Rose Bakery: 46, rue des Martyrs, 9eme; 30, rue Debelleyme, 3eme
Went with: Erica for Sunday brunch—early Sunday brunch
Had: Une tarte salée accompanied by two house salads. The tarte was a wonderful greenie mixture of veggies; the salads, incredible. One was grilled tofu and tomatoes; the other was an electrically vibrant mélange of roasted root vegetables that made me do flips.
Impressions: Rose Bakery is one of those places that I want to go to all the time but is just a little too pricey to eat at regularly (my lunch was 13,50), and, besides, a little trop occupé on the weekends, which is the only time I can make it to either the Marais or the Ninth. But I adore the menu of fresh salads, heavenly baked goods, plus Anglo standards like scrambled eggs and pizzas.
Lémoni: 5, rue Hérold, 1er (merci, Patricia!)
Went with: With Opal on a Friday
Had: Le formule of a hot lunch (hot lunch!), side salad and juice (yep, opted for fresh fruit juice over dessert. Some days, I really do try.) They offer four hot options—usually gratins and casseroles and other combos that can be baked into giant batches of deliciousness. Both of us got the ‘gratin de bonne mince’—or something like that—which included layers of sweet potatoes and grains and cheese. My side salad, which I ate for dinner that night as it was too much food, was orzo and eggplant. The juice, orange-peach.
Impressions: I love this petit bio spot. Another place that’s a bit too pricey to frequent daily (said formule is 12,50), but always satisfies me. Opal and I were laughing though—eating something called ‘gratin de bonne mince’ in a joint that pumps up the bio message makes you feel all healthy and saintly but that lunch was no doubt laden with calories. Oh well.
La Cuisine de Bar: 8, rue du Cherche Midi, 6eme
Went: For a solo treat on Saturday afternoon
Had: Le formule: a wee green salad, glass of red, and a tartine of mozzarella and tomato.
Impressions: Mmmmm. Personally, I think Poilane is a titch overrated. But this slender café next door to the historic bakery was friendly, welcoming and just the ticket. It was indulgent but not decadent. Completely satisfying, not gut-busting. I loved watching their really simple system of preparing and toasting the tartines, and also cleaning up (looked like they kept a little compost bucket—yay!) I found myself in the middle of two pairs of traveling Americans and was in a chatty enough mood to swap love stories for Paris. It was just a nice little respite in the middle of a busy weekend. And next time, I’ll try the apple tart for dessert.