Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bon Appetite (& Santé) Paris, Part Deux

Last year I enjoyed Paris in August so much that I decided to return again this year for a 3 day stay, after my short holiday in the south of France. Forest & I again played "who is open?" and came up with another fantastic lineup of restaurants and bars.

Drinking...

If you are looking for a view in Paris, and you'd prefer to have a glass of something nice to sip on while you're enjoying it, you can't do better than the two gems Forest found us.

The first is Ciel du Paris, on the top of the Tour Montparnasse. Dayne, Forest and I had gone years ago and after Forest heard they'd done a little remodel we decided to check it out again. The view is still spectacular, the drinks are still meh. So grab a glass of champagne and take in the sight of the Eiffel Tower which sparkles on the hour.
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The second view point is... drum roll please... the roof of the Holiday Inn in the St. Germain area. The bar, Le Quarante Trois, requires that you have a reservation for drinks. The drinks again are meh, but the almost 360 degree views are spectacular, I suggest them paired with a glass of rosé champagne.
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There are great drinks though, as Paris has grown so much with regard to craft cocktail bars. In year's past it's been more of a struggle to find a well made drink, now it's more of a struggle to get to all the great bars. Curio Parlor is by no means new, but I hadn't had a chance to check it out in the past so we dropped in for a quick nightcap one evening. From the same team behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, the bar has many similarities to their other endeavors. The thing that makes Curio unique is they are Europe's main Nikka Whisky bar, offering rare tastes from the brand's full portfolio.
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Swanky cocktails were also had at the posh Baudelair Bar inside the 5-star Burgundy Hotel, which sits in the center of the Places Madeleine, Vendome and Concorde. Sometimes it's nice to relax in the cool comfort of an air-conditioned hotel bar, decked out with supple couches and chairs, pretty artwork and fancy snacks. This was certainly one of those times.
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Eating...

Is there is anything better than a long, leisurely, ladies' lunch? I think not. Forest and I spent our first day back in Paris on the lovely terrace of Mini Palais at the Grand Palais. Right next to the Seine, just off Pont Alexandre III. This is a great stop if you are sightseeing in the area. We had fantastic service, drinks, wine and lunch, including these house cured sardinettes with a seaweed butter.
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There is seating on the terrace and also an interesting room inside for dinner. It's not expensive, considering the neighborhood and you can walk off lunch by doing a bit of shopping on the Champs-Élysées after.

In August, Le Comptoir, which is normally impossible to get a reservation at, doesn't take reservations. We showed up early and were told to stand in line under a red umbrella next to the street. Within 10 minutes we were seated outside on a sidewalk table and had a truly spectacular meal. This is going up with my experience at Agape Substance (which is just down the street) as one of my favorite recent dining experiences in Paris. The food is very French traditional but with a twist, for example my roasted marrow bone with caviar, petit peas, favas, puree and foam. Oh. My. God.
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Also Le Comptoir has the largest portion cheese plate I've ever seen in France. What was meant to serve just one could have been enough for four easily. Believe the hype about this place.

Lunch at Saturne was another great restaurant experience and another case where the hype matched the menu. We had the 3 course 37€ menu (they also offer a 5 and 7 course option) and started with some lovely jamon noir and bread. I was excited to try the veal tartare and it was delicious if a tiny bit bland. My fish with cockles, mussels, zucchini and these tiny halves of baby corn was both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! Interesting desserts with odd flavored ice cream and strawberries finished off the meal.
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A last evening dinner at, still new kid on the block, Les Jalles had us batting a thousand. The elegant dining room was modern and traditional at the same time. Service was not perfect but they were trying to be. And the food was artistic as well as delicious. My lovely last meal included foie gras, boeuf au poivre, and these gorgeous potatoes fried in goose fat.
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Both...

Tacos in Paris? I know, I know but since I wanted to check out Candelaria (we'd gone twice last year but wasn't able to get in) and we'd had a leisurely lunch that ended late in the afternoon, it was the perfect stop for a light dinner.

This tiny hole-in-the-wall in the 3rd looks like it belongs in Southern California. White walls, a 5 seat communal table, a handful of counter seats and a large grill make up the entire space. Upon entering you need to walk to the very back wall to find an unmarked door which will lead you to the cocktail bar. Inside you'll find an equally tiny bar. The menu has a great selection of house specialties and if you ask for the Reserve Menu you'll be given a small phone book of creations from many of the world's best bartenders.
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You can get an order of guac and chips in the bar but if you want tacos you'll have to give up your seat and head back out front. You can, however, order a cocktail in the bar and they will bring it out to you in the restaurant.

Prices are cheap and the food is actually very good. My only gripe was that the tortillas could have been griddled a bit longer. Our favorites were the hongos tacos (mushroom and cheese) and the nopal
tostada. 
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All Paris photos, including more food porn, are here

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Paris, France

3 comments:

  1. Great write up! now, hurry back out again so I have a good excuse to eat and drink too much (like i need one...)

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  2. Done! Mark me for Dec 22nd, one night birthday shenanigans!

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  3. I can't wait to try some of these places when we are there next fall :)

    -Jen

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