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Hungry for Paris: The Ultimate Guide to the City's 102 Best Restaurants (Anglais) Broché – 15 avril 2008

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Hungry for Paris: The Ultimate Guide to the City's 102 Best Restaurants + The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City
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Chez Georges chez georges is the gastronomic equivalent of the little black dress—unfailingly correct, politely coquettish, and impeccably Parisian. This is why it was no surprise to find ourselves seated next to the affable and slightly owlish Didier Ludot on a balmy summer night. A self-described antiquaire de mode (antiques dealer specializing in fashion), Ludot runs La Petite Robe Noire (The Little Black Dress) and another boutique specializing in vintage fashion in the Palais-Royal. Since he was entertaining a customer, a stylish Park Avenue blonde who gamely insisted that they speak French so that she “might mend the wreckage of what I half learned in college”—much to her credit, her French was good, and much to his credit, his patience didn’t fail once during a two-and-a-half-hour meal—Ludot’s choice of a restaurant was perfect. Chez Georges is exactly what most foreigners want a bistro to be, which is basically a place where time has stood still on a very French clock (Parisians like it, too, but find it expensive).

Here, the menu is still written out by hand daily and then mimeographed in lilac-colored ink. Brown banquettes upholstered in what the French euphemistically call moleskin but North Americans know as leatherette line both walls of the long, narrow railroad-car-like dining room, and there’s a little bar just inside the front door where your bill is tallied and taxis are called. The decor, such as it is, dates back to its founding in the early 1900s and doesn’t add up to much more than mirrors interspersed with Gothic columns and a pale tiled floor.

The older waitresses who have ruled the roost for decades are gradually retiring, but the younger staff perpetuate a delightful house serving style based on smiles and solicitude. And most important of all, the menu hasn’t changed an iota during the twenty years that I’ve been coming here. This place remains an unfailingly good address for a trencherman’s feed of impeccably prepared bistro classics.

On a warm night, Alice, Bruno, and I raced through a bottle of the good house Chablis and the plate of sausages and radishes that came with a little pot of butter as soon as we’d ordered. Though everyone and his great-aunt is staking a claim to Julia Child these days, I couldn’t resist telling them about how she’d taught me to butter my radishes on my first visit to Chez Georges. Invited to dinner by the late Gregory Usher, an American who founded the cooking school at the Hôtel Ritz and a close friend of Julia’s, I arrived uncharacteristically early and found Child already seated and alone. I introduced myself and watched in fascination as she buttered a radish and chomped away. Then, after a swig of Sancerre, she said, “The radish is one of nature’s most underrated creations.” I smiled, and she added, “It’s a good thing no one overheard me. When you’re my age, a remark like that could land you in an old folk’s home. Still, a nicely buttered radish is just the thing to remind any cook to stay humble and simple in the kitchen. Most foods don’t really need any improving.”

I suspect Child loved Chez Georges for the same reasons I do. Not only is the food delicious, but it’s a good spot in which to channel frivolous, flirtatious postwar Paris, the wondrous city that not only made Julia Child into Julia Child but Audrey Hepburn into Audrey Hepburn, Leslie Caron into Leslie Caron, etc.

Bruno, good Frenchman that he is, ordered a salade de museau de boeuf—thin slices of beef muzzle, a curious crunchy mix of meat and cartilage, which Alice gamely tried, and I went for a sauté of girolles, tiny wild mushrooms, which were delicious, but not garlicky enough. In fact, the microscopic bits of chopped parsley included to make it a real persillade (mix of chopped garlic and onion) alarmed me. No knife I know could have chopped that finely, so suffice it to say I deeply hope Chez Georges isn’t starting to take shortcuts, like ready-made restaurant-supply-company persillade, for example. Alice had a good ruddy ratatouille, in which the eggplant cubes retained their shape but had a correctly soft texture, with the lovely addition of a handful of plump capers.

Our main courses were outstanding, too, including Alice’s veal sweetbreads with girolles and Bruno’s similarly garnished veal chop. Neither was as good as my grilled turbot, a big slab of meaty white fish on the bone with sexy black grill marks like a fishnet stocking. It came with a little huddle of boiled potatoes and a sauceboat of béarnaise sauce so perfect that I polished off what my fish didn’t need with a soup spoon.

I couldn’t resist the wobbly and wonderfully cratered crème caramel in a fine bath of slightly burnt caramel sauce, while the others ate wild strawberries and first-of-season French raspberries with dollops of ivory-colored crème fraîche, confirmation of my deeply held belief that butterfat is bliss. Just as we’d finished our coffee, the blond waitress of a certain age, a handsome woman with a severe chignon, reappeared; she’d changed out of her black uniform and white apron and was wearing a perfectly pressed pink paneled linen skirt and a matching sleeveless top. She bade everyone good night and went, Cinderella-like, into the night. When we left a few minutes later, our transformation went in the opposite direction, or silk purse into sow’s ear, since after several delicious blowsy hours of la vie en rose, our beeping cell phones signaled the impatience of the world outside. This is why I hope we’ll always have the delicious antidote to modernity offered by Chez Georges and buttered radishes.

IN A WORD: The perfect all-purpose Parisian bistro and a great place to hunt down impeccably made bona fide bistro classics like blanquette de veau (veal in a lemon-spiked sauce) that are increasingly hard to come by.

DON’T MISS: Terrine de foie de volaille (chicken liver terrine); harengs avec pommes à l’huile (herring with dressed potatoes); foie gras d’oie maison (homemade goose foie gras); escalope de saumon à l’oseille (salmon in sorrel sauce); coquilles Saint-Jacques aux échalotes (scallops sautéed with shallots); grilled turbot with béarnaise sauce; profiteroles (cream puffs) with hot chocolate sauce. ... 1 rue du Mail, 2nd, métro: Bourse or Sentier. open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. closed Saturday and Sunday.  •  $$$

Les Fines Gueules
Wine bars are having a major revival in paris, and this one, occupying a pleasant corner just up the street from the Banque de France, is one of the best. The best is its theme, too, since it serves only the finest pedigreed produce. The butter comes from Jean-Yves Bordier in Saint-Malo, the oysters from David Hervé in Oléron, the bread from the Poujauran bakery in the 7th, vegetables from the lord of the legumes, Joël Thiébault, and meat from the star butcher Hugo Desnoyer; all of the wines on offer are organic.

The beautiful zinc bar announces the vocation of this place, and exposed stone walls make for a mellow atmosphere. Since it’s not far from the Louvre, it’s ideal for a light lunch, maybe veal carpaccio with shavings of three-year-old Parmesan, a plate of charcuterie, jamón ibérico (the best Spanish ham) with Buratta, a creamy cheese from Puglia in Italy, and then maybe one of the daily specials from the chalkboard menu—cod with fork-mashed potatoes, zucchini, and pleurottes mushrooms; steak tartare made from Salers beef; or fusilli with Gorgonzola sauce. Finish up with a cheese plate, a varied selection of perfectly aged cheeses that might include a chèvre from the Ardèche, Brie, Parmesan, and Roquefort. Friendly service and modest prices add to the pleasure of a meal here, and the restaurant is open daily, although only charcuterie and cheese plates are served at lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

IN A WORD: With a very convenient location, this is an excellent example of the new breed of Paris wine bar. Perfect for lunch or a light, casual dinner. ... 43 rue Croix des Petits Champs, 1st, métro: Palais-Royal, Musée du Louvre, or Sentier. open daily for lunch and dinner.  •  $$

I have a permanent, slightly desperate craving for all small stuffed foods—ravioli, Chinese pot stickers, tortellini, pelemeni, Slovenian struklji, anything stuffed. Almost every cuisine has at least one and often many small stuffed foods, confirmation of the fact, I think, that the idea of filling one object with another strikes a very deep primal cord of human pleasure. At any given moment, I’m also in constant, slightly desperate want of all and any form of pasta, and it’s this pair of insatiable yearnings that explain why I never miss a chance to have a quick meal at Higuma, a buttercup-yellow-painted Japanese canteen at the end of the Avenue de l’Opéra less than a five-minute walk from the main entrance of the Louvre.

A portion of gyoza, grilled featherlight pork dumplings, comes as a stuck-together regiment of seven, a truly hopeless number if you’re sharing. At lunch the other day, I overheard a middle-aged Swedish couple fall into a surprisingly adamant quarrel over who had eaten how many gyoza, and it was all I could do to stop myself from leaning over and suggesting that they order another portion.

Complimenting the gyoza is a full and filling range of Japanese noodle dishes, most of which are served in broth with a choice of different toppings—roast pork, shrimp, tofu, and so on. These dishes are excellent, too, and rounded out with a Kirin or a can of unsweetened Singaporean iced tea, this place offers a quick and deeply satisfying meal in the middle of Paris for a very moderate price.

IN A WORD: Prompt service, a spare but immaculate dining room with bare tables, basic lighting, and quick service. The delicious Japanese comfort food served here makes this a valuable address in the heart of town. Ideal for a quick bite before or after the Louvre.

DON’T MISS: Gyoza (grilled pork dumplings) and noodle soups, including kimuchi lamen; noodles topped with Korean hot and spicy pickled cabbage; and nikuyasai itame, fried noodles with pork and vegetables. ... 163 rue Saint-Honoré, 1st, métro: Palais-Royal. open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. closed Saturday and Sunday.  •  $

Paris is one of the best cities in the world for  anyone who loves Lebanese food. Why? Lebanon was a French protectorate from 1922 to 1943, and the Lebanese still learn French, aspire to sending their kids to school in France, and love vacationing in Paris. Many wealthy Lebanese also fled the country during its recent cycles of turbulence and settled in Paris, which means that the capital has a large, affluent community. The French themselves love Lebanese food, especially mezze, or the assorted hors d’oeuvres that begin most Lebanese meals.

Liza is one of the best of a new generation of foreign tables in Paris that are ditching ethnic stereotypes—in terms of both decor and cooking—for edgy style and culinary authenticity. Located near the old Bourse, this place is a sexy gallery of almost invisibly contrasting tones of ecru and ivory rooms with dark parquet floors and perforated white steel tables that were imported from Beirut, owner Lisa Soughayar’s hometown.

The kitchen shows off just how dazzlingly good and varied Lebanese cooking can be, with mezze and regional dishes that go beyond the usual standards. The best way to enjoy this restaurant is to come as a group, so on a warm summer night Bert and Noël, friends who live in Los Angeles, joined Bruno and me for dinner. For starters, we loved the lentil, fried onion, and orange salad; the kebbe, raw seasoned lamb, which is sort of a Near Eastern take on steak tartare; grilled haloumi cheese with apricot preserves and moutabbal (a spicy mash of avocados), and fried shrimp. The main courses were excellent, too, including roast sea bass with citrus-flavored rice and fruit sauce, grilled lamb chops with lentil puree and cherry tomatoes slow-baked with cumin, and ground lamb with coriander-brightened spinach and rice. Among the desserts we enjoyed were the rose-petal ice cream with almond milk and pistachios and the halva ice cream with tangy carob molasses.

IN A WORD: This small, stylish, friendly Lebanese restaurant has quickly become popular with Paris’s large Lebanese community and fashionable Parisians who love the decor and light, bright, authentic cooking. An excellent choice when you want something other than French food.

DON’T MISS: Lentil, fried onion, and orange salad; kebbe (seasoned raw ground lamb); grilled haloumi cheese with apricot preserves; moutabbal of avocados and fried shrimp; grilled lamb chops with lentil puree and cherry tomatoes; roast sea bass with citrus rice and tagine sauce; rose-petal ice cream with almond milk and pistachios; halva ice cream with carob molasses. ... 14 rue de la Banque, 2nd, métro: Bourse. open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. closed Sunday.  •  $$

Revue de presse

“A wonderful guide to eating in Paris.”—Alice Waters
“Nobody else has such an intimate knowledge of what is going on in the Paris food world right this minute. Happily, Alexander Lobrano has written it all down in this wonderful book.”—Ruth Reichl
“Delightful . . . the sort of guide you read before you go to Paris—to get in the mood and pick up a few tips, a little style.”Los Angeles Times
“When I got the book, I started flipping through it, jumping in and out of various chapters listlessly. But the writing was so good, I wanted to do it justice and read it front-to-back, and found it to be not just a list of restaurants but a truly superb read.”—David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris

Hungry for Paris is like a cozy bistro on a chilly day: It makes you feel welcome.”The Washington Post
“This book will make readers more than merely hungry for the culinary riches of Paris; it will make them ravenous for a dining companion with Monsieur Lobrano’s particular warmth, wry charm, and refreshingly pure joie de vivre.”—Julia Glass

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 464 pages
  • Editeur : Random House Trade Paperbacks (15 avril 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0812976835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812976830
  • Dimensions du produit: 14,1 x 2,4 x 21,2 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 125.135 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Hui-leng Tan sur 12 avril 2010
Format: Broché
Very useful guide as it is divided into the various distrcits in Paris. Easy to navigate. It also gives an indication of the prices to expect,the dish recommendations. Only grouse is the lack of pictures. Would certainly help the reading if there are more graphics.
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50 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Almost as much fun --- almost --- as dining in Paris 21 avril 2008
Par Jesse Kornbluth - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Dollar skidding, plane fare soaring --- it's not likely I'll be having dinner in Paris any time soon.

But that doesn't mean I can't eat in Paris by proxy. Naturally, the lucky stiff who's having the meals I'm missing is an American --- someone with an expatriate's appreciation of culinary greatness. This person can write as well as he/she can enjoy the handiwork of a fine chef. And, finally, this gourmet can appreciate the value of the dollar.

On the basis of Hungry for Paris, Alexander Lobrano is my Paris rep.

He's so American: "My first visit was in August 1972, en famille, with my parents, two brothers and sister. We stayed at a now-vanished hotel just off the Champs Elysees and every day began with a glass of warm TANG, which my late father mixed up in the bathroom water glasses, as a bit of thrift."

Lobrano is an ideal guide because he remembers who he was, how he became the expert he is now, and how you can acquire expertise. And he can do that hard thing --- see what's in front of him: "The French never drink Perrier with meals because they think its large bubbles make it too gaseous to go well with food." He has a good ear for the quotable restaurant owner: "Come on, eat! Go ahead! I'm going to charge you a lot of money, you know!" He can let it rip: "A heavy rain filled the gutters with bronze-covered chestnut leaves last night, and the city is suddenly the city is nude." And, above all, he has an awareness of ultimate goodness: "It is hard to imagine a better lunch than a creamy wedge of Camembert smeared on a torn hunk of crackle-crusted baguette and a glass of red wine."

But, eat in restaurants he must, so he's off to 102 of his Paris favorites. Some of them are mine, too. Most, refreshingly, are not. And, refreshingly, he's not shy about explaining his enthusiasms. Le Pamphlet: "the best risotto in Paris." L'Alcazar: "better service, better lighting and a more cosmopolitan menu" than La Coupole. L'Epi Dupin, which he hears about from "the nice lady at the post office." Le Florimond serves his beloved stuffed cabbage "in a pool of brown gravy so lush it had already skeined on its way to the table."

Reputation means nothing. Neither does atmosphere. Lobrano is all about what's on the plate. L'Ami Louis is "for high rollers more interested in a brand-name experience than good food." Bofinger's "beautiful decor...can't compensate for the kitchen's mediocrity." Le Divellec is "stuffy...and exorbitantly expensive."

Even if you never go to Paris, this book is wonderfully educational. I've seen aligot on a menu; I didn't know that the whipped potatoes are mixed with Tomme de Laguiole cheese and garlic until they have "the texture of molten latex." Joel Robuchon makes spaghetti carbonara with Alsatian bacon and creme fraiche --- I'll try that at home. And more, and more, until the meal fantasies merge and I have to...well, if truth be told, I need to pour a small glass of red wine, tear off a hunk of baguette and slather it with cheese.

Alexander Lobrano serves up gastro-porn of the highest order.
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
In a Word, Fabulous! 8 août 2008
Par Wendy Lyn - Publié sur
Format: Broché
As a Paris resident and food travel pro, my job is to refer clients to the best dining options around the world. I rely on a combination of personal experience and expert food journalist knowledge to make the best possible suggestions. It is often the equivalent of being asked to arrange a blind date though, since individual preferences vary and expectations are high, i.e. "This is our first trip to Paris and we can't wait! Can you suggest a charming restaurant in a fun area, with great food and wine that is not too expensive?" What is charming, fun, with 'great food & wine', and affordable for me personally might not be to someone else. I usually need to ask more questions to understand what the client is expecting, so that they aren't let down.

In my experience, I have found that what most people are actually looking for is an ambiance suggestion, yet, most culinary guides heavily reference the chef and menu items. Knowing the chef trained with Ducasse and that the writer dined on langoustines with ginger foam is significant - perhaps more for serious foodies than the casual visitor - but where a chef trained and what 'was' on the menu doesn't say enough about what to expect overall.

Hungry for Paris is one of the few reference books that I trust based upon M. Lobrano's discerning palate and his extensive dining experience in Paris. However, it is the "In a Word" section at the end of each listing that is the most valuable in my making a decision. For instance, page 259 recommends restaurant Carte Blanche in detail, and then sums up, "Excellent, imaginative contemporary French food in a pleasant setting with well-drilled service makes this restaurant in the heart of the city well worth seeking out." Based on the detailed entry plus the summary, I would know what the client will most likely experience as well as who is in the kitchen and what kind of food will be on the menu.

Congratulations (and thank you) to Alexander Lobrano for setting expectations while comprehensively paving the way to the best dining suggestions.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Wonderful Guide and a Charming Read 5 août 2008
Par Inveterate Gourmet - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Having just returned from Paris, I highly recommend HUNGRY FOR PARIS as a superb source of restaurant information and an absolutely wonderful read. What I especially loved about this book is that it offers a brilliantly chosen selection of restaurants for every possible occasion and pocketbook; guidebooks that offer 500 or 1000 restaurants are of no use to me--how do I know which ones are really good? Lobrano's sensible selection solves this problem, and even better, his writing is sublime. With great originality, he's created a hybrid book that's a mixture of a guidebook, a memoir and a delightful portrait of Paris. I loved this book!
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great orientation for Paris dining 10 octobre 2010
Par Ed - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If you need help demystifying the vast array of dining options in Paris, this book is great. My wife and I recently traveled to Paris for the first time, and the vast number of dining choices was almost overwhelming as we were planning our trip. Then we got Hungry for Paris. It helped frame the options in terms of variation in regional cuisine, location, atmosphere and price point. We ended up dining at three of the restaurants described in the book, and each was excellent. We also avoided some of the "big name" places that get great mentions in general guide books, but got less than enthusiastic responses from Mr. Lobrano. We love smaller, neighborhood restaurants, and this book is a great source to find some of the best. The book was also helpful to orient us to dining in Paris, so we didn't come across as neophytes as we explored the many excellent dining options the city presents. So, if you love food and are going to Paris, I heartily recommend this one.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I loved this book! 10 mai 2008
Par Carole L. - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I loved this book, and recommend it to any food lover who is either planning or dreaming about dining out in Paris.

Alec Lobrano is a superb writer and a well-seasoned gourmand, who shares his love and knowledge of delicious French cuisine and great chefs in his own inimitable style. He takes you on a first-class tour inside the best restaurants in Paris as if you were his dinner companion, and lets you taste and experience, albeit vicariously, its finest French and international cuisines and the perfect wines to enjoy with each sampling. .

This book reads like a autobiographical novel, filled with charming, and often amusing, short stories chronicling this world famous gourmet's earliest memories of "eating anything specifically described as French, - the éclairs my mother bought at the A&P supermarket in Westport, CT,... long soggy pastries shaped like hot dog rolls" and "heat-and-serve" frozen croissants, to the canned Vichyssoise , French toast, and beef burgundy stews she made at home, to his savory descriptions of his first experience at age 11, in a real French restaurant, Le Charles V, on the east side of Manhattan, which made him "rabidly anxious to get at some more French food."

Lobrano chronicles his first trips to France with his family and his adolescent awakening to the gastronomic joys of French cuisine, - and the development of his palate as he "ascended the pyramid of French gastronomy and discovered some spectacular food at its higher altitudes," and finding in the end - or at the top of his list - that "it is bistro food, or rustic cooking with deep roots in the various regional kitchens of France, that remains the blessedly eternal bedrock of the French kitchen."

Like a chef, Lobrano describes the ingredients, the preparations, the cooking and serving of the most favored, and simplest, meals of the French people, and also takes us out to dine at the most expensive, moderate, and least expensive restaurants where good French food is always served. His stories about chefs and French celebrities are written with an elegant style of one who has been invited to all the best parties in Paris.

Hungry for Paris is not just a guide book for dining out in Paris, but a veritable masterpiece on the history and culture of French cuisine,

This is a classic!
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