Add: 92 rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, 75010 Paris
Tel: 01 83 97 00 00
Hours: [Mon & Sat sandwich days] 12~3pm [Tue-Fri] 12:30~2pm, 7:30~10pm
Price: [lunch] €13~22/menu [dinner] €38.50/menu
Visited on: Mar 2014
Katsuaki Okiyama, previously at Robuchon, Taillevent and l’Agapé, runs this intimate neo bistro in the 10th. The “Japanese chef + French culinary background” combination is now a phenomenon in Paris, and you can perhaps imagine what the style of cooking is like. Abri has been open for almost two years now, and it’s still on the hot list. I was fortunate to be invited to a friend’s birthday dinner here and didn’t have to deal with the hassle of reservation, but do call two weeks or so in advance if you hope to get a table here. The dishes that night turned out to be pleasant but not very memorable, and since no menu was given (it’s one of those carte blanche places), please excuse me for the lack of detailed descriptions…
Grannie Chez Naoto
Add: 27, rue Pierre Leroux 75007 Paris
Tel: 01 47 34 94 14
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 12~2:30pm, 7:30~10:30pm [Sat] 7:30~10:30pm (closed on Sun)
Price: [lunch] €23/menu [dinner] €36/menu
Visited on: Oct 2013
My first dinner at Grannie Chez Naoto was a rather bizarre experience. I found this Franco-Japonais restaurant on La Fourchette while searching for a place to eat near Le Bon Marché, and seeing that it had received good reviews, I booked away. When I arrived around 8pm, I found the restaurant completely empty (and it stayed pretty much this way as my friend and I were the only customers that night). The chef owner, a round-eyed Japanese man who looked about 50 in age, seemed genuinely surprised to see someone walk in, as if he never expected any customers on a Tuesday night. Mmhmm.
After a few moments of hesitation, we sat down to take a look at the menu – and I’m very glad we did because the dishes that came out throughout the evening were such pleasant surprises! We took the dinner formula (€36), which included an entrée, a plat, and a dessert. First came bulot persillé avec crème de céleri rave, whelk with parsley and celery root cream. It was a visually appealing dish with soft contrasting colors, and on the flavor side it was quite pleasant as well (but the purple chips were stale, unfortunately.)
Risotto aux crevettes, shrimp risotto. So rich in flavor, I couldn’t help but swoon in for spoonful after spoonful of this even though it was my friend who ordered it.
6 Paul Bert
Add: 6 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris
Tel: 01 43 79 14 32
Hours: [Tue] 7:30~11pm [Wed-Sat] 12~2pm, 7:30~11pm (closed Mon & Sun)
Price: [lunch] €23/menu [dinner] €38~44/menu (a la carte available)
Visited on: Nov 2013
Some snapshots from dinner a few months ago at 6 Paul Bert, the second spot by Bertrand Auboyneau of the famed Bistrot Paul Bert, which is just a few doors down the road. Different from the traditional style of Bistrot Paul Bert, Le 6 offers modern plates that are more refreshing to the palate, and with a menu that changes daily, there is always a good reason to come back here.
Dinner at 6 Paul Bert can be 2 plates + 1 dessert (€38), 3 plates +1 dessert (€44), or a la carte. We decided on the 3 plates + 1 dessert formula but weren’t really sure what to order, so we just let the chef bring us whatever he liked most from the menu. It started with carpaccio de daurade Royale, oursins et radis fermentés, sea bream carpaccio with sea urchin and fermented radish.
After 5 months of internship at Un Dimanche à Paris, I moved up the kitchen totem pole and became a full-time pâtissier at Fauchon. In its pastry department, Fauchon has been graced with a string of extraoridnary chefs such as Pierre Hermé, Christophe Adam, Christophe Michalak, Sebastien Gaudard, etc. Even Dominique Ansel, who created the famed cronuts that had New Yorkers lining at up 6am in the snow, spent years at Fauchon before moving to the US. You see, this is no ordinary pastry kitchen.
Getting a job here happened rather serendipitously. I happened to see an opening on Fauchon’s website and submitted my CV, but pretty much forgot about it right after. We all know that with big companies like this, sending a CV online can be like dropping a pebble in the ocean – you just don’t expect to hear back. Then one day, as I was dozing off in the late summer sun at Jardin du Luxembourg, I got a call from the head pastry chef at Fauchon, who spoke to me in an ultra rapid French that I could barely comprehend in my half-conscious state (and I were to find out later that even in my fully awake mode, I sometimes have trouble understanding him). Then I went for an interview. Then I did a trial day in the kitchen. Then I was hired. Boom. What?!
But somehow it happened, and I ended up spending a truly rewarding 6 months at Fauchon. I was (again) very lucky to be working with chefs and colleagues who are talented and generous in sharing their pastry knowledge. It might sound cheesy to say that I feel remarkably fortunate to have met and worked with them, but that is the truth.
Our main pastry kitchen space, located in Courbevoie (a short distance northwest of Paris city), is composed of two labs. The “grand labo”, or big lab, is responsible for making all the products for our boutique at Madeleine, and smaller lab is in charge of all the items sold to corporate clients. I worked mostly in the small lab, but also spent roughly one day per week to help out at the big lab.
Add: 40 Rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
Tel: 09 80 31 07 06
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 8a~6pm [Sat] 10am~7pm [Sun] 11am~6pm
Price: [coffee] €4~5 [pastries] €3~6
Tasted on: Mar 2014
Yet another good spot in Paris for an afternoon coffee.
The setup of Loustic can seem a bit awkward at first glance, with a file of seats lined against the wall facing the bar, but it’s actually quite comfortable. Otherwise, there are sofa seats in the back for a more cozy setting.
Treats from Emperor Norton.
Add: 66 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 1 42 22 32 15
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 11:30am~6pm
Price: [drinks] €2~5 [sweets] €4.5~5.5
Tasted on: Mar 2014
This cozy tea room near Le Bon Marché has recently been renovated. The space is now bigger and brighter than its former self, but it remains charming with the usual homely pastries and friendly waitstaff. A lovely spot to come back to.
Add: 22 rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris
Tel: 01 71 18 24 70
Hours: [Tue-Fri] 10am~8pm [Sat] 9am~8pm [Sun] 9am~7pm
Tasted on: Mar 2014
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
Add: 89 rue du Bac , 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 48 30 74
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 9am~8pm [Sun] 9am~6pm
Price: [pastries] €5~6.50
Tasted on: Mar 2014
The 2nd boutique of Des Gâteaux et du Pain is dangerously close to where I live, and I probably go there a little too often…but a pastry display as neat as this, who can resist?
So here we are, a few recent tastings.
Saint honoré mangue et caramel (€6.50), mango cream puffs paired with a caramel chantilly cream perfumed with sweet spices of vanilla, anise, and cinnamon. I had written about this pastry over a year ago after my first visit to Des Gâteaux et du Pain and while it’s just as tasty, I also noticed that the price has increased from €5.40 to €6.50. Le sigh.
Add: 6 Rue de la Sourdière, 75001 Paris
Tel: 01 42 61 60 71
Hours: [Mon-Tue] 7~9:30pm [Wed-Sat] 12:30~2pm, 7~9:30pm
Price: [lunch/sushi only] €65 [tasting menu/omakase] €135
Tasted on: Nov 2013
Opened in early 2013 and already awarded one Michelin star, JIN is a very special place that, as far as I know, occupies a niche shared by no others here in Paris. This sleek sushi bar, tucked away on a quiet street just off rue Saint-Honoré, focuses all attention on chef Takuya Watanabe and the exquisite little bites that emerge from his work station, in plain view of all guests seated at the bar. On this first visit, I had the pleasure of meeting and dining with JIN’s owner Nina Nikkhou, and wow, what an experience it was.
The omakase tasting menu (available for lunch and dinner) is priced at €135, while the sushi-only menu (available for lunch only) is €65. I have always loved the concept of omakase, leaving the chef to select the best from his repertoire according to the freshest available ingredients. With Nina and Taku there, I knew I was in good hands and left them to decide what would to on my plate.
But first, a bubbly flute of 大吟醸スパークリング ARROZ (Daiginjo Sparkling Arroz) from sake manufacturer Bunraku of Saitama, Japan.
Add: 8 Rue Hippolyte Lebas, 75009 Paris
Tel: 01 53 20 88 70
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 12:30~2:30pm, 7:30~10:30pm
Price: [lunch] €14~19 [dinner] €35~49
Tasted on: Mar 2014
After reading some good words about lunch at Caillebotte on Lost In Cheeseland, I decided to pay this bright little bistro a visit. It was packed at Friday noon time and we were lucky to be given a table right near the window, though I would have loved a seat at the open kitchen bar. Yes, reservation highly recommended. On a side note, the team that opened Caillebotte is the same as the one behind Le Pantruche, which apparently is very very good.
Lunch at Caillebotte is €14 (plat du jour) or €19 (plus entrée or dessert), a bigger menu and a la carte options are also available.
For entrée, we tried ceviche de mulet, carottes sauvages, sablé a la cardamone (+€2), mullet ceviche with wild carrots and cardamon shortbread biscuits. A refreshing and acidic dish that really opened up the palate.