Where To Eat in Paris

While now isn’t the moment to dine out (and restaurants are closed nearly everywhere for safety reasons), we can all look forward to our post-confinement lunches and brunches (at some point) in the future. Here are six spots, old and new, I enjoyed the most during my last stay in Paris.

Carbón

Located in the heart of Le Marais distict, Carbón is an ode to nature, a place where the most ancestral cooking technique in the world, fire, encounters the products of land and sea in their extreme nudity. The regularly-changing menu will surprise you with such offerings as oysers infused in coffee or different sorts of ceviche. Its contemporary decor provides a stylish backdrop whether you’re with friends (the sharing plates are perfect for a relaxed dinner) or looking for a more romantic spot. There’s also a great “secret” speakeasy bar, La Mina, hidden away downstairs serving up delicious craft cocktails.

14 Rue Charlot

Le Moulin De La Vierge

You could easily assume that Le Moulin de la Vierge is simply a typical neighbourhood bakery in the sleepy 15th district, however it’s much, much more. The owner is dedicated to preserving the art nouveau architecture of each of his close-to-each-other patisserie stores. The décor is reminiscent of a 19th century Parisian boutique the pastries are so, so delicious (especially chocolate croissants). You might also be tempted to taste one of the numerous pastries like the exquisite éclairs or the mouth-watering tarts. Mille-feuille lovers will also find happiness.

10 Place des Petits Pères

La Belle Epoque

This upscale and mundane dining room that seems to have existed since forever has imposed itself as “the” must-go hangout for the chic, Parisian crowd. A wired atmosphere, a super discrete decor with an elegant 19th century tiling… here is the ideal place to show up with friends and nibble on trendy vintage dishes (leek in vinaigrette sauce, veal chops, ceviche and French style burgers, for a good example).

36 Rue des Petits Champs

Mara by Caché

Charming dining spot in Le Marais that celebrates contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The sharing menu has a lovely selection of raw fish (seriole carpaccio served in mango sauce, sea bream ceviche with citrus fruits…), shellfish and crustaceans, but also gourmet desserts (including rousquille, a Catalan dessert served with nougat ice cream and chocolate sauce ). All accompanied by a superb selection of niche, natural wines.

27 Rue de Saintonge

Oursin

If you’re missing the sun and the sea, head to the second floor of Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées, where Simon Porte Jacquemus has opened Oursin in collaboration with Caviar Kaspia. After Citron, his sunny café located just a floor below, the darling of the fashion world continues telling Provençal stories in an atmosphere that’s dripping with la dolce vita: whitewashed walls, ecru banquettes, braided wicker chairs, beautiful ceramics, draping ivy, Italian melodies… In the kitchen, you’ll find chef Erica Archambault sending out southern dishes: delicious fried artichokes with Greek yogurt and lemon zest; incredibly tender grilled octopus with cherry tomatoes, potatoes and a tomato sauce with capers – all sponged up with squid ink bread; plus an incredible chocolate ganache with yogurt sorbet and blueberries for dessert. The plates – all hand-made by Daphne Leon – are as good as the food.

60 Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Le Costes

This place is old and really well-known, but still, no other restaurant has reached the level of cool chic that Le Costes does so effortlessly for years. The opulent Second Empire décor designed by Jacques Garcia that’s a cross between a brothel and a trip to Egypt, with a lineup that brings together the fashion crowd (especially during fashion week. We were sitting next to @ireneisgood and System’s Elizabeth Von Guttman – and we had a very lovely chat…). The cuisine here is properly eclectic. The menu shifts between healthy options (a  avocado/olive oil/lemon tartine, fresh bass tartare…) and fusion dishes (crispy chicken spring rolls – they are the best – and Thai-style marinated steak) to updated classics: a beautiful Niçoise salad upgraded to include flash-seared fresh tuna or a delightful chicken breast served with fries. Take the divine pavlova with red berries and voluptuous meringue for dessert.

239-241 rue Saint-Honoré

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Sweet Prenzlauerberg

Berlin‘s Prenzlauerberg district is always full of surprises, and this time they were especially sweet. Here are the two amazing spots where you will eat the best Tokyo-inspired ice-cream dessert and a cake that looks too good to eat it.

Tenzan Lab is the place where you will eat the best kakigōri in Berlin. Kakigōri is a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup and condensed milk. The one we ordered was served with matcha mascarpone on top, which is the best thing ever (if you love matcha and everything that’s creamy, of course).

Wörther Straße 22

Be Sweet is a vegan patisserie serving all sorts of cakes, tarts and cute desserts. The little, delicious masterpiece we ate was filled with boiled cherries and chocolatte mousse. Heaven. The outside seating area lets you observe Prenzlauerberg’s relaxed, urban rhythm and take a rest.

Kollwitzstraße 37

Baba in Le Marais

Located in Le Marais, Baba is a restaurant open all day for lunch and dinner with a bar service the rest of the time. The place serves a new wave of Mediterranean cuisine mixed with family recipes, contemporary and refined, sometimes eaten with hands. But also, the dishes have a strong Israeli influence, mixed with Italian, Greek, Provençal and North-African flavors. Their tabouleh and beef kefta are my winners. Seasonal cuisine, honest and colorful – it’s really good.

17 rue Charlot / Paris

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Vivant

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Arnaud Lacombe and Pierre Touitou’s Vivant reopened towards the end of 2018, and the place went full throttle. With some incredible organic wines, impressive white marble bar table and the view on the chefs working in front of you, this place is the hottest address in Paris right now. Raw cuttlefish rolled like a cigar and marinated in aged soy sauce and shiso leaves; braised chuck steak topped with the mysterious “Mloukhya” sauce; the signature glazed tuna which sparks entire conversations. Book in advance.

43 Rue des Petites Écuries

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Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Rome Addresses

Planning a trip to Rome? You might want to take a look at the addresses I’ve discovered in this truly magical city.

Trattoria Al Moro is a proper, Roman trattoria with wood panels from the 1920’s, a very Italian, beautifully overcharged interior, and a chic ambience. Their daily specials are always a must, just like the signature Al Moro pasta. For the dessert take the profiteroles. You will ask for more, I tell you.

Vicolo delle Bollette 13

Origami is the best kept secret of the most stylish, Roman women. This unfussy boutique sells clothes of own production – think turtleneck dresses in geometric prints, gorgeous basket totes, loosely fitted cardigans, everything kept shades of ochre, rust and lilac – in very reasonable, affordable prices. The historic, wooden ceiling is an impressive addition to this spot.

Via dei Banchi Vecchi 144

Dana is a store located in a former church. Even the confessional stayed, and now it’s used as a dressing room. We’re in Rome! Independent, small brands from Rome are sold here.

Via del Pellegrino 167

I bet you won’t eat a better pizza in Rome. Pizzeria Da Baffetto is a simple, compact white-tiled restaurant specializing in Roman-style, thin and crispy pizzas. They are so, so good in here. If you don’t want to wait in a line (and they get really big) better come for (early) lunch at around noon.

Via del Governo Vecchio 114

Laity Mbaye’s Metissage atelier. While this man will surely hypnotize you with his look that is a beautiful balance between Italian tailoring and Senegalese origins, please do check out the garments he designs himself and the hand-picked artisanal accessories he sells at his store.

Largo del Pallaro 18

Lou Lou sells curated, very refined brands that all share a poetic, dark aesthetic. Uma Wang, Reinhard Park, Guidi, Sara Lanzi are just some of the labels you will find on the racks of this eclectically furnished store. If you’re looking for a gift, check out their fragrance display filled with niche, Italian names that specialise in true, olfactory experiences.

Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 113

Oh, and Prada‘s huge store that’s just across the Spanish Steps. I mean, how can you not go inside? Some of the leather goods and perfumes are exclusives available only here in Rome.

Via dei Condotti 89

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Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Florence Addresses

Other than Trattoria Sostanza and Gucci Garden, which I wrote about in separate posts, here are five more addresses I found interesting in Florence.

Florence’s late-19th-century steel-and-glass market building in San Lorenzo underwent a makeover in 2014 when the second floor was converted into a contemporary food hall. On the first floor of the structure, traditional butchers, fishmongers and fruit/vegetable vendors supply the Florentines. But climb the staircase to the upper level and enter Mercato Centrale, a food-lover’s’ heaven that showcases the very best of Italian regional food. It’s a lively space offering sensual overload, and the range of gustatory delights is nothing short of eye-popping.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale 4

If you’ve been to Trattoria Sostanza (or didn’t catch a table…), go to Buca Lapi. It’s not as off-the-radar, but the restaurant serves classical, Tuscan food in a cozy, home-made way.

Via del Trebbio 1r

The name on everybody’s lips these days in Florence is La Ménagère, a space near San Lorenzo market that combines a restaurant, tapas bar, flower shop (which is actually the best part) and a home-accessories collection, concept-store-style. This place impresses with its details and is highly Instagrammable. Not entirely sure of the food though…

Via de’ Ginori 8

Procacci is this chic go-to spot for Florentines, who are exhausted after their shopping on the fancy Via de Tornabuoni. Delicious, little sandwhiches with truffle paste will make you addicted after the first bite…

Via de’ Tornabuoni 64R

Atelier Dipinti e Bijoux is Stefania Pastacaldi’s boutique. It’s the place where you can find exclusive items of refined, properly Italian jewelry. Gorgeous animal miniatures, used later on in jewellery, is the atelier’s signature. All strictly hand-made.

Via del Sole 24r

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

 

Trattoria Sostanza in Florence

A fact: Trattoria Sostanza is the best restaurant in Florence. Please, if you’re planning a trip to Tusany’s capital, book your table here (at least three-four days in advance). This small restaurant, with a toilet located in the back of the kitchen (yes, you have to go through the entire kitchen, which also means meeting the very Italian cooks!), is the best kept secret of the locals. It might be classical, Tuscan cuisine, with dishes that sound like regular Italian plates. But the taste of every single thing here is heaven. From the Florentine steak and artichoke pie to tortellini stuffed with signature ragout and a plate of tomatoes from the chef’s garden, Trattoria Sostanza really shows what finest Italian food is, in an unpretentious, home-made way. If you’re lucky with the season, you will get wild strawberries (straight from a Sicilian farmer) with your meringue cake – which is a masterpiece. Again, go there. Thank me later.

Via del Porcellana, 25/R / Florence

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Kin Dee

Looking for a fresh, fine dining experience in Berlin? Kin Dee is the answer, then. Dalad Kambhu‘s bright culinary retreat, full of robust flavours and bold Thai aromas, is here to elevate the city’s view on Asian cusine. Born and raised in Bangkok, Kambhu, who is a self-trained cook, lived in New York for a decade before deciding to move to Berlin to open her first restaurant with artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. Tiravanjia – whose artwork often involves the context of shared meals – helped pioneer a sharing set menu at Kin Dee. From Duo Pla (ceviche fjord trout and scalops with Thai herb dressing) and Kaprao Octopus (octopus confit in a very, very spicy sauce) to Sweet Green Beef Curry and the special of the day, everything appears to be a taste rhapsody, coming straight from Dalad’s kitchen. Better book a table in advance!

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Prague’s Addresses

Other than monastery libraries, synagogues and castles, Prague has some very exciting spots to eat and shop at. See my five favourite addresses from the Czech Republic’s capital city!

Make sure to book your table at Sansho – it’s ex-Nobu London chef Paul Day’s place. Locals will tell you Day cooks some of the best Asian cuisine in town, with dishes that take you to the taste heaven, from salmon sashimi and soft shell crap slider (Sansho’s cult signature) to ocra tofu sambal and a not-so-average curry offering. The minimal, cozy interior is a leap away from Prague’s widespread ‘over-the-top’ style of gourmet restaurants. A must, must visist!

Petrská 1170/25

Space has an eclectic selection of international brands, from Dries Van Noten to Golden Goose Deluxe Brand. I really loved the way the clothes hang on the racks – already styled and layered up.

Vězeňská 6

You just can’t go by Metamorphosis and not stop for a flower bouquet (consisting of my favourite dahlias or hydrangeas). Might be the best flower shop in the entire city.

Haštalská 796/3

Antik Cafe Dlouhý Příběh is a multi-purpose spot. At the entrance you can buy some home-made jams and cured meat. In the eating space, try out the typically Czech cuisine. The interior is purely vintage, as every furniture is hand-picked from a flea market. Oh, and you can buy the lamp you fancy – from the most kitsch to the most Communist-like.

Dlouhá 37

Ok, that’s something you can expect from me, wherever I am. Céline, still with the accent. Last Phoebe Philo pieces are still here (but few sizes left), just as the pre-Hedi autumn-winter 2018 collection. Loved the concrete staircase. Run for that silk, over-sized shirt with fruit print!

Pařížská 97/15

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.