The 5 best things I ate in Paris: May 2013

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

May was my last full month in Paris, but of course I showed no signs of slowing down in my food explorations. My fiancé was also in town this month, meaning visits to all of my favorite restaurants, but somehow I still managed to make time — and stomach room — to find some new Paris favorites:

1. Pierre Sang

Pierre Sang by Expat Edna

I’d heard so many rave reviews about this restaurant in Oberkampf that I took a gamble and came here for my birthday lunch. It totally paid off: Pierre Sang is a Top Chef France finalist who ‘freestyles’ his dishes based on the local ingredients of the day, meaning you simply choose how many courses you want and the rest is up to him — you don’t even find out what you’re eating until after you’ve finished the dish.

For the quality of the food, €35 for five courses is a steal, and Pierre Sang is a charming character, laughing with his chefs and smiling mischievously as he works his magic right in front of you.

2. Gelato, Grom

Grom, Paris by Expat Edna

Located on the left bank near Odeon, Grom has successfully stolen my loyalty from gelato competitors Pozzetto and Amorino. The gelato here is richer and the flavor selection is quite large and varied; I was surprised by their flavor of the month for May, a Le Petit Prince-themed gelato, given that dessert isn’t exactly the first thing I’d associate with The Little Prince. Regardless, I’ll be returning many times in the next few weeks; even if summer temperatures never arrive in Paris you’ll find me here in my peacoat, shivering as I eat my gelato.

3. Sandwiches, Verjus

Sandwiches at Verjus, Paris by Expat Edna

Verjus, already a favorite of many in the expat community, continues to win hearts by now offering three American-influenced sandwiches at lunchtime in their wine bar: the Bakesale Betty (fried chicken), Mr. Chang’s buns (braised pork belly), and the Midnight Cuban (braised pork shoulder). It’s €15 for a sandwich, house-made drink, and dessert (tip: go for the butterscotch brownie if it’s on the menu; it’s so good it made me want to cry). You can also get the sandwiches to go for €10 each — they’re perfect for picnicking in the nearby Palais Royal gardens.

4. Chocolate cake, Gerard Mulot

Gerard Mulot cake by Expat Edna

This cake from the well known Gerard Mulot was full-on decadent chocolate-on-chocolate-mousse action. I’m not a huge chocolate fan, and frankly I chose this cake simply because its colors matched my birthday party theme. But it was fabulous — this cake was so smooth, eating it made me feel like I was enveloping my tongue in chocolately silk pajamas.

5. Craft brews, La Fine Mousse

Beer by Expat Edna

You won’t find Heineken or Kronenbourg at La Fine Mousse — they’re dedicated to craft beers only. They have twenty taps, giving you the chance to discover a whole new world of French, Belgian, and international artisanal beers. I went with some home-brewing friends, one of whom said his beers have been on the menu now and again, so it seems they also support very local brewers. If you’re really into your beer — and hanging out with a customer base of mostly all guys — then this place is a must-visit. (The photo above isn’t La Fine Mousse because I didn’t have my camera that night, though these are good beers nonetheless.)

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  1. This all looks absolutely amazing… I am sure that using these posts as a guide I’ll be gaining back all the weight I’ve lost in Asia. The one I’m most curious about is the Petit Prince gelato though… did you order it? What did it involve?

    • According to the google translated Italian, it was fiordilatte with ricotta with caramelized almonds and sesame seeds. Not exactly the flavors I would’ve guessed but it was tasty.

  2. There’s Grom in NYC. Very delish.

    • Oh cool — I knew they had other branches but didn’t realize they’d expanded into the US.

  3. How did I attend your birthday party and not even try that cake?

  4. I always love your “5 best things” posts – those sandwiches from Verjus look especially delicious!

    • Thanks Laura! They’re pretty good though a bit pricey for my budget so definitely a treat for me!

  5. Looks delicious! Always love your monthly round-ups!

  6. Heavenly delicious post as always! I can’t wait to be in Paris next week to explore some of your restaurant recommendations!

  7. Woo! Glad you loved Pierre Sang too! I enjoyed the lunch a lot more than the dinner. Thanks for the linking to my blog. :)

    • I’ve heard the lunches are better than the dinner as well, so glad I heard about it from you guys!

  8. I am glad that Grom has won your heart and talking about it now makes me hankering for some…

  9. So what were the flavors in Le Petit Prince? Looks tasty.

    • The one dedicated to Le Petit Prince “and the small and good things in life” was (according to the google translated Italian) fiordilatte with ricotta with caramelized almonds and sesame seeds

  10. I love Grom! A friend who lived in Florence recommended it, and we tried it out while in Italy a couple months ago. Usually I go to Amorino in Paris, but I will have to head to Grom next time I’m in town.

    • I usually prefered Amorino or Pozzetto as well, until I discovered Grom. You should definitely try it!

  11. i NEED to try that first place. now to make it to Paris…

  12. THis all looks delicious! Paris is such a fun foodie place

  13. Mmmmmm, that cake has my mouth watering.

  14. uhhh omg need to go to paris asap

  15. Freaking YUM! I’m a little bit over corn and rice here in South A, I can tell you! Gotta get some similar foodie action…