I haven’t been going out to dinner as much lately, but, as today’s too-snug Comptoir des Cotonniere jeans will attest, that doesn’t mean I’ve been eating any less. I’ve had some especially great brunches with Jo and have tried some really sweet places for lunch, and they’re every bit as worthy of dissecting as evening dinners.
SuperNature: 12, rue Trevise, 9eme
Ohhhh, I loved our brunch here. The space is way too small and cramped, but getting your chair constantly bumped into is worth it for the house-made muesli, chocolate spread that comes with a generous bread basket (and marmalade and jam and honey and butter), the gratin of cheesy veggies that comes with the smoked salmon and lentils and salad, the pain perdu and green tea and fresh juice… you get scads of high-quality, delicious food for your 20 euros. Reservations are essential.
Hotel Amour: 8, rue de Navarin, 9eme
Oh, l’amour! Yes, there’s lots to love about this hipster restaurant, too. The bright and lovely terrace. The people-watching—be they other diners or the oh-so-fashionable waitstaff. And especially the à la carte brunch menu that offers relatively small portions at relatively low prices so you can pick and choose a couple things. Like, salty (yum, scrambled eggs) and sweet (hallelujah, pancakes!) What I don’t love? The willy-nilly waiting line.
Le Fumoir: 6 rue de l'amiral Coligny, 1eme
When I first came to Paris, I would meet here regularly for A Small World gatherings. Le Fumoir is known for its cocktails in Paris, especially martinis. It’s elegant and international and has that certain je-ne-sais-quoi mix of being consciously fashionable and tres casual. Now that I work a stone’s throw away, I’ve been wanting to indulge in lunch, the urge especially strong after dining at sister restaurant La Gazzeta. Finally, lunch with Ana got me there. She had a very healthy looking leg of lamb. I had the “ginger twist”, carrot juice with ginger and coriander, and veggie pot au feu. It was clean, elegant and completely satisfying.
Café Cervantes: 7, rue Quentin Bauchart, 8eme
Wow. I tagged along with Jo and her colleagues to this hidden spot after hearing her rave about it, and I’m so happy I’m in on it now. Tucked inside the well regarded Crevantes Spanish school, this café is small and super cool. The menu is sparse and naturally features Spanish fare: homemade empanada, mix and match tapes, Spanish wines… We all pretty much got soup—either veggie or beetroot and fennel—and then splurged on dessert: chocolate/salted caramel cake, tarte citron, fromage blanc with honey and pistachio and the pear crumble. Adorable and delicious.
Le Garde-Robe: 41, rue de l’arbre sec, 1eme
I treat myself about once a week to the “bio bagels” at this darling organic wine bar, right around the corner from my office and across the street from Spring Epicerie. There’s a cute French manager and a friendly Irish bartender, both of whom add enough intrigue and dynamism to keep me coming back. That, and the food.
The first time I went, I indulged in the 12 euros menu: fresh juice of the day, which that day was an incredible blend of carrot, pineapple and ginger; veggie soup and the bagel sandwich with smoked salmon. I don’t know why it seemed logical to have what was essentially two lunches at once. My belly was bloated the rest of the day, but the food was delicious.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve limited myself to just the bagel sandwiches and, when I’m lucky, I get a free taste of juice.