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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. 

Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau In Paris 2014

Loving the night of Beaujolais Nouveau in Paris is like loving country music. One is constantly obliged to explain oneself. No other genre of wine has been so rightly derided by the international wine press for its superficiality. And yet, as in country music, there remain practitioners of the form whose work attains a sublime simplicity, particularly when experienced in the correct context. In Paris, at the right party, Beaujolais Nouveau is a transcendental event, a cross between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, the one night of the year when an otherwise reserved and miserly population abandons its dime-sized, forward-facing café tables to stand around and sing and offer cheers to strangers.

A la Bière Comme à la Bière

“Boissons vivantes & épicerie funk” announces the tagline on this small, brightly decorated storefront. Inside, you’ll find nearly 200 different bottled craft beers from Europe and North America, many kept chilled for immediate consumption. The colorful interior is cheerful and inviting, and the enthusiasm of owners Jean-Baptiste and Dédé is infectious.

Les Trois 8

Revolutionary for Paris, this shoebox-sized bar just north of the lively Oberkampf district has a lot to offer lovers of craft beer… and their natural wine-drinking friends, too. French beer is well-represented both on the eight rotating taps and in the 80 or so bottles on offer, featuring such breweries as Outland (Ile-de-France), Sainte-Crucienne (Alsace), and Northmaen (Normandy). French bar snacks (cheese and charcuterie boards) and a small selection of natural wines available by the bottle or glass round out the menu. Service is friendly and knowledgeable, eager to help you find just the beverage you’re after, even if it’s something you’ve never tried before. 

Tous au Restaurant festival begins in Paris

tous au restaurant

The folks at L’Express have created a handy guide to navigating this, the 5th edition of Tous au Restaurant. Just like Restaurant Week celebrations in other cities, Tous au Restaurant (September 22-28) aims to bring more people into restaurants by offering discounted meals – in this case, it’s buy one, get one free. And just like Restaurant Week celebrations in other cities, this is a terrible week for people who normally already visit restaurants (i.e. you, the readers of this website) to set foot in any of the participating restaurants.

Read the full article at L’Express but proceed with caution 🙂

La Fine Mousse

Boasting the very best selection of craft beers on tap in Paris, as well as a bottle collection that brings the total offer up to 150 different beers, La Fine Mousse is certainly one of the city’s most well-stocked beer bars.  It’s also one of the most expensive.  French craft beers share real estate with lesser-known Belgians and German brews, with room left over for the USA, the Netherlands, and less-represented places like Norway and Italy to show off their brewing prowess.  The meticulously curated beer list includes deep tracks from Brasserie St. Germain and Brewdog, and the descriptions (in French or English) will help you find just the beer you’re looking for.  Serious beer geeks abound, the quiet atmosphere of the early evening eventually giving way to a lively party vibe as the social lubricant kicks in.

La Moustache Blanche

Hipster beer geekiness pervades this shop just off the Place de la Bastille, with a record player spinning the blues, a faux phone box housing the English beers, and a periodic table of beer styles on the wall. Prices are very fair, and Guillaume, the friendly young owner is rightly proud of his ever-growing collection which boasts 500 beers from all over the world.

Falstaff

Amid the multitude of crêperies on this little street sits this good old-fashioned beer bar. It's cozy and bustling, with classic rock on the stereo, beer-friendly eats, and maybe, just maybe, NFL football on TV. Service is speedy and well-informed, and the hooks along the walls and bar are appreciated by purse-carriers and coat-wearers everywhere. In addition to the 13 beers on tap, you'll find 120 different bottled beers. Prices are a little steep, but the convivial ambiance and tasty Belgian beers are certainly worth a splurge now and then.

Endangered French Regional Cooking

In Paris, it’s possible to do a Tour de France without a bicycle, since one of the most unique layers of the city’s food chain is its many French regional tables. Indeed the cooking of almost every corner of France is available in Paris, although some regions, notably the Auvergne and Alsace, are better represented than others, like the north of France, which has just a single address, Le Graindorge, vaunting such Flemish favorites as waterzooï (chicken and vegetables stewed in cream enriched bouillon) or carbonade, beef cooked in a sauce of beer.

Café des Abattoirs in The New York Times

Café des Abattoirs (75001) Lindsey Tramuta reported on Café des Abattoirs in the Times this week, calling it a “modern grill-meets-Lyonnaise bouchon” run by the Rostang sisters who “uphold their father’s penchant for simple dishes prepared with top-tier ingredients, in a family-friendly environment that has a whiff of nostalgia… Despite a few missed opportunities — a short, predictable wine list and uninspired desserts — this is feel-good Rostang cooking at its finest.”

Lobrano loves the new Cantonese LiLi

LiLi (75016) Alexander Lobrano thinks this brand new Cantonese restaurant will be one of the biggest hits of the rentrée with “an extravagant but carefully edited program of temptations that debuts with dim sum, including the juicy Shanghai style soup dumplings below and also other more delicate and tantalizing versions of the genre, including the lobster-stuffed caviar-dressed single dim-sum that was so good I ate it in one excited bite.”

Find practical information and additional reviews on our guide page for LiLi

Yam’Tcha to close & relocate

Yam'Tcha Paris

Stephane Davet reports today that Yam’Tcha – the celebrated and nearly impossible-to-book restaurant from chef Adeline Grattard – will be closing at some point in the next few months in order to reopen in a larger space. The new restaurant will also be in the Les Halles neighborhood but will pass from 20 to 35 covers and have space for four cooks instead of three. Anyone who has seen their current set -up can understand why she might want some more elbow room in the kitchen.

Read the full story in Le Monde

 

Bon Appétit reviews Le Comptoir nine years after it opens

Le Comptoir du Relais (75006) Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport acknowledges the (still) impossibility of scoring a reservation at Yves Camdeborde’s restaurant, and then gives it some more much-needed mainstream press coverage. The appeal for him lies in “the restaurant’s bustling, studio-apartment-size space, completely free of pretense in a city famous for pretense,” and the fact that “there is no menu—you eat whatever inventive, abundantly fresh, elevated bistro dishes Camdeborde chooses to cook that evening.” Also, the cheese (much of which comes, we’ve heard, from Twiggy’s place inside the covered Saint-Germain market): “Finally, there is the cheese board, oozing with only-in-France creations (and honey and quince jam and all that good stuff) that your waiter plunks down on the table after your meal and lets you have at it.”

La Fine Mousse opens a restaurant pairing beer & food

La Fine Mousse Restaurant (75011) Kate Robinson visited La Fine Mousse’s new restaurant, which aims to “bring beer to the dinner table and prove that it’s a worthy companion to exceptional food.” There were “still a few wrinkles to iron out, especially considering the price point,” but “there’s no denying the quality of the ingredients or the creativity of the menu.”

Read the full review at Haven in Paris

Find additional reviews and practical information for the beer bar on our page for La Fine Mousse.