Finally tried out the much talked about Frenchie to Go for their breakfast. This is the small, coffee shop next to its bigger, more popular Frenchie, the restaurant that has had foodies and food critics talking for the past two years. I have been mildly curious about Frenchie, because the reviews have been too varied – some loved it, and some did not have a good experience, and there were few middle-of-the-range comments. There is also something off-putting about the months-long reservations waiting list.
Today was a scorcher! The intense heat we have been having for the past week is unrelenting. As I sat there on the terrace of this restaurant, overlooking Geneva’s immense Water Fountains, it took everything in me not to strip down to the bare minimum. Decorum overtook my desire to cool down. And I think this may not have gone down well with the management.
Lured by some of the restaurants that were present at last month’s Taste of Paris, I decided to try Guy Savoy’s Les Bouquinistes. I have driven past it daily on my way from my French classes over the past couple of years and had always made a mental note to try it one day. We recently met friends for dinner at his other restaurant, L’Atelier Maître Albert ,which is like a steakhouse in its meat heavy menu, so I was curious about what Les Bouquinistes had to offer.
I met a friend here for lunch almost two months ago, and we both enjoyed the food so much I knew I had to bring my family back. It is short walk from the Line 1 Metro stop Louvre-Rivoli, La Régalade is in the heart of the first arrondissement.
So we found ourselves in the 7th arrondissement on a random Saturday morning. Early morning birthday soccer game for my son’s best friend, which was why we were in that neighbourhood. After which we decided we might as well have lunch nearby. We randomly picked Le Grand Bistro as we drove past it because “it looked decent”. That is how some of the restaurant decisions are made by my family.
Building up to last month’s Taste of Paris event, the organisers of which had gone to great lengths in advertising on billboards, television and other social media platforms, I pre-booked tickets online and tried not to get too caught up in the hype.
Day one of the event was fairly lacklustre in attendance, and I dare say, in the offerings. There was an enormous champagne bar, courtesy of Laurent Perrier – and only one other drinks stand – which was really more like a corner café when compared to the LP stand. The only other places where you could have wine was the wine tasting stands, or the whisky stand if that was your thing. That alone should have been an indicator that the event had been pitched at a more wealthy audience, and touting more haute cuisine than simple good food.
I met a friend here for lunch recently and can say that I will definitely return. I made reservations for a table on their expansive terrace – highly advised in the warmer seasons. La Petite Cour is in the 6th Arrondissement, on a sub-terrain level of the city – one of the many hidden gems of the Paris dining scene.
The pleasure of a short stroll around the neighbourhood and a late afternoon family lunch over the weekend. As much as the advice to anyone who wants a decent meal in the very many Paris restaurants is to make reservations – there are still some places, especially the neighbourhood bistros, which can always accommodate the hungry flâneur – stroller. One such place was Le Saint Ferdinand recently. We walked for a while, came across a fairly secluded but animated square with three restaurants within a 50m radius, made a choice and sat for lunch.
A guided walking tour of Belleville a couple of weeks ago revealed a world I would otherwise not have stumbled upon. Belleville straddles the 13th and 20th arrondissements. I have only been as far as the Père Lachaise cemetery and the Hotel and Bar Mama Shelter. This tour revealed an entirely different side to the Belleville I know.