Two Paris Bistros- Delicious Food at Reasonable Prices

Restaurant Pirouette in Paris

I discovered Pirouette, a stylish bistro located in central Paris near Les Halles, during my winter visit to France’s capital in January. The contemporary setting, with its soaring ceiling and huge windows looking out on a small square, invites one to relax, but the inventive food of talented chef, Tommy Gousset, would make any place shine. Gousset has done stints at Taillevent and Le Meurice in Paris and with Daniel Boulud in New York, and his talents were expertly honed in these great restaurants.

At dinner, our waiter brought two tempting amuse-bouches—an ethereally light cream of shallot soup capped with foam and a tartine topped with a flavorful cream and chorizo. Other highlights included a cream of artichoke soup with a soft poached egg and trompette de la mort mushrooms, an excellent ris de veau with duxelles, and baba au rhum with lime. At lunch a few days later, I started with a mouthwatering risotto de blé (made, I assumed, with wheat berries) set in a creamy broth and garnished with sautéed celery and bacon. My main dish, a dauraude grise (a mild white fish), served atop wild mushrooms and petit grenaille potatoes, succulently completed this menu.

Daurade Grise on a bed of mushrooms and potatoes at Pirouette

The prix fixe is 38 euros for three courses at dinner and 18 euros for two at lunch—a veritable bargain in Paris The staff was warm and helpful, and the setting inviting. I plan to go back on my next visit.

Restaurant Pirouette
5, rue Mondetour
Paris 75001
01-40-26-47-81
Métro: Etienne Marcel

 

Le Casse-Noix in Paris

Le Casse-Noix is a bistro I’ve been booking at regularly for the last few years. Located in the 15th arrondissement not far from the Eiffel Tower, it has an old fashioned ambience with the chef’s collection of nut crackers (a reference to the restaurant’s name ) displayed throughout. Chef Pierre Olivier Lenormand, an alum of the celebrated La Régalade in the 14th, never fails to please me with his creative menus. Continue reading

Food, Fashion, and Paris

Parisian Chic

Food and fashion seem to be the first two things to come to mind when we dream of Paris. I was reminded of this truism yet again this past week. A friend, off to Paris next month for the first time in many years, emailed to ask if I’d share some of my favorite restaurants.

I immediately sent her a note suggesting that she check out my website and click on the Paris tab at the top to see the current food venues I love in the City of Light, including both Sola and Le Casse Noix, two recent discoveries.
Sola

 To my  amusement, a second email arrived several days later from this lovely woman, requesting fashion advice. It began, “May I ask you, not a food question, but a clothes question?” and ended with the endearing line, “I’m not a high-style dresser at age 78, but don’t want to look frumpy.”

I recommended Ines de la Fressange’s Parisian Chic, an inexpensive style guide written by a former top French model. This little paperback reveals the secrets of what smart Parisian women wear and where they shop. (Full disclosure–I’m as passionate about clothes as food when in France’s capital.)

Le Casse Noix

Yes, everyone goes to Paris to eat divinely. And, for some, looking their best while taking a sip of soupe à l’oignon gratinée or biting into a glorious millefeuille is de rigueur. My septuagenarian pal definitely belongs to the latter contingent. She has already ordered a copy of Parisian Chic!

A Delightful Winter Lunch in Paris

John Talbott writes a knowledgeable and popular blog about Paris restaurants that I read faithfully. When he asked my husband and me to join him and his wife, Sue, for lunch this week, I jumped at the chance to meet this psychiatrist turned food critique. The place he had in mind was Septime, located in the 11th arrondissment, one of the capital’s flourishing new restaurant scenes.
We had been to Septime last summer for dinner, not long after it opened, and were impressed by the creative fare young chef Bernard Grébaut (who had worked at the 3-star Arpège) proposed. Each course of our tasting menu featured fresh, seasonal ingredients and was prepared with careful attention to detail. Our lunch was also delectable, and at 26 euros for 3 courses proved a better bargain than our evening meal.
My lightly poached egg and shallots floating in a delectable bouillon scented with hay (yes, you read that correctly) sprinkled with crunchy grains of black wheat was delicious and inventive.

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