At Journeywoman we have countless connections in the world of tourism and travel. We receive press releases everyday telling us about the hot new properties we need to try. We ignore them. Anybody can hire a PR company to toot their horn.
What Journeywoman is interested in are the wonderful, personal connections we've cultivated in cities around the world. When we need authentic, down to earth, moderately priced restaurant suggestions we turn to our pals on the ground. They always supply us with great ideas. Here is the latest restaurant list we'll use when we set off on our next trip to Paris.
We suggest you bookmark it, too. This is a great list to have!
Meet local foodies and salad nibblers...
Touristy Montmartre can be hit and miss when it comes to dining, but in-the-know residents head to Cheri Bibi for the 'Soirée Popotes de Potes' the third Monday of each month when guest chefs create two to three course set menus at 10 Euros. There are no reservations and no choices, but a lot of convivial fun for a great price at this adorable spot where hipsters converge with local foodies. While waiting for a table, grab a special liquid nitrous infused aperitif off the guest barman from their sister resto, La Famille. If you're not in town on the third Monday of the month, this is still a great deal for lively local French food with menus running around 22 Euros. Address: 15 rue André del Sarte
Ask any Montmartre resident where to lunch and you're likely to get the same answer: Relais Gascon! But with a caveat you must have the salad! Not for nibblers, these Salades Géantes come full of lardons (bacon strips), chevre cheese, and herby, roasted potatoes. Beneath that bounty you will find some greens. Busy, bustling, friendly French waiters serve and bottles of wine are more than reasonable. There are two locations and every resident has their favorite of the two. But, either one will serve up a meal of a salad for less than 13 Euros in a lively, lovely Frenchie environment. (6, rue des Abbesses and 13, rue Joseph de Maistre (2nd recommendation for this restaurant. Must be very good!)
Submitted by: Forest Collins. Website: http://52martinis.blogspot.com
From lemon meringue pie to French countryside cooking...
Aux Lyonnais is a place where you can eat with the stars without an astronomical check at the end of your meal. The stars in question here are not from the movies or the magazines but from the kitchen. This classic bistro is multi-Michelin-star-chef Alain Ducasses' most accessible restaurant. With prix fixe menus at 26 for lunch and 34 for dinner you can afford to be a part of the long-standing French tradition of fine dining. The service is buttoned up and so is the clientele. The silvery mirrors, creamy tile floor and zinc counter top are the stuff of dreams and when you combine that with the handsome leather apron clad sommelier who helps you select the perfect pairing for your meal, most diners are feeling smitten before they've even taken a bite of the delicious food. Address: 32 rue Saint Marc, 75002 Paris. Website: www.auxlyonnais.com
Le Loir dans la Théière:
The worn leather seats and charming chipped china in this salon de thé make eaters feel at home. Lingering is encouraged although laptops are not (see sign on the wall!) this place is designed for eating and chatting with your friends face to face over a good pot of tea and a tall slice of lemon meringue pie. Tarts are this shop's specialty and they offer a selection of sweet and savory tart du jour all afternoon, along with soup, salads and other light ladylike fare. Their desserts are on display and temptingly laid out along the old wooden buffet on the far side of the room, no need for a dessert menu here, just hop up, have a look, and point to your treat of choice! Address: 3 rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris.
Le Garde à Robe:
Garde à robe literally translates to walk-in closet and once you walk into this tiny wine bar you will see what a befitting name it is. This hybrid wine shop wine bar is located on a quiet street two blocks from the Louvre, just far enough off the beaten track to discourage every touristy Tom, Dick and Harry from going there but mercifully close for those blurry eyed art lovers who have just spent the afternoon in the Louvre. Given the limited space inside you might think the owners would dedicate all available space to seating, not so, wine bottles and wooden wine crates dominate the small floor plan. A wine centric menu is offered including cheese plates, meat platters, and little sandwiches. They have a wide selection of wines by the glass and should you taste something you really fancy, you can pick up a bottle for later from their to-go selection. Address: 41 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris.
L'As du Falafel:
This is an institution. Rock stars, teenagers, politicians and old Jewish grandmothers agree this is THE place in Paris for falafel. The fast moving 'kippah' topped team slings grilled eggplant, tangy hummus, spicy pepper sauce and crispy fried chickpea fritters all day long. The dining room is constantly busy and humming with energy as eager diners wait their turn to sit down and devour their pita pocket. Meals are served on plastic plates with prices to match. Closed Friday night and Saturday. Address: 34 rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris.
Paris is full of transplants. Seeking work, education or big city thrills the folks from the French countryside almost all live in Paris at some point. While away from their beloved provincial towns they inevitably miss their mamans and her cooking. When Bretons get blue and feel homesick they head on down to Breizh Café for a crépe. This authentic créperie makes lacey buckwheat pancakes served up with cheese, eggs and ham called galettes or sweet wheat flour pancakes called crépes sucrées filled with jam, nutella, or warm apples...just to name a few. The traditional drink is hard apple cider which is served in little ceramic bowls that fit so nicely in your hand you may never put them down. Address: 109 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris. Website: www.breizhcafe.com
Submitted by: Mary Campbell Website: www.walklikeaparisian.com