Paris I love you…
What a great city. So nice to be back after more than 2 years away and there is no better time to visit Paris than in the spring. I spent about two years living and working here so it always holds a special place in my heart.
If you are ever in Paris, here’s some cool places to check out. But you can definitely skip these and just crush wine, cheese & croissants all day long too…
First stop – Urfa Durum
As cooks in a small wine bar in Paris, we used to joke that Urfa Durum was the best restaurant in the whole city. Super cheap, healthy, ultra fresh ingredients, charcoal-grilled and open late. You can’t ask for more. The first bite of this Kurdish sandwich could not be more tasty and there isn’t even sauce, just fresh herbs, tomatoes and fresh charcoaled grilled meat. They make the durum (which is like a pita/wrap) fresh in a wood burning oven. The smell from the fresh baked bread and the fat dripping off the meat and smoking on the coals is incredible. Simple, ultra-fresh, healthy, cheap, quick and incredibly delicious. Definitely don’t skip this place!
I was never interested in macrons until I worked a pastry section at Woodlot restaurant in Toronto and discovered how much technique is involved in the process. It is a skill that requires relentless repetition through practice and there are so many variables that can ruin the end result. Luckily you don’t have to learn any of that and can just go to Pierre Hermé in Paris for the best. The classic is chocolate and passionfruit but the hazelnut and chocolate was also pretty stellar.
Frenchie Wine Bar
For me a trip to Paris would not be complete without at least stopping by Frenchie Bar Á Vin. This was my home for the entirety of my time in Paris and therefore a super special place. These guys and gals work incredibly hard and have some of the best ingredients I’ve ever had the chance to work with. I love the laid-back style of the wine bar because you can just have a couple of bites or enough for a classy dinner. No reservations, always busy, awesome wine and food made for sharing, Frenchie Bar Á Vin is the epitome of Parisian food.
Some outstanding dishes that I will never forget…
Fresh ricotta with peas, faves and a wild garlic sabayon
White asparagus with sherry sauce and morel mushrooms
Strawberry and mascarpone tart
Sincere thanks to the entire team at Frenchie! They are on fire!
Hollybelly is known for the classic American style breakfast with awesome coffee and incredible service. In Paris this can be hard to find as the classic French breakfast is a small coffee, a splash of orange juice and a cigarette.
It’s not your average diner, these guys really know what they’re doing.
Today they have two locations Hollybelly 5 and Hollybelly 19, #5 being a classic breakfast spot and #19 doing seasonal breakfast sharing plates with natural wine and coffee. Both are great places and this time we decided to try Hollybelly 19 for something a bit different. We ordered a couple dishes to share that were all very nice. An awesome croquette that was bursting with pulled meat and veggies (almost no binder!), a soft boiled egg with fresh brioche and fleur de sel, and a cool pasta dish with seasonal asparagus, peas, parmigiano and toasted hazelnuts.
So that was all we managed to fit into a weekend trip to Paris but I think we did pretty good.