Letter from Paris

By Alexander Lobrano In the dialect of the Bearn region of southwestern France, Jòia means “joyous.” But ever since chef Hélène Darroze’s new restaurant by the same name opened in Paris, it also means great eating and good times. “I found this space when I was looking for a new address for

By Alexander Lobrano Astair is the newest address of a trio of the French capital’s most innovative restaurateurs–Jean Valfort, Charles Drouhaut and Jean-François Monfort. This team has real gift for delivering restaurants that hit a bull’s eye in terms of what Parisians want to eat right now (Canard et Champagne and

By Alexander Lobrano Coming through the door for the first time on a warm Sunday night, Au Petit Panisse delighted me, since it was such a perfect sketch of everything I miss about Paris when I spend a long period of time away from the city. This is because Paris is now

By Alexander Lobrano Tucked away in one of the ancient and atmospheric side streets that survived the massacre of Les Halles*, the great central food market that was once ‘the Belly of Paris,’ La Poule au Pot is a long-running address that once attracted a bon-vivant crowd of celebrities and night owls

By Alexander Lobrano Though the TripAdvisor reviews may not yet reflect it, Le Vaudeville, one of the most legendary brasseries in Paris, is back. Following a sensitive renovation by new owners the Groupe Bertrand, it’s much better than it’s been for a longtime. To be sure, it’s not a place one

By Alexander Lobrano Chef Tomy Gousset’s friendly new restaurant Hugo & Co is exactly the the type of place the Latin Quarter in Paris has been wanting for a longtime, because it’s such a delicious reflection of the neighborhood itself. To wit, this lively little place serves up a cosmopolitan menu of

By Alexander Lobrano In taking over the kitchen at Racines, a charming bistrots a vins ( a bistro that specializes in wines) in the Passage des Panoramas, talented chef Simone Tondo returns to his roots in more ways than one. Just after arriving in Paris, Tondo worked alongside chef Sven Chartier when the

By Alexander Lobrano British chef Ollie Clarke has bought the legendary La Régalade in the 14th Arrondissement and is transitioning it towards a new name, Origins 14 – La Régalade. In all likelihood, this will be shortened to Origins 14 once Clarke has settled in, but for the time being, the moniker

By Alexander Lobrano A really excellent recent meal at Le Flaubert, which was originally called Le Bistrot d’a Cote when two-star Michelin chef Michel Rostang first opened it thirty years ago, got me to thinking about the impact of the internet on restaurant writing. To wit, the only reason I had

  By Alexander Lobrano Tinkering with a neighborhood institution is always risky, but the new version of Vins des Pyrénées is a solid success. Why? Truth be told, this wonderful old hole-in-the-wall that’s been open in one guise another since 1906 is actually more appealing now than it’s ever been, with much