The New Paris Dispatch #2

26 September 2017
Maison Aleph Caspar Miskin

Welcome to a new series bringing you quick news updates from Paris in everything from food and shopping to culture and urban development.

DANIEL ROSE CLOSING SPRING 
In sad restaurant news, chef Daniel Rose has announced he is looking to sell his most well known Parisian restaurant Spring. Get your reservations in while you can! The chef (and James Beard Award Winner) behind Le Coucou in New York City and La Bourse et La Vie and Chez La Vieille in Paris will focus his attention on other projects.

WELCOME TO THE PASTRY SCENE, MAISON ALEPH
As beloved as Paris is for gourmandes of all backgrounds, there is one type of treat that has long been maligned as cloyingly sticky-sweet, unrefined, and an unwelcome surprise at the end of a filling meal. Levantine pastries (Levant referring to the region that includes Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel, parts of Turkey, etc.), are traditionally soaked in honey and feature dried fruit and nuts though they are not always fresh. Their heaviness and excess is unfortunately what most people remember about them, said Myriam Sabet, the owner of the specialty pastry Maison Aleph when I went to meet her.

“Too many people associate them with discomfort. You have a filling meal, you don’t want to dessert, but the server at the restaurant you’re dining in sets a plate of these sweets on the table. Of course you eat them but feel awful immediately after — they’ve put you over the edge of stuffed.” A Syrian-born Parisian with distinct memories of better versions of Levantine pastries, she sought out to shift local perceptions. Marrying classic French pastry technique and the flavors, textures, and recipes from the Middle East, she has breathed new life into a specialty that has long been misunderstood.

If you go: Order one of each variety – Les Nids (Kadaïf angel hair ‘nests’ made with clarified butter, filled with flavored creams or candied fruit), Les Barres (dark or milk chocolate bars with pistachio, candied fruits, etc), and Les 1001 Feuilles (the baklawa revisited; the Périgord walnut with cinnamon is my favorite). Don’t leave without trying a bottle of the Eau de Rose Damas, a refreshing and fragrant drink made entirely from fresh Damask rose water.

Maison Aleph
20 rue de la Verrerie, 75004
Métro: Hôtel de Ville (line 1)

YSL MUSEUM OPENS OCTOBER 3RD 
One of the most highly anticipated cultural events of the year, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum opens its doors in Paris on October 3rd (a sister museum in Marrakech opens this fall). Located on Avenue Marceau where Laurent worked for nearly 30 years, the museum will offer a glimpse into his creative process with sketches, prototypes, some 5000 haute couture garments, photographs, and biographies of his life with partner Pierre Bergé. More details about the museum HERE.

Hoxton Hotel Paris

PARIS GETS (YET) ANOTHER BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Blink and you’ll miss a new hotel opening in Paris. Though the city’s many iconic properties receive a red carpet news blast when they shutter, renovate, or reopen, and enough fanfare to catch the attention of anyone mildly familiar with the hotel industry, new boutique properties occasionally open without so much as a passing mention. But not The Hoxton, the first Paris property from the group behind The Hoxton, London and Amsterdam. Having stayed at the Amsterdam property, I can tell you the group creates smart, well-designed, accessible spaces that become destinations for locals as much as for out-of-towners. They make me think a bit of Ace Hotel in concept but without the affected and tired hipster attitude and spartan decor.

A few things to know about the Paris property: 

– It’s set in a restored 18th century hotel particulier, a listed monument, with two spiral staircases dating back 300 years.

– 172 rooms, beginning at 99€/night (for what they unceremoniously call a Shoebox room), each with a 1950s nod.

-Two spacious courtyards, a French brasserie and a bar with a cocktail menu by the Quixotic Group (of Candelaria, Le Mary Celeste, etc.)

Even if you aren’t spending the night, it’s worth dropping by for a drink or a bite to eat to take in surroundings that could only be in Paris.

The Hoxton
30-32 rue du Sentier, 75002
Metro: Sentier (line 3), Bonne Nouvelle (lines 8 and 9)

This series is inspired by my book “The New Paris”… Pick up a copy ! 

Get the book

by Lindsey Tramuta

The city long-adored for its medieval vestiges, old-timey brasseries, and corner cafes has even more to offer today. In the last few years, a flood of new ideas and new residents has infused a once-static, traditional city with a new open-minded sensibility and energy. Journalist Lindsey (...)

by Lindsey Tramuta

The city long-adored for its medieval vestiges, old-timey brasseries, and corner cafes has even more to offer today. In the last few years, a flood of new ideas and new residents has infused a once-static, traditional city with a new open-minded sensibility and energy. Journalist Lindsey (...)

  • Oh this is wonderful! I’m planning my long-awaited honeymoon for November and love the look of the Hoxton and Maison Aleph!

    • LostInCheeseland

      Yes do check them both out!!

  • When I went to La Vieille two weeks ago I was surprised to see Spring closed on a friday night…

    • LostInCheeseland

      Yes, end of an era 🙁