bertrand Grébaut) are working similar magic for a fraction of the price. Before booking Arpège, ask yourself this: are you more likely to focus on the amount of pleasure that Passard can tease from an onion, or on the stratospheric markup of that ingredient? If you answered the latter, better to seek out caviar somewhere else. >> Read More

Semilla restaurant in Paris | parisbymouth.com

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.  >> Read More

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.

>> Read More

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.

>> Read More

Edible Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter gets a bad rap from those who only know the tourist-clogged rues de la Huchette or Pot de Fer. If you haven’t been back in a few years, you’ve missed the food and wine renaissance that’s taken place amid the Roman and Medieval monuments. >> Read More

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.

>> Read More

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

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.

>> Read More