We decided on a last-minute weekend getaway to Paris in May 2006. Below are a few notes from our 36 hours in Paris that weekend, during which we also squeezed in some quality time with our friends from DC who were in Paris to celebrate a milestone birthday. How jetset is that?
This place is small and feels like a secret, but it’s not – Patricia Wells talks it up, after all. 80 euros covered dinner for two with starters, mains and a bottle of decent house red.
Pershing Hall Hotel, 49, rue Pierre Charron, M: Champs d’Elysees.
Can’t beat this lounge for beautiful décor, beautiful people, and tasty mixed drinks. The drinks are a pricey 17 euros each, but happy hour prices are two identical drinks for the price of one. The lounge’s open courtyard is stunning – one 50-foot wall is entirely covered in shrubbery and lit up to look like a lush tropical garden. We were a little worried we’d find high-stress attitude and noise at this place, but instead it was a gorgeous, relaxed scene. Our party of four easily had a conversation and found a table with a view and comfy seats.
Cuisine de Bar, 8, rue du Cherche-Midi, 01 45 48 42 59, M: Sevres-Babylone or St. Sulpice.
Perfect lunch break while shopping in the Left Bank. Close to the Bon Marche. Specializes in tartines using bread from the Poilane next door – try the avoka’ani tartine (guacomole and fresh crabmeat topping). Prix fixe menu is 12 euros for salad, tartine and glass of wine. Skip the desserts and walk around the corner to Pierre Herme.
Pierre Hermé, 72 rue Bonaparte, 01 43 54 47 77, M: St. Sulpice.
This patisserie close to St. Sulpice serves mouthwatering pastry creations, though pastry doesn’t seem a fancy enough word for the goodies here. The specialty flavor (that made Pierre Herme famous) is the rosewater- raspberry-lychee mix he calls ispahan. There’s a sorbet ice-cream- sandwich-type thing he makes that is perfect way to try an ispahan-flavoured treat. It’s got some ridiculous name like Ms. Icy Icy Ispahan. It’s easy to miss the tiny store, but the line out the door is a good giveaway.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, 5, rue de Montalembert, 01.42.22.56.56, M: Rue de Bac.
For a fancy (2-Michelin-star) French meal without the fancy French infrastructure (read: fuss), this place is still going strong and is delish. You sit at bar stools like you would at a sushi counter. You then mix and match small dishes, choosing from a huge menu list, though some are more main-dish-size than others. Each dish costs between 12 euros and 36 euros, so your tab adds up fast. But the meal is creative and delicious, and with friends it’s extremely fun to talk about the different plates and the other customers and décor. Joel Robuchon just opened up one of these Ateliers at the Four Seasons in New York, so if you don’t catch it in Paris, you can always try it in NY now.