Restaurants

R’Aliment, une Cantine Bio

R'Aliment, une Cantine Bio

2005 Update: Unfortunately, R’Aliment is now closed — my friends and I mourn the loss. You can still however go to the sister restaurant Biotifull Place, on the 1st floor of the Printemps de la Beauté department store, at 66 Bd Haussman in the 9th.

R’Aliment is a small modern restaurant in the 3rd arrondissement, that I would label “cantine bio” : “cantine” is French for a school or office cafeteria, and is sometimes used to mean a restaurant that has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, and where you could see yourself having lunch or dinner everyday. And “bio” is short for “biologique”, and means “organic” in French. In the words of the owner – my translation – it serves a “healthy and balanced cuisine, flavorful and colorful, prepared with seasonal organic products, domestic or exotic”. Promising, no?

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Le Troyon

Update, spring 2004 : Le Troyon is now closed, but the same team now runs Caïus at 6 rue d’Armaillé in the 17th (01 42 27 19 20).

[Very surprisingly, Le Troyon does not give out little address cards like most restaurants do, so I don't have a picture for this entry!]

Last Monday, my parents invited Maxence and I to dinner at Le Troyon, Maxence’s favorite restaurant in Paris. This was our fourth time eating there, we had raved about it to my parents, and they were eager to try it. The setting is elegant but intimate, and the service is professional yet friendly. They have a three-course menu that runs at 33 euros and changes every day but for some signature items.

As is the style in a lot of Parisian restaurants, the menu is hand-written in chalk on blackboards, that the waiters carry to each table for diners to read, propping it up on your table, or balancing it on a chair or a shelf close to you. I like the dynamic of that, because people squint, they turn their necks, they comment on the spelling, wonder about a word that they can’t quite make out, and is it “cul” or “col“, and they’re all looking in the same direction, instead of being isolated behind their own menu.

When you are ready to make your choice (or not, as is more often the case), the waiter will stand next to the board and answer questions, decipher the handwriting, describe dishes, give advice, discuss the choice of products. I love that part because that’s when I get to enquire about what this or that is served with, and how is it prepared, and do you recommend it, and will I like it, and does the chef like it, and where do you buy the bread, and what’s a good wine pairing, and how’s the business going, and can I work here? Until I feel everybody’s getting impatient and I just shut up already.

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La Famille

La Famille

La Famille is a restaurant that opened a few months ago in Montmartre. It got an impressive amount of flattering reviews in the press (whoever takes care of their PR would get my business!) which naturally teased me into trying it. I’m a sucker for new restaurants, and when they open just two blocks from us, what’s a girl to do?

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Brunch at Joe Allen’s

Joe Allen

On Sunday, we went out for a brunch with friends of ours, Baptiste and Véro. We decided to go to Joe Allen’s, a place our neighbor Stéphan had talked to us about, that was also mentioned in our “Guide du Fooding”. This is a very good guide to eating out in Paris. It is issued by Nova Mag, a hip Parisian magazine that could be compared to Time Out. We have had luck with most of the places they recommend, so it has become our trusted little companion. (Nova Mag has a sister radio, called Radio Nova, which I listen to often.)

Joe Allen’s is an American restaurant located in the 1st arrondissement, that has been around for a good 25 years. It is a little dark inside (there are no windows and wooden slates line the walls, cabin-like) but the atmosphere is very warm, crowded and bustling, with old music hall posters on the walls. The wait staff is mostly, if not all-, American, so we got the opportunity to order our food in English, which is always fun.

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