Listings and reviews (32)
What should I drink? A Bérégovoy. This rue de Belleville cocktail bar is named after the nearby Place du Combat, which was once the site of circus involving fighting animals in the nineteenth century. But no fear, it’s a long way from all that now. The whitewashed walls and private green alcove make it super welcoming and peaceful. Elena Schmitt, Margot Lecarpentier and barmaid Elise Drouet (all of whom are ex-Experimental Cocktail Club) serve the finest, well-balanced cocktails. There’s the Rhydypandy (Ocho tequila, Drouin pommel, fresh fennel juice, maple syrup and lemon) or the Bérégovoy (30 & 40 calvados, Ferrand cognac, Madeira Verdelho, Dry Ferrand curaçao and Scrappy's orange bitters). To avoid total knockout from all that booze, head for the edibles, such as the terrine with gherkins and Thierry Breton’s pain de campagne (€8).
Les Canailles Ménilmontant
What should I order? The beef tongue carpaccio with gribiche sauce. The team behind Les Canailles Pigalle are back with their second opus, this time not far from Père Lachaise. The menu features many of the same excellent dishes and it’s easy to feel at ease among the Maurice Chevalier poster, azure mosaic floor and exposed brick bar. Sebastien Guillo’s kitchen skills are sure to wow: starting with his famed beef tongue carpaccio with gribiche sauce (€9). The thin slices of meat came pleasantly warm, with a generous serving of cold gribiche sauce made with hard-boiled eggs, chives, gherkins and parmesan. Light and tasty, it’s the kind of dish you’ll want to linger over. The star dish was impeccably caramelised sweetbreads with shiitake mushrooms and al dente roasted Jerusalem artichokes (€32). If only we’d had room for the rhum baba…
Who’s it for? Anyone who likes pretzels and wants to sample more Alsatian delights. What should I order? The pear and thyme Puits d’amour pastry (€7). When should I go? For the €15 two-course lunch menu. Enter Café Mirabelle and you will be greeted by a mouth-watering cake counter, a fireplace and vintage furniture abound. Headed up by the young chef from Strasbourg, Marion Goettle, this tea room/restaurant/patisserie a stunning morning spread: croissants (€2), gianduja chocolate brioche (€2.50) and granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit (€5.20). Warm up with a gianduja hot chocolate or excellent De Thé en Thé teas from the 14th (€4.50). When lunchtime comes, don’t miss the Alsatian bibelskäs: a combination of sautéed potatoes (soft on the inside, crispy on the outside), lardons, onions, fromage blanc and chives. The bouchée à la reine (a type of vol-au-vent) is formidable, with chicken, mushrooms and beautifully cooked puff pastry. But that comes as no surprise – this chef trained with Jean-François Piège (ex-Brasserie Thoumieux and now Clover Grill). It goes without saying that you shouldn’t pass up dessert. An orange and grapefruit tart was super smooth, with pistachio custard cream to balance the acidity of the fruits. As for drinks, there’s a concise wine list, with a few wines from the region (bottles €21-40, by the glass €4-8). More fitting are the spirits, an Alsatian walnut cocktail (€7), eaux-de-vie from the Hagmeyer artisanal distillery (€8), or an Elsass Cola,
Escaping the restaurant-saturated Eastern area of Paris and putting down roots in the rather sleepy 8th arrondissement is a brave – but wise move. At the helm at Le Mermoz is Manon Fleury, a young and already incredibly experienced chef (Astrance and Semilla are both on her CV), with sous-chef Johann Barichasse (Yard, Mokonuts). From a kitchen at the back of a sparse, simple dining room, the duo send out balanced neo-bistro style dishes with oriental flavour, each more surprising than the last. Pan-fried cockles came with a powerful sauce vierge with candied lemon, fresh coriander and kasha (grilled buckwheat seed, the ingredient du moment for many Parisian chefs). The cockles are just cooked and keep all their flavour – and the meal follows in much the same creative vein. Landes yellow chicken is crispy-skinned and nestled in fromage blanc and tahini, and dessert was a refreshing orange, date and almond salad with Earl Grey cream. And when night falls, Le Mermoz morphs into a wine cellar serving delicious small plates.
Who’s it for? Mediterranean-style pasta fiends – or south-east Asian noodle nuts. What should I order? Blésetto: spelt risotto with squid, Japanese aosa seaweed and a shrimp Tom Kha sauce There’s no airs and graces at Kitchen Ter(re), William Ledeuil’s third restaurant, where dishes are truly spectacular. Miller Roland Feuillas’ pasta comes in old-fashioned shapes with funny names (think girolette and dentelle de Cucugnan), and is complemented by chef Bruno Laporte’s top produce. The well-designed three-course lunch menu is only €30 and includes blésotto: spelt risotto with squid, Japanese aosa seaweed and shrimp Tom Kha sauce. It's rich, coconutty and flavourful, with a generous hit of Thai basil and dill. Don’t miss the starters either – Ledeuil’s trademark rich and fragrant soups, like the beef consommé with chunks of Iberian pork and wild mushrooms. Desserts include honey ice cream with squash, coconut and passion fruit coulis.
Who’s it for? Discerning cocktail quaffers. What should I order? The creamy verveine abricot, with verbena honey, apricot and Hibiki Harmony whiskey. Nose jobs, stilettos and natty suits – the clientele at this swish cocktail bar is certainly eclectic. Nestled at the bottom of the four-star Hotel National des Arts et Metiers, Raphael Navot’s divine décor comprises velvet banquettes, subdued lighting and a loung playlist – it’s all ultra chic, but not pretentious. The ten-strong cocktail menu is presented in a perfumier’s notebook and bartender Oscar Quagliarini (ex-Gocce) has imagined each blend as a fragrance. The sud sud was zesty blend of Bourgoin cognac, pear and bergamot marmalade, lime cordial and mandarin mousse, but the delicate flavours were overshadowed by the cognac. The verveine Abricot, with verbena honey, apricot and Hibiki Harmony whiskey, is much more balanced, with a delicious creaminess. The Italian bartenders do not scrimp on measures, so be warned: two drinks and you'll be well on your way.
Le Bien Venu
Who’s it for? Lucky hotel guests and donburi devotees. What should I order? The spicy donburi curry with crispy vegetables. How much? €16-19 for lunchtime menus or €10 per dish in the evening. There’s a lot to love about this restaurant hidden at the back of Hôtel Bienvenue; from its cosy atmosphere, to the veggie-friendly Japanese fare, its natural wine list and the beautiful illustrations on the menu, written by Maori Murota, the Japanese chef and author of the stunning ‘Tokyo, les recettes culte’ (Marabout editions). Murota also did the beautiful coloured pencil drawings which adorn the menu and walls of this tranquil restaurant. We started with light and refreshing vegetarian spring rolls (€6) and chawanmushi (€6), an egg flan with smoked eel. Donburi is also a win: a bowl of rice topped with vegetables, pork ribs or smoked mackerel (€12). The veggie option was delicately spiced and comforting – like a giant hug in a bowl. Those in need of more Gallic flavours can opt for a croquet-monsieur with ham and comté (€11). Things get even more French with the evening menu, with dishes like oeuf mayonnaise with shiso or haddock carpaccio with yuzu. Don’t miss the natural wine selection – from domains de la Bergerie, a Luc Sébille from the Loire or even château Simian in the Vaucluse region. If you hit the grape a little too hard, there are always those hotel rooms to sleep it off in….
Who’s it for? Anyone with a thing for citrus flavours, herbs and spices. What should I order? The smoked eel with matcha mousse. The open kitchen at Eels is the room’s central focus, and the minimal décor is as on-trend as it comes – as we had expected from Adrien Ferrand, who was trained by William Ledeuil and shares his love of fresh herbs, citrus flavours and spices. A dish of eel pieces is ever-so-slightly smoky, with a cloud of foamed matcha and oxalis leaves. Grilled squid (€27) is served with spelt and watercress purée, and is made wedding breakfast-perfect with lemon and Thai basil leaves, cutting through the flavours beautifully. The acidity, hints of aniseed and crispy, meaty squid make this dish a true standout. Desserts pack a punch too: think creamy coconut, pineapple and lime (€11), with a skilful balance of flavours. Eels – we’re ever so smitten.
Who’s it for? Anyone who wants to live the picturebook Paris dream. What should I order? Everything. But especially the oeuf mayonnaise and beef bourguignon. How much? Think €1.90 oeuf mayonnaise, €4.50 herring potatoes and a beef bourguignon under €10. Wine is equally wallet-friendly: a very drinkable côtes-du-rhône is €2.90 per glass or €35 for a jeroboam. A mix of Parisians and tipsy tourists hang out at this new-age Clichy brasserie. Think staff in black tie, red leather booths, white paper placemats for each of the 300-strong capacity. Lunchtime at Bouillon Pigalle is a far cry from avo toast – this is all about classic, comforting brasserie dishes done well. Highlights included boiled eggs piled high with mayonnaise (€1.90), creamy celery remoulade with Petrossian smoked sprats (€3.40) and a simple brandade de morue, topped with flaked almonds, a drizzle of olive oil and chopped chives (€9.20). Jean-Luc Poujauran bread is more than welcome when you’ve struggled through the queue for a table (which can be up to two hours long). Service might be a little slow, but dishes come quickly and you can’t argue with a classic Parian two-course dinner (with wine) for under €20. Long live the bouillon!
Benichat is more than welcome addition to a neighbourhood dominated by PMU bars and dodgy beer. With soft lighting and tiled floors, this is a great stop-off for an aperitif or late evening drink. David Benichou, formerly of Clown Bar and Brutos, created the bar with his mates in mind so expect natural wines from all over Europe (Frank Cornelissen in Sicily, Partida Creus in Spain, Michael Kindl in Austria). Beers by the Belgian brewery Dupont are excellent, especially La Saison, a hoppy but thirst-quenching blonde (€4.50 for a half pint). If you’re peckish, there are snacks like terrine by Simon Horwitz, cheffing at Elmer and excellent Ten Belles Bread. This is our new 10th arrondissement hangout.
Who’s it for? Comfort food fans. What should I order? The sheng jian buns, bite-sized Shanghai-style soup dumplings. Order the sheng jian buns at the tiny counter at this rue Beaubourg joint, and settle down to watch the chefs prepare tiny dumplings from the Shanghai region. Made with wheat flour, these baos are then topped with meat or vegetables and then folded up, before being pan-fried. There is no seating inside, so if weather permits, nab an iron table outside. How do you eat them once they arrive though? Start by taking a tiny bite from the corner of the bun, use the straw to slurp out the soup from the dumpling and pop the rest of it in your mouth. The pork and corn bao with black rice vinegar are so good you’ll burn your mouth. Don’t miss the traditional noodles from Chongqing, a city in the Sichuan province: flavoured with coriander, peanuts, spring onions, fried peas, chilli and Sichuan pepper. Expect your mouth to go slightly numb after eating – but you can adjust the spice levels when you order. With its tasty fillings and jaw-droppingly low prices, this soup dumpling joint ticks all the boxes.
Who’s it for? Hummus habitués. What should I order? Hummus, duh. Either vegetarian or dotted with mouth-watering meats. How much? The lunchtime set menu is a snip at €11. Chalkboard menus, Israeli pop, roasted cauliflower…it could almost be the cult Marais restaurant Miznon. But here, the star of the show is smooth-as-butter hummus, with a distinct tahini tang. This Château d’Eau joint imports its humus from Israel – but all organic veg is grown in South-western France. The €11 lunch deal includes the pitriyot humus, brightened up with Paris and roasted Portobello mushrooms, pickled onions, parsley and sprinkled with dukkah, a mix of grains, nuts and spices. To boost the protein levels, you can add a hard-boiled egg for €1. Pita bread comes warm and is perfect for dipping in the giant plate of tangy hummus. In keeping with the sesame vibe, the tahini biscuit (€1.50) is melt-in-the-mouth delicious and the perfect end to this little jaunt to Israel.