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Paris is a sweets-lover’s town, and the sweetest way to get to know it is to go on a pastry hop
“The Insider’s Guide to Paris: Food of the New France”
Posted on: 3/16/14
When in Paris, do everything in style, dining included! Lucky enough to be in the city for Fashion Week? Planning a future itinerary? Find the time for some of our favorite eats fit for the chic in this article I’ve selected to share with you this week…
The next generation of great bistros is about bare-bones spaces on untouristed blocks (this is the address…right?), where you’ll find brief but desirable, shockingly affordable menus prepared by bed-headed chefs in jeans. This is the food of the new France: plays on international classics made with all of the technique but a fraction of the attitude. Rabbit is rolled into an unforgettable take on porchetta, served with a mustardy frisée salad and, where the beets should be, a smear of ruby purée. Shrimp are flash-cooked in butter and “smoked” with a splash of Scotch whisky. As for dessert, the French can still do no wrong. Get a taste of the avant-garde.
New York Accent
Clearly the only thing missing in Paris was a place with a taxidermied deer on the wall, maybe some Edison bulbs (“urban woodsman” décor). The surprise is how well the vibe travels. New York chef Kevin OʼDonnnell left Mario Bataliʼs Del Posto to open LʼOffice near the Folies Bergère and brought the look with him. As for the food, it’s European country fare, like rabbit porchetta or a deboned osso buco.
Living on the Edge
Le Pantruche’s young chef, Franck Baranger, takes the best of what he learned about cooking, omits the pretension and the high prices, and delivers excellent translations of traditional bistro food. The oyster tartare, the sea bass roasted with tandoori spices and preserved lemon, the thick pork chop with a mustard pan sauce—it’s equal parts reverent and inventive. The vibe is friendly and laidback. Hard to believe, but yes, you’re still in Paris.
American in Paris
For a long time, American chefs went to Paris to prove they could cook French food. Finally thereʼs a couple who bring American food here, and proudly. Seattle expats Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian had so much success with their underground supper club that they opened Verjus in a stunning 1870 triplex. Adrian runs the tiny wine bar on the ground floor, which features small plates. Upstairs, Perkins sends out a produce-centric tasting menu, filled with dishes like grilled Basque pork belly with semolina gnocchi, Korean-style green onion salad and apple labneh. This is (cosmopolitan American) food worth crossing the Atlantic for.
This Woman Has Eaten Every Pastry in Town—Follow Dorie Greenspan, author of “Paris Sweets” and “Around My French Table”
Paris is a sweets-lover’s town, and the sweetest way to get to know it is to go on a pastry hop (preferably on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, when all these shops are open). Start at the top of Paris at the talented and adorable Gontran Cherrier’s shop in Montmartre, and munch your way to the romantic shop that is Du Pain et Des Idées. The apple turnovers or the pains au chocolat—especially the ones with banana—are not to miss. Now it’s time for Blé Sucré, near the Marché d’Aligre. Fabrice Le Bourdat’s madeleines are the best in town, and I love that they’re glazed.
Then cross the Seine and head directly to Hugo & Victor. After gasping over the museum-like displays and the chocolate boxes that look like Moleskine notebooks, treat yourself to any one of the seasonal sweets and, no matter what the month, a triangular grapefruit tartlet.
Reprinted with permission from Bon Appetit.