Paris is obviously one of my favorite cities in the entire world. There is so much to see and do. Despite their reputation, Parisians are some of the warmest, helpful, people I have ever encountered. It is no wonder that artists, poets, authors, brigands, scoundrels, lovers, and citizens of the world have found their way to Paris for centuries. It is truly The City of Lights.
There are places I found on my recent trip that I wanted to share with everyone because they made my trip so much better, and I want other to enjoy them as much as I did.
Where to Eat
Chef Stéphane Jego's nose-to-tail restaurant is a small, high-energy place on the Left Bank in between des Invalides and Champ de Mars. Although the restaurant may be small, there are no small portions at L'Ami Jean. Chef Jego uses every part of an animal he brings into the restaurant. He also goes out of his way to make sure that two people who order the same dish experience it in different ways.
The menu changes constantly so it's a place to return to often. Save room for the rice pudding. It's his mother's recipe and it is unbelievable!
Another recommendation from my friend Wendy Lyn pays off in a huge way! Lucas Baur de Campos and Ninon Leconte have opened a fantastic place that is now among my favorite places to eat anywhere in the world.
Lucas and Ninon are from Southern Brazil, and their restaurant uses a real wood fire BBQ to cook delicious meat, chicken, and fish. They then pair these with sauces that harken back to their home, and smaller plates that use local ingredients to create an atmosphere that is more like eating in a close friend's kitchen than a restaurant in Paris.
The night I went the menu had some very interesting dishes. I went mostly seafood, but Lucas made sure I got a sampling of everything good on the menu. Ninon was right on time with her recommendations on food as well as their selection of natural wines.
Every bite was delicious. The menu changes frequently to reflect what is fresh and in season. Lucas and Ninon are so warm and friendly, you can tell they put their hearts and souls into Brutos. I will make it a point to return every time I'm in town!
The oldest covered market in Paris is in the Marais (now you know why I recommend staying there!). It has stall after stall of gorgeous produce, meats & cheeses, seafood, flowers, baked goods, and food stalls that serve everything from vegan food to one of the best sandwiches in the world.
The market is worth strolling through even if you aren't in the mood to eat anything. Trust me, you'll find SOMETHING to tempt you!
25-50 Wine Latitude
I always like finding places where locals hang out when I travel. 25-50 Wine Latitude is one of those places. Mark the owner has created a place where locals feel comfortable coming in and buying a bottle of something he's found or sitting at the bar itself and drinking glasses of what he opens on a particular day. I went back a couple of times and Mark was happy to discuss French and German wines (he has dual citizenship) as well as American wines (he spent several year here, mainly in N. California). If you look at 25-50s Facebook Page or the Google reviews you'll see that on the night of the terrorist attack at the Bataclan Music Hall (right around the corner from 25-50) Mark kept 25-50 open as a safe place for people to congregate and decompress. So not only does he sell amazing wine, he's a good guy as well. More than enough reason to frequent his place.