Oh Paris… You were wonderful. Beautiful views, spectacular architecture, and absolutely incredible food. It should be, right? I mean, Julia Child wouldn’t have totally changed the focus of her life after having your sole meunière if it wasn’t something truly scrumptious. Traveling to Paris and watching Julie & Julia on the plane ride home had me itching to come back and offer up a few eateries for you to try on your next trip.
Located in the Marais district of Pairs, this little gem should not be overlooked. Especially if you like oysters. I don’t even like oysters, and I could’ve eaten the entire half dozen we ordered. They were fantastic! Cold and flavored perfectly with a slightly spicy citrus sauce… Don’t stop there, though. The tapas style menu allows you to sample as many delectable dishes as you choose. While the menu changes daily, I definitely recommend getting the braised beef if it is available. Braised for 24 hours, you aren’t going to find a more tender, deliciously seasoned beef than what Josh and I had as our final dish of the night. Just thinking about it makes me hungry… Make sure you have a reservation. The restaurant is small, and while there is a bar, it is no guarantee that you will have a seat.
Ah! This place… Lush, red velvet chairs settled amongst white washed walls and dark wood beams. Scallops (Saint Jacques) served in beautiful half-shells and covered in black truffles. A crab bisque, so light and frothy yet still rich. Should I go on? I can. Josh ordered a soufflé for dessert that was baked just before it was brought out to him. I dined on a perfectly baked pear with a sweet almond filling sitting atop dark chocolate drizzles. The dinner took over two hours to finish, but it was time well spent. Every dish came out fresh, hot, and sublime. Nothing was rushed. Everything was perfect.
On our last night in Paris, we reserved a table at Racines 2. Up until this point, we had yet to have a bad meal. We were desperately hoping our last one would not be the exception to the rule we had come to expect. Thankfully, we were not disappointed. I began my meal with a sample of ravioli alongside butternut squash and walnuts. Gorgeous kale leaves were baked to perfection giving just the right amount of crunch to the dish. If available, you should definitely try the lamb. It really was something. And because it is Paris, order the chocolate ganache for dessert and contemplate why you’ve never had anything so wonderful before. The kitchen is open to the dining area, so you are able to watch the chefs as they prepare your meal. A great experience all around.
Yes, I know this is a tourist destination. Yes, I know they have them in the States. You know what else? I don’t care. During the inevitable shopping day (it’s Paris, duh!), wander over to the location on the Champs Elysée and grab a bite for lunch. If not lunch, go simply for the decadent macarons. I really enjoy macarons, but I have never tasted any like those I had from Ladurèe in Paris. Amazing! If you do stay for lunch, Josh recommends the salmon club sandwich, and I say try the Croque Monsieur. While you eat, feast your eyes on the beautifully decorated rooms in the classic French style. You will feel like royalty.
One tip for eating in Paris: always make reservations! Thankfully, you can easily make reservations online for all of these recommendations.