Last week I was back to Paris for a couple of days of meetings and also had the opportunity to visit some new spots around town that I hadn’t had the chance to make it to previously. Although the weather was a little dodgy, it held off enough to allow for plenty of walking – which was needed to do to make up for the plenty of eating I also did. I only had three occasions to really go out for dinner and my colleague and I hit the following: A Noste, a tapas spot that mixes traditional french, Basque and Spanish cuisine; Les Papilles, a french wine shop with a set menu that I have visited before but could eat at every day; and Clamato, a seafood spot that is the more casual cousin of the famous Septime.
The final spot, Clamato, claimed the honour of the most difficult menu I have ever encountered in French. Even in English, I would have been guessing at many of the types of fish and preparations but in French, it was a completely blind order.
If I was recommending one spot in Paris for people visiting, Les Papilles would probably be it. It is a four-course menu for about 30 euros – consisting of a soup, some sort of meat, typically cooked in a cassoulet, a cheese course, and then a dessert. It is a small spot where the owner is always there and involved in your service and although there are a good number of tourists, it is balanced out by a nice number of Parisians as well. The food is a pretty good representation of french cuisine I think – plenty rich and available with a nice selection of wines also.
The final spot I visited on my own was Frenchie To-Go on Rue du Nil. I had eaten at Frenchie’s wine bar before too and been very impressed – this lived up to the hype. And one thing I always enjoy – the owner/chef was actually there when I visited, just as he was when I visited the wine bar.