The 5 best things I ate in Paris: February 2013

In this series, I round up the five best things I ate in a particular city or country. Each month on the 15th, I feature a destination from my past travels; on the last day I recap the best of the month in Paris. 

February has been my best month in Paris yet — but while I discovered numerous new favorite restaurants and pastry shops around town, none of them blew my mind and demanded placement on this list (when I discovered L’Entrecôte or Breizh Café, for example, I immediately knew they’d be top of the list that month).

So while I usually rank by favorites, this month’s top five are presented in no particular order:

Jacques Genin

This famous patissier made people cry last month when he declared he was no longer making pastry and focusing solely on chocolate, his “first love” (ah, the French) — but his shop still offers caramels, millefeuilles, and pâtes des fruits. The caramels are buttery and smooth, and come in seven different flavors like mango and ginger (my favorite is vanilla). The hot chocolate is not as sweet as Angelina’s, and therefore preferred over the latter; but the millefeuille did not live up to expectations despite all I’d heard about it. However, I am a big fan of the space: clean, upscale, and minimalistic. More photos (by Carin) here.


I love Grazie for its vibe as much as its food — the Italian staff are warm and loud, and walking inside makes me feel as if I’ve been transported to Italy; or at the very least, a pizza joint in NYC. Their servings are gratuitous, I’ve seen pizzas with toppings piled an inch thick on top; and they serve proper espresso — you know, coffee that actually has aromatic hints of chocolate, not just burnt beans. I also have it on good authority the cocktails there are top-notch.

Beer Lunch

I’m not being lazy here, the invitation for this pop-up event literally called it Sunday Beer Lunch — the chef kept it simple, I respect that. The starters and jambalaya main were decent enough, a nice change from French food at the very least — but the chicory crème anglaise that accompanied the beignets was so good, I sipped what was left of the little shot glass after as if it were a fine whiskey. The chocolate porter they imported was also a fantastic accompaniment to the third course; if anyone wants to bring me some of that from England I would gladly repay you in eclairs and hugs.

L’Orient d’Or

Because I can’t go a month without eating Asian food, my latest authentic find is this Chinese restaurant in the 9th that specializes in Hunan cuisine, which is known for its spicy-heavy dishes. It’s amazing how three simple dishes — spicy cabbage, beef with eggplant, and pork with peppers — can curb the pangs of homesickness and make me feel so happy inside.

Des Gateaux et Du Pain

Saint-Honorés have always seemed more like a frou-frou decoration to me than a dessert, but I finally tried one after seeing this mango-salted caramel-sweet spice creation at Les Gateaux et Du Pain. They have an absolutely beautiful pastry case that I’m told changes somewhat regularly, as well as a solid looking bread selection (and a convenient location right off Pasteur metro station on Line 6), so I’ll most certainly be back here soon.

Extra: Gratuitous Frenchie shot

This baba au rhum (cake soaked in rum) with orange sherbert on top of a white chocolate soup from Frenchie Bar à Vins was just too spectacular not to share.

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  1. Oh, Edna.

    I need to make a mental note never to read your food posts when I’m hungry. Looks like you had fun this month.

  2. OMG THE BEER. You know how much I love me my beer. ALSO the little gateaux from Les Gateaux et Du Pain. This is torture. Never reading this during sleep intermissions again.

    not really.
    but this is torture.

  3. OK, so that mango gateaux type concoction is simply OBSCENE.

  4. All these stuff is great and full of yum. No one can stop his hunger in front of this kind of mouth watering food. Perfect presentation.!!

  5. They’re doing the baba in the restaurant now, except without the nostalgia-inducing 50/50-esque vanilla and orange. Shame.

  6. The Asian food in your posts always looks 100x better than anything I can find in my town in Germany and I LOVE Asian food so it definitely makes me jealous!

  7. This all looks so incredibly delicious! But before I come back to Paris to try all these dishes (especially the desserts!), please enlighten us how to eat a Saint-Honoré like a lady — I wouldn’t even know where to start!

  8. Have you tried the passion fruit caramels at Jacques Genin? My absolute favorite.

  9. You’re making me miss Paris!

  10. As previously discussed on FB… hate you. Fabulous Edna… I need to come visit before you move on!

  11. I really hate these posts. LOL :P You and Gerard would get a long great on the dessert scene in Paris..

  12. My mouth is salivating, I have a trip to Paris coming up. I will for sure be hitting these spots. Thanks for the info! Erin

  13. It’s 8.30 in the morning and I’m craving to try these. ALL of them.

  14. I love Paris, but can’t imagine for the world of me how the Parisian women stay slim with all those temptations around. Do they simply look at them and not eat them? Beautiful photos!

  15. Ahhhh!!! I want that food in my life right now!!!

  16. Is it wrong that every time I make lunch plans I immediately go to your 5 best things posts? :P

  17. Looks delicious!