Here is the thing about Paris: just when I think I am making a dent in my list of places to try, I inevitably hear about / read about / stumble upon a ton of other spots I want to go to. The city seems inexhaustible, culinarily-speaking, and I’m still left with the feeling of only having scratched the surface. There are many, many more places left to try, but October sure was delicious.
The best meal of the month had to be Au Passage. This restaurant, tucked down a nondescript street in the 11th, had long been on my list, but once I watched this video from Bon Appétit, I was really sold. The restaurant is everything the video says it is: homey atmosphere, simple (nonexistent, really) decor, and amazing shareable plates. A sample of what we ate is below, but our favorite dish is not pictured (I forgot to snap a pic!): a sweet potato topped with feta and barbecue sauce. Sweet potato, feta, and barbecue is not a flavor combination I have ever dreamt of, but it just worked, like everything at Au Passage. Simple, unpretentious, incredibly flavorful: I give this place a high recommend, and cannot wait to return.
Another highlight was dinner at Spring, from the same chef who recently opened La Bourse et La Vie (a September favorite of mine). At Spring, dining is simple: you sit back and let them serve you what they want to serve you; there is no menu, and your meal is strictly chef’s choice. We were brought a lobster salad and pig ears to start, then fish with a crispy skin in a sauerkraut broth (our waiter emphasized that the skin, with its crispiness, was meant to be eaten), then duck with some truly phenomenal squash (said as a non-squash lover), and then a trio of desserts to finish: ice cream and apples, a lemon tart, and chocolate mousse. Everything was so tasty, and the service was really memorable – each server was top-notch, incredibly friendly, and immensely knowledgable.
In October I conquered another restaurant that had long been on my list: Kunitoraya, a little udon shop in the 1st. Every time I passed it, the line at Kunitoraya was long, but I finally bit the bullet and waited it out. The result? So, so good. I loved my duck udon, and my friend’s tempura udon came with the BIGGEST hunks of shrimp tempura I have ever seen. It was remarkable.
Around the corner from Kunitoraya is another foodie destination that has become a favorite of mine: Fromagerie Hisada. This has become “my” local cheese shop, and I love popping in to stock up on my favorites (chèvre and comté, of course).
One of my favorite things about Poulette was the decor, particularly the gorgeous tilework (regrettably, I don’t have a good photograph, but the New York Times does). Luckily, the food was just as good as the ambiance at Poulette. I had octopus to start, steak frites (but of course!) for my main, and a white chocolate mousse to finish.
My friend and I are still in search of an elusive reservation for Frenchie, so in the meantime, we have consoled ourselves with Frenchie to Go, the casual little sister of Frenchie. We managed to nab two seats during a very crowded lunch hour and dug into some American classics: pulled pork for me and a hotdog for my friend. Very tasty!
Though I may adore Paris, one place where New York clearly has it beat is brunch, which isn’t quite a thing here yet (or at least not a thing that is done particularly well) (yeah, I said it). I heard Eggs & Co., however, was a good Parisian brunch option. While similar to American brunches in portion size – which seemed positively gargantuan by Parisian standards – I found the food at Eggs & Co. to be good but a bit lackluster. Bottom line: I still miss my boozy New York brunches. Ah well, one cannot have it all.
Located just down the street from our office, we have often noticed the chalkboard signs trumpeting “champagne happy hour” at Wine by One, and felt we had to try it. It was super fun! In addition to champagne, Wine by One also has a variety of wines “on tap” – you load up a card, then head to the wine machines, selecting what you want and placing your glass under a spigot that automatically dispenses it. To wash down our champagne and wine, we also had a super tasty cheese and charcuterie board.
Is it foolish to base an entire meal around hot chocolate? That’s exactly what I did at Angelina, getting up super early (by my standards) to grab breakfast there with a friend before work. The last time I was at Angelina, my verdict was that the hot chocolate was incredible, and the food was pretty meh. This time around? Largely the same, although I do have to report that while my eggs were blah, my French toast was actually pretty tasty.
In terms of Parisian dining, I might be ready to dub October just about perfect. The only way November could top it? If we finally score that elusive Frenchie reservation.