I won’t give you a minute-by-minute account of our stay in Paris, because I could talk about the City of Lights for days – but I will tell you that if you have never been to this glorious city…when you do go, you’ll immediately understand why people get weak in the knees at just the mention of the city’s name. It is majestic, yet approachable. And inspiring in so many ways.
You hear endless stories about how Parisians are not friendly, especially to tourists. Well, we may have come across one or two folks who were less than thrilled to interact with us, but for the most part, hands down…they treated us with respect and seemed genuinely happy to share their historic city with us.
As we traveled through France, we became aware of a certain quality the French posses that made such an impression on all of us: They take the time to truly appreciate the finer things in life. To them, this is more than just an idea… it is a way of life, starting at childhood. This was immediately clear to us in Paris.
As we stopped for lunch at a beautifully quaint cafe, we were surrounded by local Parisians…most were taking a break from the work day to enjoy a lovely lunch. Almost everyone had started with a carafe of wine. The food that came out of the kitchen was fresh, simple…and incredible. Local artisan cheeses, fruit, pate, poached eggs, and so much more. Folks were relaxing, eating, drinking, laughing, enjoying the gorgeous day and the beautiful sights. We learned that most people took a couple hours off for lunch. Again…the idea is to slow down and do it right.
Ah, Paris…you had me at “bonjour!”
Now, let’s dive into the food. One thing we were told many times while in Paris, and actually, all of France, is the French take food very seriously. It is unlikely you will go into a restaurant in any of the major cities (and probably most of the small ones), where you won’t find food that is exceptional. We certainly found that to be the case. Even just a simple croissant (which actually originated in Austria…but now is famous in France) and a simple cup of coffee are divine in just about any place you step into for breakfast.
There were a couple times we were told we would not need reservations for a particular restaurant, only to arrive to find out that was not the case. It’s always a good idea to call and see if you can make reservations. Some places don’t take them at all, and others say you don’t need them, but you should always call to check and see. But even on those occasions when we had to venture down the street a block or two to find a new place, we were always happy and more than satisfied with where we ended up.
The food and wine in France lives up to its reputation. This is the birthplace of so many cooking sauces, techniques, dishes and wine. Be sure to savor every minute.
With that in mind, we have three restaurants we reviewed while in Paris. As mentioned, though, you will have a hard time finding a place to eat in Paris that isn’t tres bon!
Click on the link below each thumbnail for full write up of each restaurant.
Le Parc aux Cerfs
Le Parc aux Cerfs is located in the Montparnasse area of Paris, on the left bank of the Seine River. It is described as a contemporary restaurant with a genuine Parisian soul. The ambience and food certainly lives up to that description.
Pierrot is a Michelin-rated restaurant in the cool, hip Montmartre part of Paris. We went on a Friday evening and Parisians were out and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere. Wow. The food and service was superb. The menu was wonderful French cuisine made with local ingredients. Tres bon!
le Clos des Gourmets
le Clos des Gourmets was recommended to us by some local Parisian foodies and, boy oh boy, it was an absolutely incredible dining delight. When you are in Paris and looking for a classy place to get fantastic Parisian fare…make a reservation at le Clos de Gourmets.