Tag Archives: Paris restaurants

Eating & Drinking My Way Through Paris in Two Years

Two years ago on March 15, I moved to Paris. In that span of time, I have eaten at so many bars and restaurants (apparently, more than 120!) that I thought I would share with you all where I’ve been and what I’ve liked and didn’t like. I’m no foodie reviewer so many of my comments are succinct and definitely not editorial material, but I hope it helps you discover a new favorite spot…and perhaps steers you away from overhyped locales.

Bon app!

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Eating in…Paris, For Lunch

Lunch in Paris
Here’s a roundup of a few lunches I recently enjoyed in Paris. Clockwise from top left: A burrata sandwich at Verjus Bar à Vin; Salmon at Restaurant Legendre Idéal; Carrot cake & cheesecake at Sésame; and Fish & chips at Le Bloc.

Verjus Bar à Vin
47 rue de Montpensier / 1st arrondissement
Métro: 3 @ Bourse / 7 or 14 @ Pyramides
Tél: 01 42 97 54 40
**Closed Saturdays & Sundays.
One of the wine bars that had received a lot of hype when I first arrived in Paris was the restaurant and wine bar Verjus. After having drinks and some small bites there one night last year, I walked away thinking that the shoebox-sized wine bar served good wine, the shoestring fries were just ok and that it was packed with tourists. Would I go back? Meh. Well, after hearing all the accolades for the sandwiches they recently started offering and making friends with one of the former chefs, I decided to head back with a friend for lunch and it didn’t disappoint. Although there isn’t a vegetarian sandwich on the menu, my chef friend gave me a tip that I could still ask them to make me a vegetarian burrata sandwich. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend either stopping by for a sandwich, or even grabbing one to go and enjoying it in the gardens of Palais Royal.

Restaurant Legendre Idéal
92 rue Legendre / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 2 @ Rome / 13 @ La Fourche
Tél: 01 46 27 15 18
**Closed Mondays.
I’ve been determined to try all the restaurants in our neighborhood and Restaurant Legendre Idéal in the Batignolles had been on my list for a while. So on one gorgeous weekday, I decided to head there by myself and have the 13 euro lunch special. The service was friendly, food was good and I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth. I can see myself returning for a weekday lunch tout seul or with Rio on the weekend.

51 Quai de Valmy / 10th arrondissement
Métro: 3, 5, 8, 9 or 11 @ République / 3 or 5 @ Jacques Bonsergent / 11 @ Goncourt
Tél: 01 42 49 03 21
**Open every day.
I had heard good things about Sésame, particularly its brunch, so I was looking forward to lunch there with Robin before picking up our costumes for the Versailles Masquerade Ball. Well, the service was stereotypical French. The waiter seemed more interested in playing on his iPhone and chatting with his coworker than helping customers. That would be fine since I’m used to this, but the food was nothing special. The quiche was merely average (I’ve even made better) and the carrot cake I was excited about was a disappointment. The silver lining in the meal was the delicious cheesecake that Robin and I shared. Perhaps I’ll try one of the salads next time and end with the cheesecake.

Le Bloc
21 rue Brochant / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 13 @ Brochant
Tél: 01 53 11 02 37
**Open every day.
Le Bloc has been one of those restaurants I pass by on an almost weekly basis and think to myself, I really need to go there for brunch one of these days. So one sunny Sunday, Rio and I headed over there and were able to score an outdoor table so we could bask in the rare sunlight. The service was friendly with a waiter who likes to practice his English (without being too annoying about it), however, the food was just average. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be anything spectacular since my friend had given me the heads-up about her own experience, so I wasn’t expecting much anyway though. All in all, I think it’s a perfectly fine neighborhood spot to go to for lunch or drinks – but don’t go out of your way for it.

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Eating at… Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter
One of the restaurants that’s been on my list to try is Mama Shelter. With friends in town last weekend, we went at the suggestion of my first Frenchie friend Madeleine who had been there quite a few times.

For clarity, this is a hotel restaurant. Upon entering, you pass by the hotel’s pizzeria “Mama Pizzeria” before coming upon the hostess for the restaurant/bar. Designed by Philippe Stark, the place resembles a lounge with eclectic furniture and chalkboard ceilings displaying various quotes. I liked the quote that was above our table, seen in the photo above.

Le matin, je ne mange pas, je pense à toi; à midi, je ne mange pas, je pense à toi; le soir, je ne mange pas, je pense à toi; la nuit, je ne dors pas, j’ai faim.

In the morning, I don’t eat, I think of you; in the afternoon, I don’t eat, I think of you; in the evening, I don’t eat, I think of you; at night, I don’t sleep, I’m hungry.

So should you go or not? Well, if it’s a scene you’re looking for, this is the perfect place to grab a meal and drinks with friends. If you’re hungering for really good food…meh, you might want to look elsewhere. I had a good burrata to start; however the flavors of the main ravioli dish were just plain off. Also, since this is a hotel restaurant, you will be surrounded by tourists. When we first arrived at 9pm, there seemed to be quite a few tourists, but as the night progressed, the majority seemed to be Frenchies. There are other Mama Shelter locations in Marseille, Istanbul, Lyon and it’ll be in LA soon.

Mama Shelter
109 rue de Bagnolet
20th arrondissement
Métro: 3 @ Rue Saint-Maur / 2 or 3 @ Père Lachaise

Tél: 01 43 48 48 48
Facebook / Twitter @mama_shelter

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Reunited & It Feels So Good!

Cynthia & Les
As mentioned, this past weekend Cynthia, my old roomie from my Paris study abroad days and Simply Cyn blogger (AKA Addicted2Etsy), came to visit with her hottie husband Les. Sorry, Cyn – it needs to be said because it’s true and everyone should see know. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any risqué shots of him (pas pour moi, but for the readers!), but there’s always next time.

Anyways! Despite the persistent Parisian rain, we had a great two and a half days eating and getting stamps in our Heures Heureuses passports (see below for a few restaurant recommendations), catching up and even visiting our old apartment building where poor Les was then subjected to taking a photo shoot of the two of us.
Me and Cynthia Jumping - 5.2013
Yup, photos like this. I’m really into jumping and making other people jump with me for photos lately. (This pic was taken by Les.)

17 rue de la Forge Royale Rue de la Forge Royale
Our old apartment building in the now très branché 11th arrondissement. The area by the apartment is still a bit gritty, but not as much as it was 13 years ago.
Les Heures Heureuses Bites
Here are a few of my favorites from Les Heures Heureuses (clockwise from top left) – each for a mere 2 euros:

44 rue Trousseau / Tél: 09 53 57 58 18
We had a delicious truffle, mushroom and cheese pizza. However, it would’ve been better if the pizza were hot and the service friendlier (the guy who “helped” us was kind of weird). If I were in the 11th and craving some pizza, I’d definitely stop by here.

86 rue Lemercier / Tél: 01 46 28 71 12
Specializing in seafood, Atao is one of my favorite restaurants in the Batignolles area. I’ve been meaning to write a proper review about them forever, but for now this will have to do.

Tartes Kluger
15 rue Trousseau / Tél: 01 53 01 53 53
We saved these delicious chocolate mini tarts for the next day and they didn’t disappoint! Situated in a loft-like space in the North Marais, this little bakery also has a food truck and serves brunch. I will definitely be back!

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Eating at… Les Grandes Bouches

The first day I arrived in Paris last year, Rio told me about a cute neighborhood restaurant called Les Grandes Bouches that we’d have dinner at that night. When we arrived and looked at the menu, I noticed there wasn’t anything vegetarian – not even a salad. No worries, I said. Maybe they can put something together for me – after all, there were vegetable ingredients in the dishes, so how hard could it be? Umm – no, they couldn’t. So we got up and left. On my first night in Paris. Oy.

I quickly learned that whenever phoning to make a reservation in Paris, to always ask if they have anything vegetarian. Sometimes they say no and that’s that.

Well, since I’ve recently started eating some white fish, I decided to check out the menu at Les Grandes Bouches again and see if there was anything I’d be able to eat this time around. And luckily, yes! Oh – and they also had a salad to boot!

If you’re in the Batignolles-Monceau area, I recommend checking out Les Grandes Bouches. It’s an intimate bistrot with approximately 12 tables, friendly service, good French food featuring fresh market ingredients, and a local French clientele. Oh – and did I mention they serve absinthe? Yes, Rio partook in that… while I looked on wondering if the green fairy would make an appearance for him.
Absinthe at Les Grandes BouchesSpeaking of absinthe, if you’re interested in purchasing any to enjoy chez toi, Vert d’Absinthe in the Marais was the first boutique dedicated to solely selling absinthe.

Les Grandes Bouches

78 rue de Lévis
17th arrondissement
Métro: Villiers
Tél: 01 43 80 40 36
Facebook  /  Twitter (@grandesbouches)


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