Bones Restaurant & Bar a Hit with Hipsters in the 11th

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No-choice tasting menus prepared by trendsetting chefs are on the rise in Paris.

A good bet for those with an adventurous palate is Bones, recently opened by Australian chef James Henry (formerly of Spring and Au Passage), near Place Voltaire in the 11th. At 40€ – 47€  for dinner, it’s a good value.

Simplicity is key in the space (a brick-walled, former Irish pub) and seasonal is key on the menu. Original dishes include barbecued and smoked eel, foie gras in many forms, sea bass carpaccio with meyer lemon, pigeon with kale, duck heart, and gésier (gizzard).

A separate bar à manger serves oysters, veal tartare, and charcuterie maison.

The admiring crowd is young, the music loud, and reservations (made only by phone between 2 and 7 Paris time) a necessity.

Not sure if Bones is for you?

Stop in after 7pm for a glass of natural wine at the bar (no reservation necessary). If the vibe is right, ask for a plate of the chef’s handmade cheese.

You may find yourself smitten.

Renovations Complete at La Grande Epicerie

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Just before Christmas, La Grande Epicerie de Paris, the Left Bank gourmet grocery that has been under renovation for a year and a half, unveiled its new look.

The store has been opened up visually and spacially, with a glass roof and an escalator connecting 3 floors. It’s added some 20,000 products, moved some departments, and created others.

The new store is arranged like a marketplace, with green grocers, butchers, fishmongers, artisan pastry chefs and cheesemongers available for consultation.

The formerly visually nondescript wine department moved to the basement last year. Now it really is a cave, outfitted in granite and oak, with dégustations at the new wine bar, Balthazar.

Aisles of luxury foodsexquisite chocolates, biscuits, sauces, oils, vinegars, and more from all over the world—also include products not available anywhere else: Jamaican coffee beans from Bob Marley’s son’s plantation, candy “tennis balls” signed Maria Sharapova, skull-shaped bottles of vodka produced by Dan Akroyd.

It’s large, it’s lovely, and it’s hard to imagine leaving this temple of food empty handed.

What’s your favorite foodstuff at La Grande Epicerie?