megzimbeck's Profile

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Report on New Spring? Someone? Please?

Our recommendation on Paris by Mouth that people call Spring Boutique to reserve (before the restaurant's phone line is installed) came directly from Josh at Spring Boutique (who usually passes the phone to Sofian for reservations. I confirmed this separately with Daniel Rose.

That's not to say they're not overwhelmed, but this is their advice for the moment. I tried calling once or twice without getting an answer (I'm sure that phone is ringing off the hook), but they were very cheerful once I got through.

I'm eating there tonight and will be sure to report back!

Jul 16, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Food Tours Around Paris?

I agree that Julot (aka Julien, aka Souphie) would be wonderful for a personalized tour - especially anything to do with bakeries. Have you seen the map (http://bit.ly/c47yU5) he made of his favorite boulangeries? It's awesome.

Moshi Moshi mentioned Context Travel (http://www.contexttravel.com/city/Paris/all_walking_tours/Cuisine) and I can tell you that they're pretty great. Of course, I work for them and am in no way objective. In terms of pricing, the walks cost €70-80 for 2.5 hours (it almost always stretches to 3hrs), including copious tastings (bread, cheese, chocolate, pastry, Armagnac...) along the way. Groups are small (6 people max) enough to receive a warm welcome in the tiniest of shops. Walks are led exclusively by chefs or food writers.

I've also heard a lot of really nice reviews about walks by Wendy Lyn at The Paris Kitchen - http://thepariskitchen.com/

Hope you find something good!

Jul 16, 2010
megzimbeck in France

The food tourist's dilemma

The website that Talbott mentioned (http://parisbymouth.com) presents a list of "trusted reviews" on each of their featured restaurants, which means that you can very easily see if a restaurant's press has been mainly local, international, French or English. If you see five anglophone reviews and any mention of the NYTimes, plan on dining with a lot of visitors (especially in August). If you see two French reviews with more recent dates, you'll know it's local and under the radar.

Also, I totally agree about dining late as a way to filter out a lot of tourists. Have a snack at 4pm and book your dinner for 9pm.

Good luck!

Jul 16, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Small plates for hot Paris nights

I agree - it's too hot for a three course meal! Here are some of the food-serving wine bars that I'm really liking right now.

Coinstot Vino, 75002 - Inside the Passage des Panoramas (home to Racines and Passage 53), this wine bar specializing in vins naturels has both small plates and heartier fare. They're relaxed and really don't care if you share plates or order just a few small things to accompany your wine. I went last night for an apero only and saw that the current starters include a tarama of sea urchin, a plate of burrata, etc. http://bit.ly/aGdE1c

Aux Deux Amis, 75011. Everyone seems to be talking about this place right now. I think there's a full dinner menu also on offer now, but I was told that they'd always have a selection of tapas for those who want a lighter bite. http://bit.ly/a3yGVg

Of course, there's also Le Verre Volé (http://bit.ly/9KaIJs) in the 10th, where you can share a nice selection of small plates or buy a bottle to go and drink it along the Canal Saint-Martin with a pizza delivered to the water's edge by Pink Flamingo (http://bit.ly/bUe6lY)

Jul 16, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Paris Report: Chez Dumonet, Les Papilles, Chez L’Ami Jean

Great stuff! Thanks so much for sharing!

Jun 11, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Almost finished! Please help finalize my restaurants

I also like Ze Kitchen Galerie but tend to agree with Olive75 that it's not the kind of cooking that you come from New York to eat in Paris.

I personally love Chez Michel. It's true that the decor is traditional and grandmotherly, but the food on each of my five or six visits there has been outstanding. The three course menu for €32 is solid, but the real fun comes when you can splurge on rare and wonderful treats from the "supplements" menu. On my last visit I watched an older gentleman put away a tartine of foie gras topped with a mountain of shaved truffles that was almost the size of my forearm (supplement €26), followed by something I’d read about but never seen – a bowl full of tiny and rare baby eels called civelles (supplement €60). He then went on to eat a mountain of biche (female deer, supplement €25) for his main dish, to be followed by dessert. The supplements can add up , but you're paying for rare ingredients and not anything else. I think it could be a good complement to the other restaurants you're selected. You can read a collection of reviews about Chez Michel here: http://parisbymouth.com/chez-michel/

My only word of warning about Chez Michel: the downstairs dining room is ugly and depressing and they sometimes try to stick foreigners down there. I always specify "not the basement" (pas le sous-sol) when I reserve.

Jun 11, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Weekend in Paris

A lot of chowhounds (John Talbott, Souphie and others) recently collaborated on a list of Five Great places for steak frites (http://parisbymouth.com/five-great-st...) and named Le Severo (and Le Bis du Severo), Bistrot Paul Bert, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Relais de l’Entrecôte and Charbon Rouge as their favorites. Le Severo is indeed closed, but the Bis du Severo is open for Saturday lunch, as are all the others listed here. I personally like the steak at le Bistrot Paul Bert - it's served with a fat nugget of marrow on top and a generous platter of golden fries (photo attached).

Jun 10, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Where to Eat in Paris

Christine, thanks so much for the glowing review! I'm so happy that you like it, and I hope that other Chowhounds find the site to be useful, too.

Cheers,
Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

Jun 08, 2010
megzimbeck in Features

New(ish) wine bar and lunch table in the 11th

To be honest, I really don't know! I'd heard that same rumor (from the lovely Phyllis Flick) about an Iñaki tapas bar, but something tells me that this isn't it. I can't imagine le Fooding reporting about this opening (Aux Deux Amis) and not including Iñaki's name if this was in fact one of his projects. But that's only a guess, and I'm interested to know if anyone has more information.

May 14, 2010
megzimbeck in France

New(ish) wine bar and lunch table in the 11th

One of my spies told me months ago that he had seen a couple of waiters from Le Chateaubriand refurbishing an old café on the rue Oberkampf. The new place opened three weeks ago as Aux Deux Amis, and I went yesterday to try it out.

At night, they were serving really nice natural wines by the glass or by the carafe (the Verre Volé cave is across the street), plus a board of Spanish-leaning tapas. The only tortilla that I've ever enjoyed outside of Madrid was on offer for 3.50, along with oeufs mayo, white asparagus in vinaigrette, burrata with green asparagus, Iberian jambon and chorizo, a dish of cocos (white beans) and chorizo, a dish of duck hearts, etc.

The scene is scruffy east side Paris (i.e. jeans and Converse) and the music ranged from old-school hip hop to the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing.

This is exactly the kind of place that's needed in Paris right now: flexible, modular, inexpensive, fun. It fills the same niche as L'Avant Comptoir, which has now become so packed that it's almost impossible to go.

I came home last night from Aux Deux Amis and saw that John Talbott had tried it for lunch:
http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/john_talbotts_paris/2010/05/aux-deux-amis-45-rue-oberkampf-in-the-11th-totally-fun-totally-good-totally-delightful-.html

Pictures from my own visit are here:
http://megzimbeck.com/2010/05/aux-deu...

Aux Deux Amis
45 rue Oberkampf, 75011
Tel: 01 58 30 38 13

May 12, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Food options near the Villiers Metro station/Parc de Monceau

The P'tit Caillou is nearby and tasty. John Talbott has a good review here: http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

May 12, 2010
megzimbeck in France

June 7 - 13 = bargain week in Paris

I agree with ChefJune - it's a tricky website. When you click on the button to reserve a restaurant online, it asks for your personal information and subscribes you to a newsletter, then sends you an email with.. get this... the restaurant's phone number so that you can call.

With the exception of Gaya, Spoon and La Table de Joel Robuchon, the most interesting participating restaurants (le Bistrot Paul Bert, Aux Lyonnais, Au Petit Marguery, l'Assiette) already have menus at or below the restaurant week price, so there's really no advantage to booking during June 7-13.

It could be more interesting next year if they would fix their website and consider offering the €20.11 price at dinner instead of only at lunch.

May 12, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Last night in Paris - Restaurant on Line 7 or Line 12

If you have kids with you (and especially if that means you want to eat earlier than 8pm) and don't want to bother with reservations, I recommend Josselin for crepes near Montparnasse (line 12).

Apr 30, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Lunch Near Gare d'Austerlitz?

It's not across the street, exactly, but l'Agrume would be under ten minutes by foot, I think.
15 Rue des Fossés Saint-Marcel, 75005 Paris‎ - 01 43 31 86 48‎

Or you could take the RER-B from Gare du Nord to Saint-Michel and eat around noon at one of the many good restaurants nearby (Le Comptoir, Les Bouquinistes, Ze Kitchen Galerie, Le Pré Verre, Itineraires, l'AOC..) and then take the line 10 directly to Gare d'Austerlitz. I think if you eat around noon you should have no problem making a 4:00 train from a station that's no more than a 15 minute metro ride away.

Apr 28, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Need input on my choices for this weekend in Paris

La Régalade just opened a new location last night around the corner at 123 rue Saint-Honoré. I think that their three-course menu for €33 is a steal. They're closed Saturday and Sunday, though - does your trip include a Friday night? If so, their number is +33 (0)1 42 21 82 40.

Apr 28, 2010
megzimbeck in France

La Régalade opens a central location on Saint-Honoré

La Régalade opened a new location last night on the rue Saint-Honoré. I was there for dinner and can confirm that it was every bit as delicious as my last meal at the original location in the southern 14th.

I'm still not sure whether the southern location will remain open, where Doucet will do most of his cooking, or how they plan to maintain their modest menu price with a monthly rent that’s rumored to be around €10,000. Does anybody have the scoop?

Photos from the meal are available here:
http://megzimbeck.com/2010/04/la-rega...

Apr 28, 2010
megzimbeck in France

La Tete dans les Olives

I agree with John - it's a fun experience and there are some gorgeous things to taste, but it's more of a "periodic antidote" to the regular restaurant scene. Not necessarily something I'd recommend for a visitor.

Apr 28, 2010
megzimbeck in France

Paris to lose its Racines - Pierre Jancou will sell on Friday

I'm with chochotte - I've heard so many bad reports that I know there has to be some truth to them. But I always had a blast.

I'll be going back on Monday to try the "new" Racines - which still has chef Sven and most of the same staff on board. Will be sure to report back!

Nov 06, 2009
megzimbeck in France

The city's latest crush: Camdeborde's new wine bar L'Avant Comptoir

Hi again - I'm looking at the business card and it says 9h à 1h du matin.
Early morning to late at night - that's my kind of place!

I'm guessing that the early morning is for crèpes, waffles and coffee. Half of the place is dedicated to these takeout goodies (sandwiches, too) and they even have a loyalty card (buy 10 value meals get one free) which I almost never see in Paris. Love this place.

Nov 06, 2009
megzimbeck in France

The city's latest crush: Camdeborde's new wine bar L'Avant Comptoir

Yves Camdeborde (Mr. Bistronomy, formerly of la Régalade and now le Comptoir) has opened a new wine bar near Odeon. It is, in short, fantastic.

To be clear: it's only a counter, serving inexpensive mouthfuls (tapas style) and a small selection of wine. But it's what every visitor seems to be searching for - a way to sample delicious things and be surrounded by fun locals without spending a fortune.

Here are the rave reviews that have already come in:

In English:

Meg Zimbeck (that's me): http://megzimbeck.com/2009/11/was-there-life-before-the-counter/

The Paris Kitchen: http://www.thepariskitchen.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17:pig-out-at-le-comptoirs-hot-tapas-bar&catid=1:news&Itemid=4

Dorie Greenspan: http://www.doriegreenspan.com/2009/10/-its-not-that-i.html

Serve it Forth: http://serveitforth.com/?p=680

In French:

Figaroscope: http://www.lefigaro.fr/sortir-paris/2009/10/28/03013-20091028ARTFIG00016-l-avant-comptoir-.php

My Little Paris: http://www.mylittleparis.com/lavant-c...

Nov 06, 2009
megzimbeck in France

Paris to lose its Racines - Pierre Jancou will sell on Friday

Sad news for all of you who have loved Pierre Jancou's wine bar - he's selling Racines on Friday. He'll be moving to la Drôme (southeastern France) with his family.

The gorgeous space inside the Passage des Panoramas (the city's oldest covered passage) will continue to operate with a new captain (David from Café Moderne) at the helm.

I wrote a little bit about it here:
http://megzimbeck.com/2009/10/pierre-...

Oct 19, 2009
megzimbeck in France

Daniel Rose opens Table 28 in the original Spring location

I spoke to Daniel today and wrote about it here:
http://megzimbeck.com/2009/10/you-can...

Dinner for now is Wednesday - Sunday and lunch service will begin shortly. To reserve, call Fabian at 06 42 87 79 64 (if you're dialing from the U.S. that's 011-33/6 42 87 79 64).

Oct 19, 2009
megzimbeck in France