Sunday, October 12, 2014

Paris Eats

The cover of the September issue of Travel + Leisure features a quintessential Paris image: A chic, svelte, young woman relaxes with a cup of coffee; behind is a backdrop of the Seine River, lush foliage and the Eiffel Tower. There is little text on this cover, just an indication that this is the "style + culture issue" along with the words: "Essential Paris," the word "Paris" appearing in a beautiful, irresistible, most-Parisian cursive font.

I picked up this issue Travel + Leisure just after returning from Paris... I couldn't resist. I love travel mags, and I wanted to see if the T + L editors and I had any of the same "Essential Paris" spots in mind.

It turns out I had gone to one of the article's "hot tables:" David Toutain. This restaurant was recommended by a foodie friend and it proved quite the fancy foodie experience. My husband and I received course after course of surprising yet tasty food combinations. The restaurant didn't feel particularly French, but it was certainly an original Parisian experience.

T + L says:
"Chef Toutain's ethereal treatment of unusual produce at Restaurant David Toutain has notes of Scandinavian-style naturalism, but his dishes are locally sourced. The seasonal menu may include steamed sea urchin with espresso foam or black truffle with raw hazelnuts and pea shoots."

I'd say that description is spot-on.

Other "hot tables" featured by T+ L:

Septime: Justifiably famous 
Clamato (also by) Bertrand Grebaut, casual, next door, with its focus on fresh seafood, is first come, first served. The crab fritters and maple syrup tart have become instant crowd-pleasers.
Chef James Henry's flair on the grill at Bones is the only hint at his Australian origins; his house-made charcuterie, baked bread, and cultured butter are far from regional farms and producers.
With a willingness to dial up the spice, Le Servan specializes in updated bistro classics in a slick white-on-white dining room. The fried quail is lacquered in soy and honey, beef bouillon is served with a wonton--nods to Asian cooking that never feels like gimmicks.
A sous-chef and a sommelier from the upscale Sergent Recruteur have created a homier, but no less refined, version of the same locavore cuisine at the tiny neighborhood bistro Les Desereurs. Portions are generous in dishes such as poached, line-caught grouper with peas and fava beans in a milt yuzu foam.
The "Essential Paris" guide also includes Boutiques T + L loves, go-to flea markets, recommended museums and patisseries offering "star-studded sweets." For me, a list of recommended restaurants is an essential resource to have on hand when exploring different cities. Stumbling into local joints is always a treat, but I like to be prepared with insider eating tips. 

Below is a list of restaurants the hubby and I hit up, in addition to David Toutain, on our recent trip to Paris:
Perfect bistro meal. Jovial staffers treat you like family. Get the house wine and don't miss the chocolate mousse.
Go for drinks and dessert. Then stroll along the canal and see local students socializing by the water.
Cool scene but waitstaff only reluctantly provides English menu translations. Understandable, but still... Small tapas-like plates. Mix of locals and tourists.
One of the best culinary experiences in recent memory, but expect to be surrounded by fellow tourists.

I've also heard fabulous reviews of Frenchie, and I have an extremely long list of other Paris food recommendations which I compiled using a few jetsetter friends' contributions. And of course, pick up the September T + L for lots of delicious info.

Bon app├ętit,

["Essential Paris" Travel + Leisure, September 2014]

No comments:

Post a Comment


design + development by kelly christine studio