Friday, December 29, 2006

Chez Michel

Perfect French comfort food in the quiet shadow of a church near the Gare du Nord. Their 30 Euro menu is the best prix-fixe in Paris. Starter of terrine of hare with foie gras and cacao, main of pot au feu of pigeon breast with foie gras, black truffles, with carrots, brussel sprouts and root vegetables, finished off with their famous Kouign Annan, a kind of galette des rois with heaps of caramel and butter. Apologies (again) for the crap photo quality.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Condé Nast Shit List 2006 (Paris)

Further proof that CNT has no idea what they are talking about in terms of "hot tables" (in Paris anyway)

I mean, who writes this shit for them?!!?

Hire me for chrissakes!

PS, their noting of Gaya and Le Comptoir are just (however late in the game they may be on gastronomic rumours..)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

White Truffle Oil and Parmesan Fries

At the Bristol Lounge in the Four Seasons Boston. Great side of sour cream with lemon sauce, but god knows why they coupled it with Heinz ketchup...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

New Printemps Restaurant

The resto, underneath a 1923 circa Art Nouveau cupola has had a major redesign, with a central, circular bar, above which a massive inflated globe hangs, with projected digital images on its surface. The chef, from the Hotel Saint James does a cuisine which was better than I expected: mi-cuit salmon, veal chop with a cheesy sauce and celery purée, and a rather nasty-looking "gaspacho" of fruit with green tea sorbet, which tasted a lot better than it looked!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Alain Ducasse/Jules Verne

This should be very interesting. Now that the Paris mairie has opened up the franchise of the restaurants located in the Eiffel Tower, and Alain Ducasse has signed a 10 year contract (top secret) to run the highly demanded establishment , Le Jules Verne, this (truly) haute gastro looks set to be the hottest table in the City of Lights next year. It'll be all positive anyway when he gets rid of the jerks running this tourist trap now. Details to follow...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Who would've known that a Rival drinking acquaintance (thanks, David!) would end up investing the (former) tourist-trap Yakitori/Sushi-Cho restaurant and make it into one of the more interesting Japanese restos in the Golden Triangle... David, a longtime Paris fixture with contacts in all the right places recently took over the aforementionned place, added a former Nobu Paris chef (bonzai!) , spruced up the place a bit, and revved up the gastronomic quotient. From many a drunken evening pre-opening, with David, I know he's serious about what he's doing. And the Chef, well, let's put it this way, he's been known to disappear with a giant octopus for hours in the kitchen, only to emerge (after much kung fu shouting) with a tray perfect sushi.
We ate tartar of tuna with ginger, warm oysters with saki sauce, raw tuna slivers with sesame and saki sauce, scallops in a "teapot" (drink boullon first, then eat seafood and mushrooms inside) , fresh line-caught seabass, classic sushi platter, all washed down with cold Kirin on tap.

24 rue Marbeuf 75008 Paris
+33 1 45 62 30 14

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


In response to my three or four regular readers, I guess I will try to update this entry with a little more information than I usually do. Drouant was great. Not just the food. The starter, of fresh langoustines was great. They were impeccably fresh, and even though, they resembled a pair of bollocks ("My langoustines have bollocks!" is probably something I shouldn't have shouted out at the table, but hey, I guess the wine was pretty good as well...and we did have the private room upstairs, only among friends...). I wasn't too keen on the main dish of guinea fowl, as it was overcooked. The dessert was fine-light and airy. The best thing about the evening was hanging out at Drouant's bar after the dinner and getting drunk with Anthony Clémot (Drouant chef, and Westermann's business partner), the rest of the culinary team (two chefs I knew already from Le Cinq), a hot young Japanese stagiere, a few French TV celebrites, etc. The following near-fatal scooter race and drinks at Le Forvm (too spicy Bloody Mary-new bartender not good) rounded off a great night.

Special Menu:

Gambas roties, purée de topinambour et émulsion de cresson

Suprème de pintade roti à la sauge, pates Riso aux pieds de mouton

Le millefeuille de Drouant, crème légère parfumée a la vanille

Wines: 2004 Pinot Blanc, A. Kientzler 2004 Puig oriol, Domaine de la Tour Vieille

16-18 place Gaillon 75002 Paris
+ 33 1 42 65 15 16

Monday, November 13, 2006

Les Béatilles becomes the new Bath's

Really looking forward to the new , recently reopened Bath's, in the place of the former Les Béatilles restaurant in the 17th. Modern decor. More adventurous menu, while keeping the classics. Jean-Yves and Stéphane at the helm. More soon...

25 rue Bayen , 17eme

Monday, November 06, 2006

La Madonnina

Tagliatelle with fresh mushrooms

This fooding favourite on a quiet side street off of the Canal Saint Martin didn't impress me very much. Everything was acceptable- nice service, but not incredibly friendly or professional, ok food, slightly above average, but when factoring in the prices (not expensive, but not cheap either ), I'd say there are better places to go for the money.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


"Indian" clove cigarettes at Ratn

Austen, Céline and I, all great fans of Indian cuisine, and avid explorateurs of all new and interesting tables went the other night to Ratn, the new restaurant replacing the former Michelin star rated Bath's. We were all on intimate terms with the former owners (with all the great past memories that encompassed) , and we were a little hesitant to dine here, with all the insipid Indian experiences had in Paris. Austen even became an excellent cook in part because of the high price/low quality of most of these restaurants .... (with the exception of Dip, bien sur). Happily to say, Ratn is an excellent surprise in every way. From the owner's affable, professional, and warm welcome, and way in which we were treated to the perfection of their cuisine, based on ancient Moghul palace recipes. The manager, a former director of finance, took over this restaurant to bring a little exposure to his father, a discreet man who was the harbinger of Indian cuisine in Paris in the 1970's, and whose influence extends to almost every top Indian restaurant in Paris, as the owners of these estblishments were all formerly chefs in his place...

I'll update this post when I have time, but for the moment, this is , without doubt , the best Indian I have tried..

Monday, October 30, 2006

Me and Eva

Lobby of a luxury hotel in *****..

No lies. Today, just after lunchbreak, our PR manager came by and said, by the way, Eva Herzigova will be here in 30 minutes to take photos with you for next week's ***** *****. That info was shocking/exciting/terrifying enough in itself, without the hidden future catch.

She came. Dressed in a ruffled/little bit uptight white, ruffled lace top, and strangely burlap-bagesque dresswrap thing.

I was on the phone speaking with a client, checking her out from the corner of my eye.

Then the dress dropped. Time in the lobby stopped. Shell-shocked, passing-by businessmen gawked.

My trousers levitated.

Tibetan monks got nothing on me.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Opened a few weeks ago by the Queen disco team in what was formerly the Chicago Pizza Pie Factory, this 250 seat bar/lounge looks to be a future hot-spot. Clubby clientelle, poofs, hot young bartendeuses, and flexible opening times will make this quartier a little more interesting.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Carte Blanche

Here are a few photos from my (belated) lunch at Carte Blanche this afternoon. I've been wanted to try this place for ages, but have only just got around to it. This small néobistrot, located in the culinary hinterlands of the 9th district, was opened a year ago by Claude Dupont, former front of house manager at Pierre Gagnaire, and former Beauvilliers chef Jean-François Renard. All in all a pleasant table with a mildly creative 38 Euros mini tasting menu.

First course was a carpaccio of beef on a bed of salad greens and Italian breadsticks.

Followed by a very fresh carpaccio of coquilles St. Jacques on a bed of freshly cubed mangos and green apple

Next, the main dish of fresh fish with salad and tomates confits

Followed by an excellent mint/strawberry cream dessert and warm madeleines

Nothing crazily creative, but a nice, discreet place with friendly service and gentle on the wallet.

Carte Blanche
6, rue Lamartine, 75009 Paris
Telephone: 01 48 78 12 20

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Gastronomy is the New Cocaine

I've said this for ages.

Chez Papa

The low level collective euphoria in Chez Papa last evening reminded me of a middle-class Amerian chain, themed steakhouse, a sort of Disney World of the palate. Packed –to-the-rafters, Chez Papa is part of a small chain of restaurants in Paris specializing in cuisine from the Sud Ouest. A friend and colleague, who once lived in my neighborhood suggested I try it. I did a few weeks ago for lunch, and rather enjoyed one of their jumbo salads, which was a pretty good deal, so I decided to dine and check out the rest of the menu. Disappointment. Despite the mass of interenet blurbs on what a "good value” it was, Chez Papa struck me as a simulacrum of a rustic Sud Ouest restaurant, with mediocre, mass-produced dishes, a kitchen full of African immigrants, and a clientele , rolling their eyes in joy, with no clue, under the black stare of the omnipresent partron’s Big Brother-like portrait. Papa doesn’t even exist

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nietzsche Family Circle

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Liza restaurant Paris

Lamb Aux Cinq Epices with Rice

Caviar d'Aubergines

Lamb Tartar with Parsley

Kebbah (spicy grilled lamb sausages) with side of hummus

This was a great little place. Lately, everyone has been updating and "modernizing" the world's great cuisines, and in Paris there are examples of this everywhere - whether it be French , Italian, any number of Asian "fusion" establishments, North African, etc, but until now, Lebanese cuisine has escaped this trend, visitors being forced to eat at Diwan, Noura, or any of a number of other tourist-ridden establishments.

Liza is a breath of fresh air, not only for the light, design/traditional décor, and the friendly service, but for the quality cuisine (kitchen overseen by the former chef of London's Fakkreldine), fine wines, and easy ambience.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nirvana Lounge Rebranding

**sorry, lost out -- it's called the Rival Deluxe, now--- too bad..**

I must admit the genius of the Costes Klan in choosing me to rename the Nirvana Lounge... hint, it rhymes with "hilt"...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Temples of Cool

Article here

PS Looks better on the printed page


Fantastic mozza - good millefeuille de thon with avocados, mangos and Thai spices , great moelleux au choc. the entrecote with gros frited and filleted sea bass with lemon-butter sauce not shown, but excellent

Chez Papa 10eme Salad

Best value salad in Paris? Lettuce, bacon, two fried eggs, fromage bleu , tomatoes , pomme de terres sauté ...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Relais de l'Entrecote

Pure French comfort food.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Brasserie Julien

Gazzetta Restaurant Paris

Got the jump on Emmanuel Rubin in finding this one, though I didn't really get to try out the new wunderchef's cuisine as the Sunday brunch menu was composed of mostly basic Italian comfort food fare, risottos, pizza , etc

Next visit.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Basement Bento at OZU Paris

Proclaimed as the Best Japanese restaurant in Paris on their (largely unfinished) official website, OZU is the second offering from the same team owning the restaurant of the same name in London. The decoration is of little interest, a pan-world, Nippon dining room with lots of blond wood, and a latice-style ceiling, the big attraction here being the giant aquarium theatre located in space directly across from the main dining room. The aquarium, apparently closed for some 20 years before being reopened solely for OZU, is pretty cool (despite the fact that it draws hoards of annoying children around the supposedly VIP tables in front of the fish display, although the management assures me that , although Sunday lunchtime is often like this, in the evening, there is a different ambience altogether.

The 9 piece sushi plate was pretty good, although, at 38 Euros, and with only a tiny accompanying salad, was a bit of a stretch (I mean, the same price buys an entire bento box at Kai...).

The teppinyaki was pretty tasty, with accompanying rice, Japanese flan with (a little dry) chicken at the bottle, a decent miso. Not bad for a little less than 30 Euros.

Dessert, a green tea creme brulé, with a sort of pumpkin gratin and chocolate chip, was relatively tasty.

Is it the best Jap in town? Of course not. But maybe worth a night out if Kai and Kinugawa are fully booked.

Oh, and one last thing, watch out for the statue at the exit of the restaurant. It has hungry hands...

Monday, September 11, 2006

New Nobu in Paris?

Place Vendome? Former Giorgio Armani boutique??

You heard it here first.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Zagat Paris Launch 2006/2007

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Friday, September 8th,

Great night. Met up with Clotilde and David Lebowitz. Got drunk and chatted with Yannick Alleno, William Ledeuil, Patrick Pignol, Jean-François Piege, Alec Lobrano, various food writers, restaurant owners and chefs, avoided cantankerous Vrinat, and have no pictures to illustrate the evening, except one of Clo turning her head away (what is this phobia for one so attractive and intelligent?...)