Semilla—A Favorite Restaurant on Paris’ Left Bank

Interior Semilla

Interior Semilla

Semilla Kitchen Team

Semilla Kitchen Team

The French have an original expression for describing restaurants they are particularly fond of. They call them coups de coeur–heartthrobs. Paris by Mouth (a site I use repeatedly when in the City of Light for terrific restaurant, wine, and pastry reviews) even goes so far as to put a bright pink heart by the names of establishments they deem worthy of this honor. Semilla, a popular eatery located in the St Germain area on the Left Bank is my newest heartthrob. (It’s also the recipient of one of those little pink hearts from Paris by Mouth!).

My husband and I have dined in this lively bistro four times this year, twice during our Continue reading

A New Restaurant in Paris to Start the New Year

Le Pario entrance

Although we’ve been in Paris several days, most of the city’s restaurants have been shuttered for the holidays. Only this weekend did they start to reopen. We couldn’t wait, and for our first outing went to Le Pario, a new place in the 15th arrondissement that opened this fall. Our friends John and Sue Talbott recommended it, and met us there. John is a well known food critic/blogger here in France’s capital so I knew we were in for a treat.


Le Pario interior



Le Pario
is small and well appointed with banquettes covered in rich caramel leather and tables topped with crisp white linens. But it’s the creative dishes of chef Eduardo Jacinto that are the real draw. A native Brazilian, with an impressive resumé that includes stints at Café Constant and Le Violon d’Ingres, this talented cook offers fresh, seasonal food that is stylishly presented and reasonably priced.


Potiron, Chestnut,  and Truffle Cream Soup

Our first courses were definitely original. I ordered a cream soup prepared with potiron (an orange winter squash), chestnuts, and truffle-scented cream. My spouse opted for a composed salad of smoked chicken, carrots, and scallions accompanied by baby romaine in a Caesar dressing. Mains included roasted quail with bacon-stuffed potatoes, and a tender fricassee of Continue reading

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
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