Thursday, September 10, 2015

Eat Your Way Through Paris

We just came back from a fantastic week in Paris, and while every bit of amazing food is fresh in my memory I thought I should share our favorites!  Paris gets a bad rap from some; "the waiters are rude, the service is slow, they really don't like Americans."  Our experience was something entirely different.  The places I've included here have incredibly good food (of course), but also attentive and friendly service where we felt entirely welcome.  I don't know how many times we went into restaurants, fumbled with the menu, and had a friendly waiter (or even owner!) offer to translate. Parisians love tourists who take the time to scope out good food it seems, so here are the top meals from our trip:

A Vacation-Worthy Dinner
I have to preface this by saying we tried to follow Anthony Bordain's lead and go to Septime or Bistrot Paul Bert, but we would have had to made reservations a long time in advance.  In that same foodie-heaven area around Rue de Charonne, though, we found two restaurants that take walk-ins that are just superb.

Memere Au Piano
This place was my favorite meal in France.  The waiter and owner both offered to help us with translations, and the service was as fantastic as the food.  We started our meal with an aperitif as the French do, a glass of sherry to get you in the mood for a pleasant, non-rushed meal.  Our server helped us select the best bottle of red to pair with our main course (duck for me; beef for my husband).  By the way the sweet potatoes that came with my duck were straight up decadence.

Wanting a steak?  We also loved Unico, an Argentinian inspired steak house that gets busy quick so come early if you are walking in!  By 8:30 all of the tables were full despite the fact that it was practically monsooning outside (though in Paris they are used to this weather and it doesn't hold them back).  They have a huge selection of malbec, so you can't go wrong with the wine.

The appetizer with blood sausage was incredible; including a little diced apple relish! 
A tip for ordering steak in Paris: if you want medium in America, then order medium well in Paris.  They don't overcook meats here, so in our experience you want to order a them a little more "done" than you do stateside.  Medium was really bloody in the center.

Local Flavor:
There's a few meals that you just need to experience in Paris.  Cheese, the fantastic bakeries, crepes. Paris does a lot of food really, really well.

For crepes that will blow your mind and a perfect little outdoor patio nestled behind a gothic style church that is lit up beautifully at night, try L'Eboulliante, not too far of a walk from Notre Dame (just far enough that you'll be eating with locals instead of tourists).

There are so many excellent bakeries, but Du Pan et Des Idees is worth the trek for this pistachio and chocolate filled perfection:

We had gelato at Amorino's on three different nights as it was on the the walk back to the hotel. And it was fantastic.  The raspberry (framboise) was a personal favorite!

image via since all of ours were in the dark!
In a cafe and feeling overwhelmed? Note sure what you want? Just order a charcuterie tray or a sampling of fromage (cheese).  Or both.

Missing Home? 
Sometimes you just want a hamburger (though I imagine only Americans get this dire need).  For fantastic burgers we loved Roomie's, washed down the American way with a pint of Gallo beer.

image via
Or wanting something a little more diverse?  There's a reason that there are such long lines at Urfa Durum for their buzzed about Kurdish wrap sandwiches.  Perfect for eating on the go, make sure you walk down the street to check the view of one of Paris' many monuments popping out between the narrow streets.  It's like a different world in this neighborhood, so if you're like us we camped out at one of the many bars lining the street and spent an evening watching this different side of Paris.

image via

Stay tuned for more Paris -- there's more food and more adventure to come!

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