What’s my favorite Paris pastime?
Wandering the streets, poking into shops and courtyards, sitting in parks, people-watching in cafés, communing with artists in the far corners of museums, and sampling French food from new chefs. I’m always in search of new Paris addresses!
Here are a few recent discoveries, organized by arrondissements:
Wall garden: French horticulturist Patrick Blanc’s best known Paris project is his mur végétal at the Musée Quai Branly. But it’s hard to get a good view of it without standing in the middle of a busy street. His smaller wall garden, at the corner of Réamur and Petits Carreaux, is flanked by benches, so you can properly take it in.
New resto: Poilâne has a new outpost of its Cuisine de Bar, at 38, rue Debelleyme. The specialty is the tartine, oblong open-faced sandwiches made with fabulous Poilâne bread, topped with meat, fish and veggie pâtés, melted cheese, figs, and more.
New café: Le Petit Marché, just off the Place des Vosges at 9 rue Béarn, is a pleasant place for a coffee or a late dinner.
MOF Florist: Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) is a prestigious title certifying that the bearer is one of the best artisans in France, but I didn’t knew it applied to florists until I stumbled onto Muriel Le Couls’ sliver of a shop at 51, rue Cencier. This is innovation, French style.
New concert venue: St Julien le Pauvre, the oldest church in Paris, hosts classical concerts yearround. Reserve on the website, and pay at the door (cash only). http://www.concertinparis.com/?lang=en
New address for cold-pressed oils: Huilerie J Leblanc et Fils, makers of small-batch, handcrafted cooking oils, has moved from 6, rue Jacob, around the corner to the gourmet grocery Tomat’s at Nº5 (it’s tucked into a tiny cobblestoned courtyard). The hazelnut and truffle oils are my favorite.
New boutique: Master Chocolatier Jacques Genin has opened a boutique at 27, rue de Varenne. His meticulously crafted, gleaming ganaches are refined and subtle, with sweet and savory flavors equally accounted for.