Septime’s little sister Clamato is another place where I could easily eat everyday. Incredibly fresh fish, fantastic flavors and perhaps the best service that I had on this trip.
trout from banka, marinated vegetables & white cheese
cuttlefish, sesame and chili
baked scallops, lard and sauvignon
Little Red Door
Definitely go at opening to the Little Red Door. What an incredibly cute bar and I absolutely loved the architecture based menu concept.
With a fitting name meaning ‘beautiful mess’ in Hebrew, Balagan is certainly un-Parisian aside from being part of the Experimental Group. While quite a scene, it is incredibly energetic and I couldn’t help but have an amazing time. And the food was amazing…that pictured as well as a few extras that I didn’t photograph.
I stopped at Buvette for some vegetables to offset the cheese I was eating for 3 meals per day. They were delicious but the service was truly horrible to the point that I considered leaving before I had even ordered and again after I finished my glass of wine and couldn’t seem to get another.
I have had several disappointing experiences at places on the Worlds 50 Best Bars list but had a fantastic experience at Le Syndicat. It looks like an abandoned storefront in a slightly sketchy neighborhood and you could easily walk by it. Very cool menu, great drinks and service. I can’t wait to return.
Biggie Smalls Door
Marc de Bourgogne, Cap Corse Mattei, liqueur de gentiane, et cordial de pamplemousse & d’aneth
Eau de vie de framboise, Cap Corse Mettei, vermouth rouge, et sucette maison au piton
Chez La Vieille
Thank you Daniel Rose for reopening this spot, staffing it with amazing people from Spring, and creating such a fantastic environment. Perhaps the best time I have had at dinner while traveling and if I lived in Paris I would be here once a week. I could easily eat poireaux vinaigrette every day of the week and this version was excellent. But the chicken was quite possibly the best chicken I have had in my life. Yes everything in Paris seems better, and the chickens are different, but I have thought about this so often since.
Dersou has a vibe that can only be described as ‘hip’ even though I hate that term. The space is minimal, industrial and casual. The only choice is among a 5, 6 or 7 course menu although everybody I could see seemed to be doing 7. Each includes a cocktail pairing per course. The cocktails were all successful and in smaller portions that worked for this format. I have recommended Dersou multiple times since this visit to friends who I thought would have fun here. I’m sure the format isn’t for everyone but I loved it.
I had an absolutely lovely lunch at Pages. In retrospect I am not sure i would have enjoyed it so much at dinner. It has nothing to do with the restaurant itself, but most people seemed to be out to business lunches and so for me it truly felt like a vacation day. As is too typical I did not take notes but everything was delicious and I always love having a view of the kitchen.
La Bourse et La Vie
It seems that Daniel Rose can do no wrong. As expected truly excellent versions of dishes that I love and could eat meal after meal.
L’Assiette is exactly what you expect a French bistro to be. This was a perfect lunch although I did eat my body weight in beans.
I have been trying to reconcile my experience at L’Arpege with some of the less than stellar reviews and think perhaps I just had more realistic expectations. Just looking at my photos you can tell that there is no crazy plating, modern technique, nothing that is not what it appears to be. If anything this is 3 star version of comfort food. So if you come in expecting something different you will likely be disappointed. Not that such assumption is not warranted by starts and rankings. What makes Arpege is personality. It is a dinner party and there is so much energy in the room it is difficult to not have fun if you give in to it. Before I even sat down Alain Passard kissed me on both cheeks, complimented my dress, and whispered “I am going to cook for you tonight.” It was impossible not to be completely smitten and subsequently ignore the flaws. For me this was an absolute perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
I did not have a reservation for Clown Bar so went at opening hoping for the best. It turned out that I was the only person there and due to a maintenance issue they would be opening late. So I sat down with a book and a glass of wine and tried to acclimate to the slower pace. If I lived in the neighborhood this is a place that I would visit as much as possible and it was the perfect start to the trip.
*For dinner reservations call just prior to lunch service at noon.
It is the one I was most excited to visit and if I could only return to one place in Paris from this trip, Yam’Tcha would be it. There is no way that I can describe it better in words than the Chef’s Table episode did so I am not even going to try. If you can, go.