Dining out in Paris should be fun, relaxing andnever, never stressful. Whether a 3-star restaurant or a neighborhood bistro there should always be a warm welcome and an excellent rapport qualité-prix-a positive relationship between price and quality. Bon appétit!
Le Select Montparnasse
In the heyday of les années folles you might have discovered Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Man Ray, Fujita, or the irrepressible Kiki at the bar, or, on the terrace. And today, Terrance, M, Martin Walker, and Tiffany Hofstetter, discussing politics, art, theatre, literature-ah well, the gamut of culture. We had just seen a a great play at the Lucernaire, on the life of the acerbic critic and author Dorothy Parker, and perhaps inspired by her ever present bottle of Jack Daniels, M and I trotted around the corner to Select for a drink.
Imagine a camera narrowly focusing on an image and then opening up onto a wide-screen panorama and you will have approximated the feeling when you enter Alcazar. This enormous ground floor dining room and wrap around mezzanine has been a fixture in the neighborhood for twenty years, and the just completed renovation with cozy banquettes and plants, has made this grand space warmer and more inviting.
Penati al Baretto-Elegant Italian Dining in the 8th
Chef Alberico Penati’s resumé includes some of the world’s finest restaurants in London , Paris and grand-luxe hotels in Italy, including the Villa d’Este in Como and the Excelsior in Venice but he was keen to re-establish his presence and his cuisine in Paris and so, in collaboration with his friend and associate, Venetian businessman Pier Silli – founder of the Carpaccio at Royal Monceau – he returned early in 2014, opening Penati al Baretto. A mere six months after his arrival at Penati al Baretto, Chef Alberico Penati has earned a Michelin star.
My last visit to Bouillon Chartier, the always jam-packed Paris institution that bubbles with energy and good cheer was in 1995. Happy to report still decent food at ridiculous prices. Today’s visit was prompted by my friend and reader, Angela Bellante, who was in town and celebrating her Steinway birthday-she has as many years as Steinway has keys. After a complimentary kir royal we scanned the extensive menu of classic bistro dishes and ordered a bottle of Klipfel riesling.
After enjoying one of the finest preparations of blanquette de veau that I have ever savored, I hereby dub this elegant bistro, The House of Blanquette de Veau.
Opened in 1911, La Rotonde was a hangout for the Lost Generation during les années folles. On any given night you were likely to bump into Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Soutine, Picasso and others.
Jean-Paul Arabian has been running Michelin-starred Paris restaurants like Ledoyen and celebrity haunts like Maxim’s for over forty years. I missed those experiences so I was delighted when I received a call inviting me to lunch at Caméléon d’Arabian a Montparnasse favorite of locals for nine years.
Au 41 Penthièvre
After twelve years with Christian Constant at Le Violin d’Ingres where he started in the kitchen and eventually ran the front of the house it was time for Alexandre Lallemode to open his own restaurant.
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No one should have a bad meal in Paris! Whether a 2-star restaurant or a local bistro there should always be an excellent rapport qualité prix– relationship between price and quality. At my favorites you will be treated as a regular and have a satisfying experience. Just tell them “Terrance sent you.”
Regularly scheduled literary salons with guest writers, private dinners, restaurant openings, wine tastings,market visits and cooking classes attract a discerning, sophisticated crowd who love to have a good time while they learn. Our cadre of Paris–based colleagues happily share their passion for this magical city.