Eating, Drinking & Seeing: 5 Paris Favorites in March

Boot Café, Paris

I more than made up for an emotionally supercharged yet underwhelming February with an action-packed month of March. Here are some of the highlights: 

1// Dinner at Blue Valentine 
The ongoing expansion of accessible neo-bistro dining has left its marks on nearly every arrondissement in Paris but I find myself fortunate to live in the neighborhood that boasts the greatest concentration of them. 5 minutes in one direction takes me to Le Chateaubriand, 10 in another to Roseval and now in a stone's throw, I can be seated at Blue Valentine, the latest opening on what is arguably one of the sleepiest streets in the 11th. With young, Japanese chef Terumitsu Saïto formerly of the Mandarin Oriental at the helm of the kitchen, otherwise recognizable bistro favorites - roasted pigeon, gigot d'agneau, etc. - are elevated to a more inventive register. The chef plays up pedigreed market-fresh ingredients from top purveyors like Terroirs d'Avenir and Coq St. Honoré for a meal of both unassuming elegance and refreshing originality. The 1950's-inspired dining room features a selection of vibrant rock art by Chuck Sperry, a longtime friend of the owner, which beautifully complements the colors on the plate. I didn't love the wine list here but the cocktails were solid.  //reservations highly recommended//

2// Playing tourist with Susan Hutchinson (Fleurishing
Galerie Vero-Dodat

It had been several years since we first met in Paris so I was eagerly anticipating Susan's arrival. Her itinerary was chock-full of shop visits, bakery hops, neighborhood strolls and a slew of restaurants that opened since her last trip. We made ample use of our time together, from having dinner with friends at Semilla, breakfast at Claus, coffee at Télescope, brunch in her lovely Haven in Paris apartment rental and drinks at Verjus. Check out Susan's ongoing highlights from her trip HERE.

3// Photo shoot with Jean-Laurent Gaudy

One of the most memorable moments of the month as much for the feelings it stirred as the lasting mementoes it produced. See more about this HERE

4// Brunch chez Poulette
Friends and acquaintances regularly text me for restaurant recommendations and while I'm flattered they consider my opinions and tastes so highly, there are times when I too want to be guided. In a welcome change, a couple of friends booked our double date at seven-month old Poulette last weekend, a spot they knew well. The head chef, who is American, cooks up brunch stalwarts like eggs (every which way), breakfast sandwiches and French toast and offers a short menu of seasonal dishes for dinner with dessert cocktails that shouldn't be missed. The food was solid but I was especially charmed by the preserved turn-of-the-century porcelain tiling that gave the space instant character.

5// Coffee at Boot Café 
Boot Café, Paris Boot Café, Paris

This pint-size espresso bar in a former shoemaker shop, just around the corner from the much-loved concept store Merci, has become another regular stop on my coffee route each week. The crew brews Belleville beans and thoughtfully stocks Emperor Norton cakes and confections under glass cloches on the counter. Repeat: pint-size; space is rather limited for lingering (a few stools and small marble tables) but do swing by for a to-go cup and snack.

//Recommended Reading 
The Rise of Egotarian Cuisine (GQ) -- anyone who follows or knows the Paris food scene will nod in resounding agreement as they read this!

How was your month? 

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