EATS: Paris

No matter how near or far you are from home, a recommendation for a good restaurant or bar is always nice to have.  EATS is a collection of places that I’ve enjoyed during my travels.

Le Marmiton de Lutéce
We stumbled on Le Marmiton de Lutéce on an especially chilly and damp December night after arriving in Paris from London.  I was coming down with a cold and we just spent the last several hours outside browsing the stalls of the city’s Christmas markets, so were in need of proper nourishment.  The restaurant is located in a little pocket of the Latin Quarter between Boulevard Saint-Germain and the river from Boulevard Saint-Michel to Rue du Petit Pont.  It’s a neighborhood we’re drawn to every time we visit Paris due to its proximity to our hotel and its high concentration of moderately priced restaurants and bars.

Resembling a Swiss chalet, Le Marmiton’s dim woodsy interior with mismatched lamps and décor makes it feel like you are dining in someone’s cozy home.  Service was laid back and not rushed, and it seems like we were among locals enjoying a casual meal with friends after work.  Even though the main draw that night was a steamy pot of fondue, my desire for warm, gooey soupe à l’oignons gratinée (French onion soup – check out my recipe here) outweighed the restaurant’s tempting marketing.  Equally as satisfying was the chèvre chaud sur toast et salade (salad with goat cheese on toast) and the tartiflette (casserole with potatoes, bacon, onion and cheese), all paired with house red wine and mousse au chocolat for dessert.  Our meal of rich yet simple ingredients was nothing short of amazing, making Le Marmiton worthy of a repeat visit.

Le Marmiton de Lutéce, 6 Rue Saint-Séverin, +33 1 43 54 05 25, lemarmitondelutece.fr

Le Petit Cluny
About a block away on Boulevard Saint-Michel is Le Petit Cluny, a casual and unpretentious restaurant that seemed to draw a good mix of locals and tourists.  It reminded me of a fancy diner where you could sink into a booth and sip wine for hours.  Our waiter was extremely friendly, and the little English he understood combined with the little French we knew made ordering an easy process.  Looking for another hearty meal, I ordered beef bourguignon from its traditional French menu.  We also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to indulge in a warm goat cheese and toast salad again.  Heaven.  And if you visit in warmer weather, Le Petit Cluny also has a large outdoor seating area on the adjacent rue de la Harpe (street number 32-34) that would make for a great people-watching spot.

Le Petit Cluny, 19 Boulevard Saint-Michel, +33 1 45 48 30 38, lepetitcluny.fr

Le Relais de La Huchette
This little piano bar is another gem tucked away in the same neighborhood as the 2 previous restaurants.  It’s a great venue for live music with a handful of crowded tables that spill out onto the street in warm weather.  The buzz of the music and crowd at Le Relais de La Huchette would draw in anyone passing by.  At the center of the intimate space is a large, shiny black piano that you’ll often see the night’s performer using as a prop à la Marilyn Monroe in the movies.  Enjoy a cocktail or wine as you listen to the music, and if you’re so inclined, don’t be afraid to kick up your heels.

Photo from facebook.com/RelaisDeLaHuchette

Le Relais de La Huchette, 14 Rue de la Huchette, +33 1 43 25 09 88, facebook.com/RelaisDeLaHuchette 

Pizza Chic
No matter where you are in the world, pizza is always a good idea.  Like its name implies, Pizza Chic has a swanky, modern interior with decorative iron panels and white subway tile on the walls and light bulbs strung throughout to illuminate the space.  It edged on the pricy side for a pizza place, but it’s understandable since they pride themselves on the quality ingredients and process that goes into pizza making.  The menu includes a variety of wood-oven pizzas and antipasti, as well as a good selection of wine and specialty cocktails that make for a satisfying meal.  Reservations are recommended for Pizza Chic since it tends to fill up quickly.

Pizza Chic, 13 Rue de Mézières, +44 20 7836 9787, pizzachic.fr

Rim Café
Another pizza place we stumbled upon in the Latin Quarter a few years ago is the Rim Café.  The service felt a little scattered but the food definitely made up for it.  It boasts a large menu of moderately priced pizzas and pastas tailored to the tourist crowd, which we didn’t seem to mind.  Its brick and stone-walled interior has a rustic trattoria feel, but we enjoyed our pizza at an outside table where we were able to linger and watch the people passing by on the lively street corner that Rim Café anchors.

Rim Café, 38 Rue Saint-Séverin, +33 1 44 07 18 12, no website

Macarons
Paris is undoubtedly the culinary capital of the world, and the city’s sweet treats are no exception – from fancy éclairs to humble sidewalk crêpes and some of the best pastries you’ll ever taste.  One of the city’s most iconic and sacred sweets is the macaron.  These pretty, pastel cookies with almond-based shells that sandwich delicious fillings from flavored buttercream to jam and ganache, decorate pâtisserie windows throughout the city.  No trip to Paris is complete without indulging in macarons at least once, and while there are many options, I always like to pay homage to the crème de la crème, Ladurée.

Various locations

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