If I lived in Annecy, I’m sure I’d be a regular at L’Encas Bio, an organic restaurant that’s tucked away in the Vieille Ville somehow distanced from wandering tourists yet right smack inside the historic area.
Specializing in delicious, healthful light fare, they offer fruit juices, smoothies, ice cream, quesadillas, vegetarian meals, soups, wraps, salads and more.
Kei, a gastronomic restaurant named after chef Kei Kobayashi, made a big splash onto the restaurant scene since its opening in 2011. Already awarded a coveted Michelin star, it’s getting more and more difficult to grab a reservation. We called a week or so in advance to make dinner plans there but they had no more tables available. Luckily, we grabbed a lunch opening and it was such a remarkable visual and culinary experience, I had to share it. If I were asked to describe the hours spent in Kei in a few words, I’d have to decline because anything I’d say would not sufficiently convey and detail the perfection/harmony in aesthetics, subtle and sublime flavors, creativity, pace and service we received. That being said, here are some of the seven dishes we each had. I was happy to discover new and unexpected flavor combinations.
Chef Kei Kobayashi is originally from Japan and worked for several years at Restaurant Alain Ducasse housed in the Plaza Athénée before venturing on his own in the first arrondissement not far from Les Halles. Understanding his background you will even further appreciate how he can flawlessly merge the impeccable sense of artful grace with the epicurean and sensual consciousness of French cuisine. Although Kei is in a formal setting, you never get a feeling of stuffiness or inflexibility. The restaurant asks your party in advance if there are any food allergies or ingredient intolerances and creates custom dishes. The service is outstanding and we found every staff member we encounted friendly, efficient and even playful. Highly recommended.
We’ve passed by a little village called Nolay dozens of times without stopping on our way from our house to Beaune. The place seemed unremarkable on the surface but we finally decided to visit it one day to check out the antiques stores on the main road.
As usual and luckily, we wandered around while we were there.
It turns out that Nolay is awesome.
Most people who’ve been here would cite the beautiful, arcaded central market place, which dates back to the 14th century.
The roof is made of limestone (weighing 800 kg/1800 lbs per square meter) and the frame holds everything together with chestnut wood beams.
But to me, the salon de thé right next to the central market place, La Thé dans la Vigne, is Nolay’s real gem.
With delicious home made desserts, light fare meals, fine wines,
an adorable, sweet and hospitable owner (Sylvie Blanchard),
eclectic quirky French decor,
antique books and newspapers in French and English. antique dishware and silverware and housed in a a building that dates back to 1810, you will only feel comfortable and happy in such a warm, cozy place.
Everything we ordered was tasty and since we couldn’t decide which dessert to have, our kind hostess prepared a plate with everything on it, including a bowl of her whisky infused fruit – the latter being delicious but crazy potent!
Le Thé dans la Vigne
8, place des Halles 21340 Nolay France
Télephone :+33 (0)3 80 26 87 31
Open 10:30am to 9:30pm during warm months Tuesday to Sunday. Closed November 30 to April 1. Reservations recommended.
This was waiting for us after an amazing meal at Loiseau des Vignes in Beaune, France (region: Bourgogne / Burgundy). We were stuffed already but don’t we always have room for macarons and financiers…and coffee?
We were in Paris a little while ago and headed over to Breizh Cafe, a creperie that focuses on quality and organic ingredients, crepes, galettes, other goodies from Brittany and some twists on these traditional dishes. They turned us away because we didn’t have reservations. Pffff! So, we went to the first Breizh Cafe in France, located in Cancale (Brittany), which is, I think, is better. So there!
Like its Parisian sister, Bertrand Larcher’s Breizh Café offers tradional and original dishes. but unlike in Paris, the Breizh Café in Cancale is right on the beach.
And because the seafood is caught just a few yards away and is delivered the same day, it couldn’t be fresher.
Definitely order oysters! They were the best I’ve ever had.
Have local cidre with your galettes and crepes. A must.
If you’re looking for the freshest, tastiest sashimi ever, go upstairs to La Table de Breizh Café, which just opened last February. It specializes in Japanese-Breton cuisine created by Chef Rafael-Fumio Kudaka.
For dessert, crepes of course! I can never resist a crepe with salted caramel.
This one wasn’t too bad, either.
Lastly, you can purchase organic buckwheat fllour and buttermilk, among other products at Breizh Cafe.
Breizh Café/La Table de Breizh Café – Cancale
7 quai Thomas
35260 Cancale, France
Telephone: +33 (0) 2 99 89 56 46 / +33 (0) 2 99 89 61 76
Breizh Café – Paris
109, rue Vieille du Temple (Le Marais)
75003 Paris, France
Telephone: +33 (0)1 42 72 13 77
Breizh Cafe Creperie – Tokyo
Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3289-3531
There are also locations in Yokohama, Kawasaki, Akasaka and HIbiya.
Chef Bernard Loiseau, known for his world class fine cuisine, is no longer with us but his Three Michelin starred restaurant, La Côte d’Or and hotel, Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu continue his legacy largely due to his family’s dedication and current chef Patrick Bertron. His attention to detail, focus on exceptional dining and overall perfectionism is felt everywhere here, and if anything, Bernard Loiseau should be remembered for what he was able to achieve during his lifetime and the hallmark he leaves behind. Nothing else.
We loved staying at Le Relais and eating La Côte d’Or. If you come to France and don’t make it to one of Bernard Loiseau’s establishments, you’ll be missing out on what would be one of the most memorable trips and meals you’ve ever had.
Some photos from our trip!
Le Relais Bernard Loiseau
21210 Saulieu – Bourgogne, (Côte d’Or, Burgundy) France
Tel. : + 33 (0)3 80 90 53 53
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
CLOSED Tuesday-Wednesday from November 2 to December 22, 2010
Other Bernard Loiseau locations:
Restaurant Loiseau des vignes
31, rue Maufoux – 21200 Beaune, Bourgogne, France
Tel. : + 33 (0)3 80 24 12 06
E-mail : email@example.com
CLOSED every Sunday and Monday
Restaurant Tante Louise
41, rue Boissy d’Anglas – 75008 Paris, France
Tel. : + 33 (0)1 42 65 06 85
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
CLOSED every Saturday and Sunday
Restaurant Tante Marguerite
5, rue de Bourgogne – 75007 Paris, France
Tel. : + 33 (0)1 45 51 79 42
E-mail : email@example.com
CLOSED every Saturday and Sunday
Discovering adorable inhabitants didn’t stop in the old town of Vitré. We ate lunch at L’Iroise, a bistro specializing in seafood, which is just at the entrance of the old town in Vitré. The restaurant is run by a sweet Breton couple (photo below) that focuses on uncomplicated, flavorful and beautiful dishes. Between the three of us, here’s what we had. Everything was excellent, including the home-made pâte de fruit served with coffee!
1, place Saint-Yves
35500 Vitre France
The brasserie, La Rotonde, is one of our regular stops when we’re in Paris. It’s been around since 1910 and is known to have been frequented by famous painters like Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Federico Cantú, Henri Matisse and Tsuguharu Fujita (most of them depicted La Rotonde in their paintings) and writers/artists from the “Lost Generation” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Matisse, T.S. Eliot, Sartre, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and others). That has all faded into history but it’s still one of our favorite places. There’s nothing fancy, really, but it basically offers your consistently yummy traditional French brasserie fare at reasonable prices: all kinds of steaks (with frites, of course), seafood and more. Get a steak here with pepper sauce, though! It’s your best bet. The atmosphere is notable with its red-velvet and brass, famous paintings and energetic crowd. The service is friendly and excellent.
Lastly, save room for dessert! It’s hard to do here because the meals servings are big. Get their Mille Feuille! It’s sooo gooooood.
105, Boulevard Montparnasse (at the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail)
75006 Paris France
Telephone: +33 1 43 26 48 26
For those of you stuck in Paris because of Eyjafjallajokull’s wrath on Mother Nature (the Icelandic ash cloud grounding airlines in Europe), as well as other travelers, why not chill and take a dinner cruise on the Seine? Your diner croisiere will take your mind off of being stranded and instead send you on a floating gourmet tour to see all the iconic landmarks the City of Light shows millions of visitors each year.
While Blue Seine specializes in group cruises on the Seine, they do offer individual packages as well. Inquire on their website and bon vent!
Telephone Number: 01 56 89 88 98
The following massacred French recipe was committed by the folks at that omnipresent family cafeteria/restaurant in France, Flunch, not me this time around.
We strolled by a Flunch yesterday and saw this huge sign for a new offering: The American Galette. While you’d think it would resemble a French sandwich américain, with its nonsensical bratwurst, grilled veggies and fries inside a baguette – surprisingly, La (chouette/nice) galette américaine sort of makes sense (in a Frenchy way) sporting basically a burger and its fixings inside a galette (a savory crepe usually made with buckwheat flour). Is it any good? I dunno but I think it needs fries inside!
Years ago in Paris, you could walk into practically any brasserie or restaurant and not worry that you would be served terrible food. For the most part you wouldn’t be disappointed. Move forward in time and things have changed quite a bit and well, you aren’t as confident walking cold into an unknown restaurant in Paris. Despite those turn of events in recent years, we often find ourselves walking into an unknown restaurant in Paris not having the slightest idea if it’s going to be good! Oh well, we’re still optimistic about things and always hope we’ll be happy with our random choice.
When we were turned away at Breizh Café for not having reservations, we then wandered into Des gars dans la cuisine, a small restaurant in Le Marais, and were very pleased with our accidental selection. Yay. To note was the Parmentier, a dish originally known as a poor man’s meal including mashed potatoes and left over meats, typically ground beef. However, the Parmentier at Des gars dans la cuisine, (a restaurant name, which is a play on words: guys in the kitchen or damage in the kitchen), is a step up from the original dish. Their version features Canard confit au foie gras, jus au miel et poivre vert (duck confit with foie gras, juice from honey and green peppercorns) – the yummiest Parmentier I’ve ever had. I think it should be listed in this book we refer to from time to time.
My family teases and laughs at me incessantly whenever I mention that I go out for pizza in France. I fail to see the humor in it especially when it has been really hard to find a decent pizza here. Do they expect me to eat French food ALL THE TIME? Anyway. We make pizza at home a lot but whenever an opportunity comes up to check out a pizza place, we’re there… uh, with the exception of that worm pizza place.
Although Pink Flamingo Pizza offers many unusual and playful kinds of pizzas, La Ghandi, for example, is topped with sag paneer and baba ganoush, tahini, lemon and garlic, and La Che has marinated Cuban pork and fried plantains – we were more in the mood for a basic pizza, one that might remind us of my original home country so we ordered La Dante with tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil, and La Marcello, which features roquette seasoned with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and shaved parmesan. With crispy, thin crust made with organic flour and toppings from local merchants, the pizzas were pure yum. Exactly what we needed and wanted.
During the warmer months, you can order your pizza and plan to eat it outside either on the banks of the Canal Saint Martin or at a park in the Marais, depending on which location you’re eating, and they will bring the pizza to you!
Pink Flamingo will be our “go to” pizza place whenever we’re in Paris. It’s a perfect place for American expats to grab a taste of home. It really tastes more American than European, if that makes sense. (Possibly because one of the owners is from Boston?) Thankfully, there are NO pizzas that feature olives WITH seeds or an oozing, raw egg smack dab in the middle. Yay!
Pink Flamingo (2 Paris Locations)
67 rue Bichat
75010 Paris France (10th arrondissement)
Telephone: 01 42 02 31 70
Métro Jacques Bonsergent
Open Tues, Wed., Thurs. Fri., Sat. Noon to 3pm & 7pm to 11:30pm.
Sunday continuous service: 1pm to 11pm
105 Rue Vieille du Temple
75003 Paris, France
Telephone: 01 42 71 28 20
Open Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, 7pm-11:30pm; Sat. & Sun Noon to 4pm; 7pm to 11:30pm
France’s reputation for culinary genius has traditionally set the standard to which all other countries aspire. It has always been synonymous with outstanding cooking, with its kitchens as important a part of Gallic culture as its art and language.
Not any more, according to a devastating investigation behind the kitchen doors of restaurants in Paris.
Rather than master chefs and fresh ingredients, restaurants in the world capital of haute cuisine are increasingly relying on microwave ovens and deep freezers to feed their customers, it found.
Industrially produced ready-meals, “flavour sprays” and untrained catering staff are all part of an unsavoury mix which is dragging down standards in French cooking, according to a documentary shown on France’s Canal+ station at the weekend.
It sought to prove that such deception is becoming increasingly common. Using hidden cameras and even searching dustbins, investigators found numerous restaurants trying to pass off third-rate food as the real thing.
The last year or so in L.A. has proven that food trucks not only have evolved far past their “roach coach” days but also have inadvertently contributed to reducing people’s carbon footprints. These roaming restaurants that come to you, offer anything from gourmet Korean tacos, grass-fed beef hotdogs, cupcakes, Banh Mi, BBQ, sushi, crepes – you name it, you can probably find the meal on wheels you’ve been looking for. I like the idea of the Green Truck running on vegetable oil, using biodegradable containers and serving organic food. The only glitch is that the food is not local, which is understandable in L.A.
France has had food trucks for many years in the form of pizza trucks in the south and French fry trucks in the north, not to mention the awesome cheese trucks, butcher trucks, bakery trucks… oh! and roasted chicken trucks and more. Aside from the pizza and fries trucks, I haven’t seen much innovation in rolling fast food until recently, and this one is pretty cool.
Taking food trucks to a whole new level and incorporating today’s “green” needs, Christopher Mauduit and Fabrice Vanderschooten launched Hippo Facto last November near the city of Caen, which is located in north west France just about 10 miles inland from the English Channel. What’s not to love about it? Pulled by Percheron draft horses and dedicated to sustainable living and organic, local products, Hippo Facto couldn’t be more brilliant. Respecting the environment and serving fast organic and local fare that’s simple, healthful and creative, you can order fruit/vegetable juices, tartines, soups among other offerings. The containers are also compostable.
You’re right, I can’t imagine a food truck like this in a megalopolis such as Los Angeles. Picture the road rage of people behind the horse and buggy! Hippo Facto seems to work where they are. Of course, it takes them two hours to get to Place de la République in Caen. That’s all good considering there’s no fossil fuels involved, they don’t live in a speedy world and besides, some people commute longer than that in cars every single day. Now THAT’S crazy.
Every Wednesday & Friday
Place de la République – Caen France
On Weekends, they’re on the coast:
Bernières-sur-Mer, Lion-sur-Mer and Courseulles
Website: Hippo Facto
A marvelous painting of a gourmand at his table hangs in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris — a portly, pink-faced figure happily gorging on a regal casserole, with a bottle of wine at one elbow and a luscious-looking soufflé at the other. It is traditionally believed to be a portrait of Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent Grimod de la Reynière, an aristocrat notorious in Napoleonic France for gratifying his palate with the same abandon as his contemporary the Marquis de Sade showed in indulging carnal desires. Whether or not the painting is actually Grimod’s likeness, it captures the eccentric, omnivorous spirit that made him not only a gustatory symbol in the Paris of his day, but the grand-père of all modern food writers as well.
Starting in 1803, Grimod, whose family fortune had largely been lost during the Revolution, financed his voracious appetite by writing a series of best-selling guidebooks to the culinary wonders of Paris — its famous delicatessens, pâtissiers and chocolatiers — including the first reviews of an alluring new institution called le restaurant. His Almanachs des Gourmands were something new, the Michelins and Zagats of his era, and their offbeat style reflects the author’s larger-than-life character. Grimod was born in 1758 with deformed hands, one a birdlike talon and the other a webbed pincer. But he was not one to be held back, so he had learned to write — and dine — with metal prostheses. A social butterfly, he became a successful theater critic in Paris before the Revolution, survived the Terror and amused himself later by hosting literary salons in the cafes. And, of course, eating.
It was on the trail of Grimod one day last summer that I passed through the vaulted arches of the Palais Royal, opposite the north wing of the Louvre, and into a vast, empty courtyard. In Grimod’s day, the Palais Royal was the heart and soul of Paris, a rowdy entertainment center filled with brothels and sideshows that, despite its louche ambience, also boasted some of his favorite … continue reading
If for any reason you go to the St. Jean restaurant in the cité médiévale of Carcassonne, it should be for the ambiance. On a warm summer night outside facing the ancient ramparts, Niko singing his fun Frenchified songs of bossa nova, other Latin tunes and maybe some Stevie Wonder songs with a pleasant French accent, it’s just the beginning of a overall awesome evening or afternoon.
The food is pretty good for such an unabashed place for tourists. Noteworthy: The cassoulet (regional specialty) is really delicious. However, a small gripe from me: the portions are just too huge. However, somemany gobs of people will clearly welcome the copious quantity of food.
After finishing the appetizers,
which are huge,
and the main dish…also gargantuan,
here’s the steak tartare someone in our party had;
isn’t it a lot? Yes! I wonder how anyone can polish off that amount of food in one sitting. Oh wait, we did.
Generous portions really do not form solid grounds for complaining; I do realize this unfair grievance. Some people would call that a perk. Afterall, the dishes were rather tasty and the whole experience: live music, dining comfortably alfresco, to-die-for backdrop, excellent company, friendly staff – made everything fabulous. Highly recommended.
Le St. Jean
Restaurant – Bar – Glacier
1, place Saint Jean
Cite de Carcassonne France
Telephone : 04 68 47 42 43
Order your Thanksgiving dinner and have it made for you, so you don’t have to try to fit a turkey in that tiny, French oven! If not that, perhaps you’re traveling or just don’t want to deal with it at home. How about going out for a real, Thanksgiving dinner à la américaine? The Bistrot Saint Martin is offering a feast for Turkey Day to eat in or take out, but reserve now as long as there are still openings. The in-restaurant dinner is 30€/person and includes:
Take out dinners include:
Bistrot Saint Martin
Telephone: 06 32 75 98 05/01 46 07 73 68
Website: The Bistrot Saint Martin
If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll remember that we’d gone to Serge Chenet’s new restaurant last year. Since that time, Mr. Chenet earned his first Michelin star, so we thought we’d check him out again. We made it back to our favorite bed and breakfast in Provence – only twice this year!!! – and we decided to revisit one of our favorite restaurants in Provence just a few weeks ago, and we weren’t disappointed. It’s pure yum. If you’re ever in the area please consider having dinner here. Our party of five loved everything and came up with these photos (some dishes are missing):
Pizza grissini, candied cherry tomatoes, herring sorbet on toast
Trilogy of fish, roquette/cheese soup, cow cheek roll
Tenderloin of pork with a soft parmesan polenta and snow peas
Apple Pie Deconstructed
Restaurant Serge Chenet
Le Mas Saint Bruno
Chemin des Falaises
Phone : +33 (0) 4 90 95 20 29 Website
We can’t attest to the food in this restaurant but we can attest to the cuteness of the Deco Cafe. We were in Saint Remy de Provence for their famous, Wednesday street market and walked by this adorable cafe.
There’s nothing fancy about one of the last remaining authentic bouchons* in Lyon, Café des fédérations, but that’s exactly how I like some restaurants these days.
Though founded in the beginning of the 20th century, Café des fédérations is now owned by Yves Rivoiron. It’s considered a very typical bouchon with its hanging sausages, checkered table cloths and old world decor, and was specifically recommended to us by a pastry chef who bows down to the establishment.
It’s not a place for vegetarians and even some carnivores would cringe at the menu. There’s a lot of very fatty items and some offal-y offerings like tripe, andouillette, tete de veau, and something called Gras double à la lyonnaise, which is a big slab of fat. A double dose of it to boot! At least that’s how it was described to me. I didn’t order that but I do like fat especially in the Lyon saucisson sec served as appetizers. Yes, the fat globs makes those things come together perfectly. YUM.
For appetizers, we had charcuteries lyonnaises, pieds de veau (calf’s feet) and a flavorful though undercooked caviar de la croix rousse, which is a lentil salad.
The “safest” thing on the menu for a main dish if you aren’t feeling particularly adventurous would be the chicken. It’s delicious.
Poulet au vinaigre / Chicken in a vinegar sauce
I had the blood sausage with apples, which were the best blood sausages I’ve had. Disclaimer: This was the second time I’ve ordered blood sausage. hee.
Boudin noir aux pommes / Blood sausage with apples
My dessert photos are too blurry to show. We had tarte aux pralines roses, a tarte aux citron and gateau au chocolat.
Based on our visit, I’d have to say that Café des fédérations offers a peek at and experience of the authentic bouchon scene in Lyon – a lively atmosphere, nostalgic surroundings and simple home-style cooking.
Café des fédérations
8 rue du Major-Martin
You must reserve in advance.
* A bouchon is a type of restaurant in Lyon, France, that serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, such as sausages, offal, duck pâté or roast pork. Compared to other forms of French cooking such as nouvelle cuisine, the dishes are quite fatty, and heavily oriented around meat. There are around 20 officially certified traditional bouchons, but a larger number of establishments describing themselves using the term.
Typically, the emphasis in a bouchon is not on haute cuisine, but rather, a convivial atmosphere and a personal relationship with the owner.The tradition of bouchons came from small inns visited by silk workers passing through Lyon in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Another bouchon, Le tablier (the apron), in Vieux Lyon.
According to Le petit Robert this name derives from the 16th century expression for a bunch of twisted straw. A representation of such bundles began to appear on signs to indicate restaurants, and by extension the restaurants themselves became known as bouchons. The more common use of “bouchons” as a stopper at the mouth of a bottle, and its derivatives, have a different etymology. [from wikipedia]
Apricot Mille Feuilles with Pistachio cream
We stayed a short distance from Canal Saint Martin last week in Paris and wandered into Les Enfants Perdus for lunch one day. It’s a relatively new bistro we’d recommend if you find yourself in the neighborhood in search of a satisfying meal in a charming setting. Friendly service, tasty dishes (see menu below) and yummy desserts. Click on image to enlarge Les Enfants Perdus
9, Rue Récollets
75010 Paris, France
Telephone 01 40 35 54 51
Métro: Gare de l’Est, Line 4
Hours: Open daily for lunch (brunch on Sunday) and dinner.
Prices: A la carte: about €35 not including wine.There’s a prix fixe lunch menu available (two courses, coffee) for €15
“This summer in Paris, the Art Home restaurant has been dropped by crane (video here) on top of the Palais du Tokyo. The ultra-edgy contemporary arts museum has a nice view of the Eiffel Tower from its plebian patio down below (price of admission: as low as a single cup of coffee). Beginning July 1, however, that view will be overshadowed by the possibility of lunch or dinner up on the roof. It’s close quarters inside that privileged perch, with room to welcome only a dozen diners for lunch (€60/$84) and dinner (€80/$111). Given so few seats, this is a tough reservation to score. Booking works like at Momofuku Ko in New York—reservations are taken online, beginning at 10 a.m., for a date exactly one month in the future. Be ready to with your finger on the mouse at 9:59!
An alternate strategy, up until bidding closed last night, was to enter the eBay battle for opening night seats. But after seeing the price for a single person rise above €1,400 ($1,950!), I decided to settle instead for a free visit.
That’s right—if you’re curious to see this Laurent Grasso installation for yourself, free tours are conducted daily between 3 and 5:30 p.m. (except for Mondays, when the museum, restaurant, and tours are closed), with online reservation required. If you’re lucky, there might be a few lunch crumbs left on the table!
Art Home at/on the Palais de Tokyo, 13 avenue du Président Wilson, 16th arrondissement, 011-33/1-47-23-54-01.”
Boudin noir? Poulet rôti? Moules Frites? Un moelleux au chocolat? How ’bout some foie gras or a nice juicy côte de boeuf? I know you’ve been dying for a tête de veau, haven’t you? When you travel all the way to Paris, does it ever occur to you to hit the pavement in search of a croque monsieur? I mean, a really, really good croque monsieur? Well, the best one in Paris has truffles in it. I would travel all the way to Paris for that. If it was really exceptional, I wouldn’t even mind if it didn’t have any truffles. At the same time, I can’t imagine going to a fancy restaurant for a croque monsieur but hey, the best club sandwich in Paris is supposedly from Georges V, and I bet it is not a bon marché. I wouldn’t want to pay too much for a club sandwich, but my sweetie probably would. He LOVES club sammiches. Anyway, on to the book.
Je me ferais bien un… is a new Paris restaurant guide book in French written by Valérie Expert and Véronique André, and is a little different from most other Paris restaurant guides. The authors made it a mission to try a significant number of restaurants (they say they tried them all but c’mon) in Paris to find the best places for the French’s 52 most favorite foods and dishes suitable for all budgets. So in many cases you can choose a dish or dessert, for example, and find the best couscous from a fancy restaurant, a mid-range bistro or a budget restaurant.
The book is organized in alphabetical order. So during those times when you say to yourself, “Je me ferais bien un… / I feel like a…” just look for the dish in the book you feel like eating then go from there. We can’t wait to try out the recommendations! Will their listings for the best hamburger pass our test? We will see about that. Oui, by the way, the hamburger is apparently a favorite among the French.
Here’s the list of dishes included in the book, if you were wondering: andouillette, assiette de légumes, baba, bar, blanquette de veau, boudin noir, caesar salad, cassoulet, choucroute, club sandwich, côte de boeuf, couscous, crêpes, croque-monsieur, eclairs/religieuses, foie de veau, foie gras, gambas, gigot d’agneau, gibier, hachis parmentier, hamburger, île flottante, langoustines, magret de canard, mille-feuille, moelleux au chocolat, moules-frites, os à moelle, oeuf/omelette, paris-brest, pâtes, petit salé aux lentilles, pigeon, pieds de porc grillés, pizza, plateau de fruits de mer, poulet roti, pot-au-feu, raie, risotto, ris de veau, salade thaï, sole, soufflé, sushi/sashimi, souple chinoise, tapas, tartare, tarte au pommes, tête de veau, truffe.
There’s a crisis and all but do we have to resort to eating crickets, worms and cicadas? I’d like my pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni, please. 86 those grasshoppers and creepy crawlies!
After restaurateur Alexis Chambon met Michel Collin, a bugologist (ok, an entomologist), he thought it would be a wonderful idea to launch a restaurant that serves all kinds of insects. So he did and now you can find bug cuisine at his restaurant in Guidel, a small town in Brittany.
You can order pizza with insects or go for the fried crickets, that supposedly taste like….peanuts. (not chicken)
Its star system rewards expensive restaurants, of course. But the guide also has a lesser-known rating for affordable restaurants. Toward the back of the guide, there’s the “Bib Gourmand” section in which Michelin recognizes places that offer excellent three-course meals for less than €35 ($44) each.
This year, 47 Paris restos are on the Bib Gourmand list—a record. Many of these spots are new additions to the list. My favorites include:
• Le Baratin,, 3 rue Jouye Rouve, 20th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-49-39-70
• Le Bistrot Paul Bert, 18 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-72-24-01
• La Cantine du Troquet, 101 rue de l’Ouest, 14th arrondissement, 011-33/1-45-40-04-98.
• L’Entêtée, 4 rue Danville, 14th arrondissement, 011-33/1-40-47-56-81
The above restaurants are not open every day of the week, so call ahead to confirm and to see if reservations are needed.”
If you’ve spent some time in Burgundy, you will know that most of the regional cuisine is extremement copieux – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but occasionally one needs to deviate from the standard Burgundy fare.
La Petite Marche is a wonderful reprieve from eggs swimming in wine, beef slow cooked in wine and snails soaked in parsley and garlic butter. Here you can spend very little for a completely organic and delicious meal in a relaxing setting with a great view of old town Dijon.
There’s nothing complicated at La Petite Marche but everything we ate was simply flavorful and healthful. Service is friendly and excellent, too.
Rillettes aux légumes, carottes râpées, salade
Escalope de volaille, et une composition de lentilles, choux fleurs, poivrons verts
Gâteau au chocolat dans sa crème anglaise
Café et mignardises
La Petite Marche
27-29, rue Musette (located above the organic grocery store, La Vie Saine)
21000 Dijon France
Tél: 03 80 30 15 10
Open Mon – Sat – Serving Lunch Only ’til 2pm
10€ – 20€
David Bernard and Marie Geffriaud, owners of L’Etage, a small restaurant in Nantes (Northwest France, Region: Pays de la Loire), are offering an exceptionally cheap lunch menu on Tuesdays. It’s a marketing tactic to get noticed but it’s also a way to address the financial crisis that has hit France and their clientele. So far, it seems to be working.
For 3.50 €, a sample menu would include thai curry chicken and rice and for dessert, a choice of custard or fruit salad.
I hope other restaurants will follow their example.
“When the sommelier in the overpriced Paris restaurant started to refill the glass without asking, François Simon stopped his hand in midair before a drop could fall.
“I like to control the temperature of my wine,” he announced. “In a restaurant, I am horrified by having to obey. I want to be indulged.”
Simon may be the most feared and most read figure in France’s culinary world, an ordinary looking man with a fountain pen as razor-sharp as a butcher’s slaughter knife.
As food critic for the right-of-center Le Figaro newspaper for more than two decades, he has skinned, sliced, grilled and roasted his subjects, indifferent to the impact of his words on them, but can be thin-skinned when they hit back.
He once described a meal at the restaurant Guy Savoy, a Michelin favorite, as “a three-star crucifixion,” faulting Savoy for serving his signature artichoke and truffle soup out of season. Marc Veyrat, who enjoys an unheard-of perfect 20-20 score in the Gault-Millau guide, is for him a “clown” and “a fake peasant” with megalomaniacal tendencies.
He has extended his reach with books, a weekly cable television show in which he hides his face and a blog that includes his secret video recordings with a hand-held camera of some of the great and not-so-great tables of France.
Not content simply to pass judgment on others, Simon claims to be an accomplished cook himself. His blog, in both French and English, boasts that he can cook a chicken 200 ways.
Last month, though, he took a step that few of his colleagues would have dared. He closeted himself in the kitchen of the tiny, mural-tiled bistro Le Cochon à l’Oreille and cooked five nights in a row, each night for 20 or so diners who had won the free meals in a first-come-first-served Internet sign-up.
Simon’s debut as a chef occurred during the annual “Le Fooding” week, sponsored by a French gastronomic movement that he strongly supports and that promotes an egalitarian, irreverent approach to dining. He announced his kitchen stint on his blog and in his column, and by the time he was ready to cook, much of the French media world had taken note.
The meal was barely adequate, according to five diners one night. The pumpkin soup, seasoned heavily with ginger, vanilla and black sesame oil, was grainy, undercooked and so dense it stood up in stiff peaks.
“I’m disappointed,” said Julie Demarest, an administrator in a water purification company. “It’s thick — like oatmeal. I don’t like it.”
The spiced chicken with pine nuts and golden raisins filled the dinner plate, but was…” continue reading
A well-established restaurant, Le Chalet Bleu, headed by Philippe Bouché, is one of our favorite restaurants in Autun, France (Burgundy). It’s very reasonably priced with a basic menu starting at 18 euros. Of course, that menu features Tête de veau, which I don’t think I could bring myself to eating. It looks so blubbery and well….it’s a baby cow’s face! I might be unreasonable saying this but I don’t really want to eat a calf’s head. Does that include the brains? I know, I know, I should TRY it one day to REALLY tell. It’s not like you see a face with eyes and ears and a nose and BRAINS.. Well. Anyway, we ate lunch at Le Chalet Bleu recently, so here’s a little sampling of what we ate. None of us ordered Tête de veau.
Ballotine et Rillettes de Faisan en Gelée de Lentilles Vertes , Magret de Canard Fumé en Compote de Figue, Effilochée d’Endive, glace aux champignons et au miel
Terrine de lentils, Magret de Canard Fumé, soupe aux lentils
Dos de Flétan et Pétoncles au Safran, Meunière d’Endive, Epinard et Kumquat