Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hotel Raffles Royal Monceau Paris

In no particular order, a few film impressions of the newly (yesterday) opened Raffles Royal Monceau. I was ready to hate yet another Philippe Starck makeover, but they really created an interesting space here. It looks like Starck really wanted to challenge people's idea of what a hotel can be, and things like breaking down the traditional barman-behind-the-bar-in-front-of-client, and exploding the bar, making it very open, then adding a glowing slab of communal table in front of it, making people sit next to each other. The lighting still needs to be fixed and there was no music, but mucho potential. The Il Carpaccio restaurant, in all its seashell glory was impressive as was the private dining room. The private 100 seater cinema with gorgeous handmade leather seats and insane sound system, and the bathrooms, all rethought, with no sink, no mirrors, all these inside the actual bathroom stalls was quite trippy, as was the herd of deer in the next door room (galery?)

The bar is run by the inimitable Greg Hazac (formerly of the Hotel Costes, French Love and Le Secret) who did his great signature cocktails and we tried a few (remember apple, hibiscus, lemongrass, vodka, gin...18€/21€). Saying hi to Lenny was cool too. Once they get the lighting and music sorted this will be one of the places to hang for the golden set. More soon.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rouleau de Printemps/ Hipster hell

Granted, Le Rouleau de Printemps is cheap, and good value I guess for the price (even though the nems in my bobun were hard as a rock), but to be that closely packed in with preening Belleville hipsters all proud of themselves for having googled "cheap restaurant Paris" , and having to listen to their inane conversations (everyone truly is an "expert" in this place) , almost made me happy when the waiter eventually moved us out to accomodate the next customer.
This is hilarious (names withheld to protect the guilty):

The other night in an unnamed palace hotel, the tiny owner of a very popular Paris nightclub tried to get into a hotel bar. As the bar was closing and said person was drunk and belligerent, he was refused access. At which point he behaved like a little baby and started screaming about who he was- what he owned, who he knew , etc. Said hotel didn't really give a toss, because they are used to real stars, and real important people..

He still didn't get in and must've felt like those losers who can't get past the doorman in his own place.

So he did what any self-respecting little arty club owner would do when turned out like the trash.

He peed on the flowerpots in front of the hotel.

A real class act.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

La Bulle

Great winter comfort food at one of my locals, La Bulle, at the crossroads of the quickly bobo-izing Louis Blanc 'hood in the hinterlands somewhere between the Canal Saint Martin and the rue Cail Sri Lankan quarter. On the (great value15€, two dish lunch) menu: delicious tagliatelli loaded with mushrooms and pancetta, pailleron de boeuf with a delicious wine sauce and dorade cooked in olive oil with homemade purée. The new chef, formerly Flora Mikula's right hand man seems to be heating things up in this corner of the 10eme 

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ploum (plouf..)

I can't really get up the energy to review this place, hidden behind the Canal Saint Martin and the Hopital Saint Louis. Nice spot on a corner, full of local yipsters, hot Eurasians, etc, but I'll resume it all in a few tweets I did while eating:

"Chef drinking with (said) hot Eurasians and playing Facobook with his Mac, apparently showing off pix of his Laotian summer villa..."

"While Sri Lankan cooks "cook" without supervision (ie badly prepared food of questionable freshness).

"Nems are terrible, full of fish bones with sauce at the bottom"

"Chirashi au saumon a travesty, shameful to sell tiny portions, not really that fresh with badly cooked rice at 20€" (one of my locals, Kyccio, has an under 10€ MENU with better chirashi....."

"Bobo bo-bun b-b-b-b-boring".

"Dessert trainwreck: (browning) apples, caramel, and hard (ie fridge frozen) chocolate bar, that nearly bent my spoon". This was, by the way, a "specialty of the house".

Get my drift? Don't go.

Shame the Eurasian hotties weren't on the menu.

Address: not necessary ..

Saturday, October 02, 2010

El Nopal, Mexican taqueria in Paris

Finally a real Mexican doing food in a little take away place just shy of the Canal Saint Martin. Two ex- Disney employees (Alejandro worked there because noone else would hire him as a non-French speaker), doing burritos, tacos (handmade dough rolled through a hand cranked machine), quesadillas and friendliness. Too bad the tortillas are ready made .. they refry their own beans and do everything made to order. 

Dishes 6,50€

El Nopal, 3 rue Eugène Varlin, 75010