All the food that we ate in Paris was mindblowing. I'm not a foodie (I don't eat out much), but I know incredible food when I encounter it, and it was absolutely everywhere we went. Even when I wasn't intending to find it - - a quick stop for coffee during a walk revealed an impeccable cappuccino. A desire for a bite of something comforting & familiar turned into an obscenely perfect basket of french fries. A bottle of champagne with dinner lead us to tart, bubbly, fizzy, crisp heaven. Here's a recap of some of my favorite places we ate, all of which I would 1,000% recommend!
Delicious quick bites: Miznon, Paul
When we sat down at Miznon, a server immediately came over and plopped down a whole head of cauliflower, steaming, charred, fragrant, on a piece of parchment paper in the middle of the table. It. Was. Magic. I don't know what they did to it but I will be dreaming about that damn cauliflower for the rest of my days.
Paul was a quick stop outside the Lourve while headed to the Muse D'Orsay - my very first jamon buerre. It was as delicious and simple as I hoped it'd be. I've heard they have franchise locations on the East Coast in the US!
Most awesome prix fixe experience: Pierre Sang
Everything about dinner at Pierre Sang was phenomenal. The atmosphere (gorgeous, tiny restaurant with cave-like stone walls and candles), the staff (all extremely patient with us loud, rambunctious Americans), and the food, holy shit. It's a prix fixe menu, and guess what, you don't get a copy of the menu when you sit down. Or any idea what you're about to eat. All they do is check to make sure your table is allergy free, and once you're confirmed good-to-go, the food starts arriving, full of surprises and mystery and incredible flavor. After each course our server asked us what things we tasted and it was such a fun guessing game. To top it all off, Pierre Sang himself came out to the floor to wish me a happy birthday, and the staff brought over a signed copy of his beautiful cookbook. Possibly the best, most memorable, most wonderful dinner of my life thus far.
Fancy, California-Goes-To-France meal: Les Grandes Verres in the Palais de Tokyo
Anyone who knows me knows I have three food-related weaknesses: 1) cocktails, 2) candy, and 3) vegetables. Yes, you read that right. I adore eating vegetables, and furthermore veggies are what keeps my body feeling great. Food in France, while wonderful, was one carb after another, red meat everywhere you look, cheese plates and pates, everything delicious but nothing green in sight. Enter Les Grandes Verres, my birthday dinner. It was such a breath of delectable, green air amidst all of the heavy food I had been eating. (Not to mention I saw two of my all-time style icons, Shala Monroque and Tamu McPherson, standing outside the restaraunt taking photos!!!!! I just about died!!!!!). Les Grandes Verres also had a fascinating and delicious cocktail menu, which was a fun bonus since I also had learned that Paris isn't super into cocktail culture. The table's favorite cocktail was actually eggplant-based! My little Californian soul was delighted by the whole evening. Also, the space was absolutely gorgeous.
Luxurious, crazy romantic setting: Grand Couer
Grand Couer is in a large stone courtyard in the Marais, and it was one of the most romantic settings I've ever been in. The interior is lush (velvet seats, long brass light fixtures, flickering white tapers in marble bases, stone walls), the food is delicious, and best of all the entire restaurant is surrounded by dance studios that you can see into. We saw dancers rehearsing everything from salsa to ballet to ballroom to folk. It was utter romance. Someday I plan on going back in a floor length black gown with a deep V on some super over-the-top date.
Cozy, classic, gorgeous, unpretentious French fare: L'anvers du Decor , Les Parigots
Most of the meals we ate in Paris required reservations, but both L'anvers du Decor and Les Parigots were unplanned stops. They were both beyond delicious, lovely and welcoming, with classic French food. The thing that made both of these places so memorable for me, though, was the company I was with. My friends and I all popped into L'anvers du Decor for a quick bite on our way up to Sacre Couer, and that quick bite turned into a 3-hour joy ride full of warmth, laughter and boozy conversation. Trevor and I snuck out for a quick date and landed at Les Parigots and found ourselves in a crowded, lively, cozy cocoon of steak frites & champagne & cross-table hand holding for 2 hours. Yes, the food at both of these places was wonderful, but I'll always remember them for how loved and at-home I felt with my dinner companions.
It couldn't have been a better birthday.