Sunday, November 21, 2010

My favourite review from the new Le Fooding guide? Genius translation in any event ;)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Inaki Aizpitarte's new restaurant Le Dauphin

...doesn't look like it's ready for opening anytime soon, and despite having won the Le Fooding prize for "Best Decor", everything I saw looked either unfinished or covered up in plastic. Very much a work-in-progress that seemed to be composed of a lot of mirrored surfaces and marble.

That being said, the fact that people were actually working on a Saturday probably means that they hope to welcome diners soon.

For those of you not in the know, this is a rare restaurant designed by superstarchitect Rem Koolhaas (and his collaborator, Clement Blanchet) and will be a much more flexible , tapas style eatery serving lunch and dinner and drinks ,right  next to Inaki's other no choice, market menu restaurant, Le Chateaubriand.

Le Dauphin
131 avenue Parmentier , 75011 Paris
+33 1 55 28 78 88

Aux Deux Amis

I normally avoid Oberkampf like the plague (horrible themed bars, invested by bobo wannabees, ie people who get out of bed without combing their hair thinking it's cool)  but, having been to the Le Fooding party la veille, I was looking for somewhere to lunch with my friend 'Tof that was simple and good and not too far from my shack. Aux Deux Amis (which was packed with hipster foodies- couldn't tell whether this was from Le Fooding's giving them the "best little luxury" prize, or if the restaurant was just plain popular) , really hit the spot. Old 50's-70's style café décor, great products, simply cooked and at 19.50€ for three courses, pretty hard to beat. For starters, I took a not very adventurous but very good lentil velouté while 'Tof tried the anchovies with ricotta cheese (excellent accords), we both had the onglet de boeuf (hangar steak) which was absolutely superb quality, accompanied by a decent risotto and Thiebault Jerusalem artichokes, and a dessert was a few slices of Manchego for moi and a fromage blanc for 'Tof, for which they served him ricotta (again!) by accident (it was good the first time, but not that good!). These boys apparently worked at Inaki's Chateaubriand for a few years, and teamed up with Mama (she never cracked a smile, even once..). Beware: slow and choppy service, and definitely book ahead of time. Apologies for the terrible quality iPhotos..

                                                    Ricotta and anchovies

                                                    Velouté de lentilles

                                                    Superb onglet de boeuf

                                                    Manchego Spanish cheese

Aux Deux Amis
45 rue Oberkampf, 75011
+33 1 58 30 38 13

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Me on France24 this evening

click here for the program on France24 where we talk about French gastronomy being added to the UNESCO list of world cultural "treasures"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Le Fooding invades les Buttes Chaumont

I love Le Fooding, their "tribu", their events, their ideas, so, needless to say that when I received an invite from my friend Alex, their self-styled "red chief" , I was understandably excited for their combination 10th anniversary/guide launch party in my favourite park in Paris, Les Buttes Chaumont. It might possibly have been (with the exception of a famous designer's birthday party along the Canal Saint Martin some years back in a collosal loft packed with powder-nosed models) , the best party ever. So many things happened, so much was going on that I won't try to report here, that I'll give you the basics. As usual, there were lots of well known chefs doing dishes for the masses in small portions, a crowd spattered with former Fooding people, food fans, industry folk, hangers on, TV people, drunks, bobos, former wife-beating French rap stars, all consuming as much Veuve, wine, Ricard cocktails from the Experimental people, Yvon Madec oysters, and Nespresso coffee as they possibly could. Highlights included seeing all my Fooding friends, hanging with Breizh Café's Jean-Luc Corbel and Bertrand Larcher , winner of the Fooding Prix d'Honneur (and whose trophy enabled us to get many drinks without waiting in line too long ;) ). Memorable were: all the pretty girls, making fun of the Minister of Culture and Ariel Dombasle, the improv dancefloor with tunes mixed by the Baron's DJ, the Sardegna a Tavola's horse carpaccio, Fabrizio from the Caffè dei Cioppi's lemon and sage risotto with meatballs, and stumbling from one place to the other in drunken mirth.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kaori Endo's Nanashi

Kaori Endo, Parisian transplanted journalist, cookbook writer, food consultant and former chef at Rose Bakery just opened a funky little eatery on the rue des Paradis under the patronage of Lionel Bensemoun (who was running around looking worried) of Le Baron fame. The deco is mismatched, arty , concrete, open kitchen with  lots of Japanese staff and an affable English bartender/barrista from Rose Bakery. Ideally located in the rapidly gentrifying dixieme, the 10€ bentos (takeaway, with marinated beef, fat Japanese rice and a salad with broccoli, rocket, daikon…) are a great deal and sure to do as well with the unadventurous office lunch population as with the bobos du coin. Also excellent banana bread, fondant au chocolat with yuzu and a daily changing pastry menu

31 rue de Paradis, 75010 Paris

                                          Takeaway bento
                                          Banana bread
                                          Moelleux au chocolat with yuzu
                                          Biodegradable packaging

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Philou - perfect neighborhood bistro

I just keep coming back to this place, and would even trek across town for their well turned out cooking. Yesterday's lunch confirmed once again my opinion that Philippe Damas' Philou is one of Paris' most perfect little bistros. Forest mushroom "clafoutis" with gizzards, tasty entrecote and roasted potatoes, turbot with a panoply of mushrooms, and just two snafus: the incredibly long service towards the end of the meal (granted, they were full and it was a new waitress, but she did spend 30 minutes cleaning glasses...) and the Montblanc , certainly not up to the level of the other dishes..but hard to complain when three courses comes to 25€...

Forest mushroom "clafoutis"
Entrecote with roast potatoes
Turbot with mushrooms
Disappointing Montblanc

12 avenue Richerand, 10th
+33 1 42 38 00 13