Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

Gaston Lenôtre, Founder of Maison Lenôtre, has passed away

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Gaston Lenôtre died on Thursday, January 8, 2009 at the age of 88 after a long illness at his home in Sologne, where he retired with his wife Catherine in the early 1990s. He was the founder of Maison Lenôtre, which also operated Le Pré Catelan. Maison Lenôtre was acquired by the Accor Group where it became its prestige signature.

Buddha Bar – Paris

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

photo credit: Buddha Bar

8/12, rue Boissy d’Anglas
75008 Paris
Tel. 33.(0)
Fax. 33.(0)
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Very Expensive

Still Going Strong, the Buddha-Bar’s large dining room dominated by a huge golden Buddha, is much like dining in a fish bowl, as tipplers from the bar mezzanine above are able to look down through lacy wrought-iron balustrades into the dining area, although you might not realize it unless you look up.
The dim lighting, dark mahogany furniture, Chinese and Japanese objet d’art, along with other asian decorations gives the otherwise boisterous night spot a somewhat calm state.
The now well-known albums and DVDs compiled by the proprietor Raymond Visan’s George V Records label also include some original tracks by leading recording artists. Buddha Bars are springing up in many other locations and at latest tally: Buddha-Bar Paris, Buddha-Bar Dubai, Buddha-Bar Beirut, Buddha-Bar Cairo, Buddha-Bar London, Buddha-Bar Kiev. Buddha-Bar Jakarta, Buddha-Bar Sao Paolo, Buddha-Bar Dublin
Buddha-Bar Prague. He also is embarking into the hotel and resort business by opening some properties in far-flung places such as in eastern-european countries and locations as remote as Panama.
The decor is admittedly fantastic, though looking beyond all the press over the years hyping the top-crust crowds flocking to this club it seems to me; that it just may be cubic zirconia posing as diamonds? It really doesn’t matter, as everyone is having a good time, although as an aside, I have observed that the clientele in the mezzanine has increasingly become balanced a little too heavily in middle-eastern customers.

Fish La Boissonnerie – Paris

Friday, February 20th, 2009

69, rue du Seine, Paris 6.
Telephone: 01 43 54 34 69.
Closed Monday.
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate
21.50 € lunch menu. 32.50 € dinner menu.  A la carte, 30 €.

The space in this building was originally a fish shop and opened as a bistro in the late 90’s by two New Zealanders and a Cuban-American. They also own a Wine Shop around the corner called Paris La Dernière Goutte and this is the reason that the P has changed to B in Boissonnerie as Poisson is fish and Boisson is drink in French; and the reason that they have an exceptional wine list.
The Flying Fish Menu for 10 euros at lunch is a bargain (includes a salad and a choice of pasta).

“Celebrity-Chef Bistros” a Growing Trend – Paris

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

In the late eighties two-star Michelin Chef Michel Rostang started the Bistro trend with an eye towards lowering prices. Since that time other starred chefs have done the same and as of late they have been sprouting up like mushrooms, in fact, some of these starred chefs have opened multiple bistros.
To make things worse the French, as well as Americans, and now most of the rest of the world, have been in the throes of a deep recession that some financial analysts are calling a full-blown depression.
This financial crisis makes it passé to brazenly spend money, so save for some customers from Asia and Russia who may not have realized this yet, most people are more cautious when it comes to spending money in ultra-expensive restaurants and may not show up as often or at all.
However, the tremendous upsurge of the popularity of bistros is not entirely due to frugality. The pace of life has changed, and things have generally become more casual even in Paris, who bravely resisted giving into this trend longer than anywhere else. Look around at what average people consider glamorous today, just take the show-business stars, for instance, they are not the impeccably dressed, chic, and attractive beauties of the past but just common looking persons mirroring the general population; not someone to look up to—but someone to feel on an equal level with.

I expect that one of the driving reasons, aside from the financial aspects, why the great chefs want to open bistros is because many of their clients want to go to restaurants to have uncomplicated food without compromising quality. Much of the food in these “New Celebrity-Chef Bistros” is very good, although undoubtedly a few are quite pedestrian, as we must remember that the starred chefs are only creating the menus not working in the kitchen. On the whole, they are trying to purchase the best and freshest basic produce, that is key in this type of operation, as they cannot fall back on expensive ingredients to make the their dishes taste good, and that is why it takes more talent to create dishes out of common ingredients without relying on exotic ones.
The unfortunate truth is that French people are not dining out as much as they once did, and at least the younger generation, are emulating the bad dining habits exhibited by the British and Americans masses. The sad fact is that little bistros are closing all over the city or are a landscape of empty tables. One day the citizens of Paris will finally wake up, look around, and say, “What has happened to all of our restaurants?” The fault will ultimately be theirs!

Restaurant Drouant

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

16-18 Place Gaillon
75002 Paris
Tel. 33 (0)1 42 65 15 16
Metro station “Opéra” or “4 Septembre” 180 meters
Cuisine : French gastronomic
Opening Hours: Daily Lunch: Noon-2:30pm; Dinner: 7pm-Midnight (closed August)
Outdoor Dining, WiFi, Valet Parking
Cuisine : French gastronomic
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive

Within a few steps of the Opera de Paris, restaurant Drouant offers refined cuisine from three-star Michelin Chef Antoine Westermann from Alsace. It is also the place where the prestigious Goncourt, Renaudot and Apollinaire literary awards are given each year in one of the dining salons, which must be accessed by climbing the magnificent Ruhlmann staircase. Renowned for their plateaus of shimmering oysters and brilliant Alsatian cuisine along with a well-stocked cellar of wines from that same region, and as an added bonus the front of house is in the hands of Antony Clemot who left Ile Saint Louis’s Mon Vieil Ami’s kitchen to become the manager.

L’avant Goût Bistro – Paris

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

26, rue Bobillot, Paris 75013
13th arrondissement
Tel. 01 53 80 24 00
Metro: Place d’Italie (line 2, 5, 6 or 7)
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri Noon-2pm, 7:30pm-11pm
Cuisine: Bistro Nouvelle
Chef: Chistophe Beaufront
Credit Cards: Visa, Master Card
Prices: Moderate (Menus Lunch 14 €; Dinner menu at 23 € and at 40 €)

It is a popular destination, both intimate and yet lively, in a modern design. It is a bit off the beaten track although it is worth the travel as you will find exquisite food at reasonable prices. Chef Chistophe Beaufront adds his varied slants to French fare. Do not miss his pork pot-au-feu and desserts are homemade.
He only uses the freshest of products.

The New Lucas Carton – Paris

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

9, Place de La Madeleine – Paris 75008
Tel. 01 42 65 22 90
Opening Hours:  Open every day except Saturday noon, Sunday and Monday noon.  Closed from July 11 to September 15, 2005.
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate-Expensive (76 €; à la carte from 160 to 250 €)

Chef Alain Senderens, owner of the prestigious and luxurious restaurant Lucas Carton with much deliberation decided to abandon his 3 Michelin Guide stars in order to launch a new style that is more in tune with the times; less expensive with the average price of a meal dropping from 300 to 100 €.  The matching of the dishes and the wines continues, and new dishes with less costly ingredients will appear on the à la carte menu.  The new decor is from designer Noé Duchaufour Lawrence and architect Axel Schoenert.

La Cremerie Wine Bar & Shop – Paris

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Tel. 01 43 54 99 30
9 rue des Quatre Vents
Paris, 75006
Metro: Odeon
Open Tuesday to Saturday
10:30am-3 pm and 5 pm-10 pm
No Smoking
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Inexpensive

There are just a few bar stools and as many tables in this former dairy shop turned wine store. Although it becomes a holding area for diners waiting for a table at Yves Camdeborde’s Le Comptoir a short distance away, it should be a destination on its own, as you can pay a corkage charge of 6 euros and buy any of his several hundred labels of organic wines and drink it on-the-spot, or there is always a choice of two open red and white wines available by the glass accompanied by plates of organic artisanal cheese or charcuterie, sliced with a vintage bright red slicer. Owner Serge Mathieu, who was born in America and brought up in France, and his wife Helene claim that they are not a bar nor a restaurant but a wine bar and store where you may consume their wine selections on the premises or take them away.
This is a sweet little place with lots of charm.

Cave Augé, Wine Shop – Paris

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Cave Augé, 116 Bd Haussmann 75008 Paris
Metro : Saint Augustin (line 9)
Tel. 01 45 22 16 97

A full range of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines as well as a collection of bottles from boutique wineries from all over France. This is one of the best places to find obscure, almost unknown wines from areas that heretofore have been mostly overlooked. There are regularly scheduled tastings that will give the opportunity to taste some of these mainly unknown, rare gems.
The old shop reeks of antiquity and has the feeling of emanating from a more graceful era.
It is well looked after by Marc Sibard.

Chiberta Bistro – Paris

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

3, rue Arsène Houssaye
75008 Paris
Tel. 01 53 53 42 00
Opening Hours: Open Daily 12 to 2:30 pm
7 to 11 pm; Fri & Sat until 11:30pm; Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday
Dress Code: Dressy
Métro: Georges V and Etoile Friedland
Extras: Air conditioning, Pets allowed, Wheelchair access, Valet parking
Languages spoken: French, English
Awards: Michelin: 1 star; Pudlowski; 3 knives; Bottin gourmand; 1 star; Gault Millau; 2 toques
Credit Cards: All Major
Menu to 60 €, Tasting 100 €
Prices: Moderately Expensive for quality received

Three-star Michelin Chef Guy Savoy has taken over Chiberta, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower relatively close to the Champs Elysees, which he recently transformed into a chic bistro with an austere design. The kitchen team offers modern cuisine with an accent on produce. Bresse chicken with foie gras, artichokes with truffled vinaigrette, girolle mushrooms with shavings of Iberian ham shows the kitchen’s talent in combining products together with stunning effect. A fine assortment of wine graces the list.