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Miguel Gierbolini

Paris Bistros, Restos

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Had a nice meal last night at Shirvan: Cafe Metisse last night, a restaurant from former Cinnamon Club chef Manoj Sharma and restaurateur Akrame Benallal.  The restaurant is inspired by Akrame's travels to Azerbaijan and I must admit this is the first time I've had wine (a viognier) from there.  It was nice, kind of melony and relatively unremarkable but for its origin story.  The food - on the other hand, was really delicious and in a few instances unexpected.  I don't know what Azerbaijani food would be entirely, but the menu felt mostly indian with a few other notes (persian). I had a tandoor chicken that is the best I've ever had - literally a perfect texture - and lovely flavor, a nicely crusted tahdig that was perhaps a bit aggressive on cinnamon, and really delicious cheese naan that would do very well as junk food for Americans.  I had a bite of my friend's dessert, which was a delicious pannacotta with strawberry and just a touch of rosewater.  Given the apparently dire status of Indian food in Paris, this is quicker than going to London for dinner and a nice spot.

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I have 7 nights in Paris in mid-September (I'll do some day trips elsewhere but I have a 7 night hotel stay to burn).  I could do a couple reservations but primarily need to do walk-ins/bar seats due to an unreliable schedule.  (Unfortunately dinner time in Paris is about conference call time in the U.S.). Mary Celeste type places sound exactly like what I'm looking for.

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I have 7 nights in Paris in mid-September (I'll do some day trips elsewhere but I have a 7 night hotel stay to burn). I could do a couple reservations but primarily need to do walk-ins/bar seats due to an unreliable schedule. (Unfortunately dinner time in Paris is about conference call time in the U.S.). Mary Celeste type places sound exactly like what I'm looking for.

I think once Paris reopens in a couple weeks you could do much better, frankly. Just text me- easier to do 1x1 though maybe others want to weigh in. What time do you consider conference call time in the US? I don’t have a huge amount of trouble managing the schedule.

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Nobody ever writes about such places here, but I had lunch yesterday at Trois Fois Plus de Piment, a sichuan lunch spot known for very spicy noodle soups / noodles and really excellent dumplings.  The menu here is quite limited (https://troisfoisplusdepiment.fr/file/place-3403-sbuneonpax.pdf). They have a couple places now, including Deux fois plus de piment in the 11th, which has a larger menu but I haven't been to in a long time so I can't really speak to quality and Cinq Foie Plus (https://cinqfoisplus.fr/file/place-4921-i9st7nfuzh.pdf) which I suspect is overflow bc it is just down the street and this spot is very popular.  

 

The ingredient quality and technique here are really strong, though I find the menu a bit boring.  The sauce on the dumplings, as well as the stuffing was well above anything I've had in NY.  Everyone in Paris makes a big deal about how spicy things are at this restaurant (I ordered a 2 out of 5 and it was definitely quite spicy), but I am more interested in the clearly high quality noodles, the really gorgeous braised beef, the pork chive dumpling stuffing with the perfect fat ratio.

 

If you don't know about these spots already, they're a nice palate cleanse from French food and they also deliver to a bunch of neighborhoods around, which might have its benefits as well if you need that.

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I noted last time Atelier Mala and a couple of other new ones but havent tried them. 

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Clown Bar -- All Americans, maybe an odd Brit.  That foie and duck pie is something else though.  Only criticism is that the actual pastry shell is a bit loose...maybe some meat glue?

 

A Pied de Cochon -- I really can't like this place.  Everything is executed just fine (I did the Temptation of St. Antony among other dishes) and priced twice as high as it should be because the entirety of the clientele are well-heeled Americans above the age of 60 (with your standard Chinese sprinkling).

 

Le Comptoir du Relais -- standing only, tiny, massive menu, most of it good.  anything with boeuf or brandade especially.  their bread was the best of the trip.  Loved it.  Went twice.  crowd was a legitimate mix.

 

Prescription Cocktail Club.  Pure bullshit.  easily my most hated part of the trip.

 

Martin.  tomatoes in tashi were the best tomatoes of the trip.  most dishes were under salted.  still, clear talent in the kitchen.  good service.  fun, mixed crowd.

 

L'Attache.  Not a fan of their wine set-up (by the bottle only apparently), but both the clams with tomatoes and the pureed njduja/pepper soup (basically a winning dish on Chopped concoction) were excellent.  fun place.

 

Aux deux Amis: fun crowd.  food was good but then you notice that all seafood is prepared the same way with oil and parsley...still I liked the razor clams.  

 

Brunch at Jessika's: excellent, tolerable company too :)

 

Bistro Paul Bert:  I know I know.  Still everything here was good.  steak au poivre, lamb shoulder, grand marnier scuffle.  So sue me.  I'll take it instead of Au Pied de Cochon.  All Americans (with the obligatory Asian tourists). 

 

is it just me or are all the famous chocolate stores selling the same stuff from the same factory and just using their own fancy packaging?

 

various other odds and ends.  btw, produce, dairy and bread were excellent. I thought meat was pretty variable in quality.  I was not impressed with the shrimp anywhere.  everyone had crevettes as specials and they were never good quality. 

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L'Attache. Not a fan of their wine set-up (by the bottle only apparently), but both the clams with tomatoes and the pureed njduja/pepper soup (basically a winning dish on Chopped concoction) were excellent. fun place.

 

Aux deux Amis: fun crowd. food was good but then you notice that all seafood is prepared the same way with oil and parsley...still I liked the razor clams.

 

Brunch at Jessika's: excellent, tolerable company too :)

 

Bistro Paul Bert: I know I know. Still everything here was good. steak au poivre, lamb shoulder, grand marnier scuffle. So sue me. I'll take it instead of Au Pied de Cochon. All Americans (with the obligatory Asian tourists).

L’attache: serves plenty of wine (and beer) by the glass. Not sure where you got that idea but with three people I’m not sure why you wouldn’t get a bottle? It is very much true that wine bars in Paris offer much better choices by the bottle. This may be true everywhere on earth.

 

Au deux amis: Haven’t experienced this there but it’s way too crazy to be a culinary destination. I had pretty standard clams there recently and a burrata dish.

 

Chez Moi: Brunch /lunch was solid enough if you like being served buffet style like peasants, as we do at Chez Moi. I really like that pasta brand, which is called Benedetto Cavaleri. It takes much longer to cook than other bucatini and it stays al dente as a result, even when all your guests (except Nathan) show up on French time. I don’t know if it’s available in the US.

 

Bistro Paul Bert: not good

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Bistro Paul Bert: I know I know. Still everything here was good. steak au poivre, lamb shoulder, grand marnier scuffle. So sue me. I'll take it instead of Au Pied de Cochon. All Americans (with the obligatory Asian tourists).

Bistro Paul Bert: not good

 

 

No, delicious, come on. 

 

Agree on bottles at wine bars.

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I last visited Au Pied de Cochon at lunchtime, and the clientele were very much French, showing an amazing ability to put away pigs' feet and wine while still contemplating an afternoon in the office.

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Bistro Paul Bert: I know I know. Still everything here was good. steak au poivre, lamb shoulder, grand marnier scuffle. So sue me. I'll take it instead of Au Pied de Cochon. All Americans (with the obligatory Asian tourists).

Bistro Paul Bert: not good

No, delicious, come on.

It really isn’t anymore. It is well known to avoid in Paris at this point, though Parisismykitchen still posts about it daily. There are much better similar substitutes.

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