Great Breakfast Spots in Paris

5 January 2014

I feel very strongly about breakfast. So much so, in fact, it pains me that the French, despite their many culinary talents, are such poor stewards of the morning meal. Before you cry out in support of France’s many morning gifts – pastries and bread especially – let me elaborate. I enjoy a flaky buttery croissant like the rest of you but it will never constitute a complete meal. They retain their joy-inducing properties when consumed infrequently (I reserve them for moments when we have guests in town) and are even better when accompanied by something savory and rich in protein. Omelets, my favorite, are inherently versatile but hardly merit an early wake up call when they’re prepared from powdered eggs – what most local brasseries use to make them (and that’s saying nothing of the ingredients inside the omelet…).  And while I’ve spoken at length about how quality coffee is proliferating, you’ll need to be in proximity or willing to travel to one of the specialty shops offering it – take your espresso at an identity-free corner joint at your own risk. But a few individuals – namely a German, an Australian, an American and three French food entrepreneurs […]…

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Lobster & Oysters in Paris

25 November 2013

Gourmet comfort food continues to shape the Paris dining scene but lately, it hasn’t been new burger joints jostling for space between coffee shops and cocktail bars but a different stripe of casual restaurant. From lobster rolls to wild oysters, established chefs and budding tastemakers are cozying up to shellfish. I wrote about six of them for the December issue of Conde Nast Traveller and have included an excerpt below for your Paris food itineraries! *** It’s no easy feat to procure fresh lobster from Brittany year-round but that’s just what they do at the matchbox-size Lobster Bar, the city’s first outpost for New England-inspired lobster rolls. Chic Montmartre bistro Jeanne B earns high marks for its Lobster Croque, an inventive rendition of the French lunchtime classic combining finely chopped Canadian lobster, thin slices of toasted brioche and a delicious Mornay sauce. At Frenchie-to-Go, the Anglo-inspired deli from renowned chef Gregory Marchand, the lobster roll is king and comes with a beurre blanc sauce, sprinkled with celery leaves and served with crisp fries. It washes down beautifully with the house ginger beer. It’s not only the first-rate cocktails and micro-brewery beers on tap that draw crowds at Le Mary Celeste […]…

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Breakfast and Lunch at Frenchie-To-Go

9 September 2013

It’s nearly inconceivable to talk about the Paris dining scene without mentioning Gregory Marchand and his ascent to stardom on the rue du Nil in the 2nd arrondissement. That and the herculean effort required to score a reservation at Frenchie, Marchand’s contemporary bistro and claim to fame. Fortunately, his two other outposts provide a taste of his talent and ingenuity without the attendant stress of having to book: Frenchie wine bar and Frenchie-To-Go, his latest venture. I’ve been reluctant to join on the Frenchie bandwagon for several reasons but mostly because of the outsize hype and the arcane booking system – there is by no means a dearth of supremely good restaurants in this city so why jump through hoops for this one in particular? I was also turned off by this sort of groupie-fanaticism around the chef himself. But when I learned that his coffee shop-cum-deli counter (Frenchie-To-Go) would offer Ruebens, lobster rolls, fish n’ chips (with line-caught merlu from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, my favorite fishing town in Basque country) and a bevy of breakfast options served all day, my tune started to change. It didn’t hurt that Marchand’s upmarket diner had secured the imprimatur of some of the food writers […]…

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