The romantic city of Paris is truly special. It’s a city that you can visit over and over and still be amazed.
This was my fourth time to the French capital and I’m already looking forward to my next visit whenever that might be. Tommaso and I actually had our first trip together here back in 2012 and I can’t believe how time has flown by. Since I’ve been here several times and done all the major tourist attractions before, we kept our trip low key and just walked around the city. Our Airbnb was near the Le Marais district, pretty central in the city and close to a major metro station (the best way to get around).
Since we arrived before dinner time, we just freshened up and headed out.
Our first dinner was at Tomy & Co. in the 7th arrondissement recommended by a coworker of mine. I’d say the food is modern French in a laid-back atmosphere. You can either do a small tasting menu or the à la carte menu. Since we had been doing a lot of tasting menus, we decided to order à la carte and share everything.
Crispy chickpea crackers with a salty olive tapenade and fresh chives.
The black rice was almost cooked risotto style, creamy with an earthy flavor, with pungent wild green garlic, unctuous guanciale, and morel mushrooms. With a drizzle of poultry jus, this was a comforting dish to say the least.
I love white asparagus even though it doesn’t have that distinct asparagus flavor. Pieces were breaded as well as steamed served with a thick gribiche sauce (almost like a mayonnaise with cooked eggs).
Pâté en croute is a technically hard dish to execute well. The crust should be beautifully golden brown, crispy, and flaky while the pâté is on the softer side. This pâté was made with pork and foie gras served with asparagus, a spicy horseradish sauce, and crunchy puffed quinoa. Really really delicious.
Since the fish was confited, it melted in your mouth. The buttery crispy croutons, tender clams, and briny capers were all wonderful compliments to the fish but I wanted a little more seasoning, perhaps some finishing salt.
While the pork belly was tasty, it could have been more tender. However, the octopus was cooked perfectly with a nice char and supple meat with pickled radishes and fresh herbs on top.
This was an accompaniment for the pork belly and we were both confused as to why. It didn’t seem to be cohesive with the pork belly dish and it severely lacked salt.
Even though I’m not a chocolate lover, this tart was just the right amount of sweetness with the dulce de leche ice cream.
An airy pear espuma covered the coffee ice cream and the financier biscuit on the bottom. The ice cream wasn’t as creamy as I was expecting, it almost had more of a granité texture.
Tomy & Co. was a great casual yet hip restaurant serving just tasty food with awesome service. The prices were quite reasonable for Paris as well so my rating is an 8/10.
The next morning we got a few pastries at Yann Couvreur Pâtisserie. The kouign amann was by far my favorite with crispy caramelized layers of flaky dough.
Since both Tommaso and I have been to Paris before, we just strolled around the city all day and visited the cities’ most famous sites such as Notre-Dame de Paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe.
After strolling the charming streets, we visited a well known cheese shop called Barthelemy where I gazed at all the beautiful cheeses…my heaven! If only I could sample every one since one can dream right?
Near our apartment is one of the most popular chocolate shops, Jacques Genin. We sat in their shop and had some coffee and tea with a vanilla mille-feuille and a lemon tart and then admired all their artisanal chocolates.
Our final day in Paris started with lunch in the 11th arrondissement at Septime, a one Michelin starred restaurant and currently #35 on San Pellegrino’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. I first became interested in dining here after watching Action Bronson on Munchies where all the food looked simple yet delectable.
Chef Bertrand Grébaut’s food is very much driven by seasonality and local ingredients. He also has a wine bar called La Cave a block away and a seafood restaurant called Clamato next door. Getting reservations at Septime is almost impossible and I was only able to snag a lunch reservation where the tasting menu is 42€ compared to 80€ for dinner (of course there’s more courses for dinnertime). For lunch, you only have to choose one of two options for your main course.
Fancy bread sticks with an aerated cheese dip, what’s not to like?
I’ve never had raw cuttlefish, a type of squid, but this was quite an unexpected delicious dish. The cuttlefish has a delicate mellow flavor that harmonized well with bitter radish, fresh almonds, and a parsley oil that added freshness but also a little body.
Once again, I’m so happy it’s asparagus season…the vegetable is everywhere! Served with a nettle pesto and tangy homemade yogurt, I loved the simplicity of the dish.
Perfectly cooked sole fish melted in your mouth and had a rich orange beurre blanc sauce. With an intense artichoke purée and crispy artichoke chips, this dish was a stunner.
By far the weakest dish of the meal as the flavors were subdued. The lamb was cooked fine, I think I would have preferred it cooked a little more, and the beets and bitter greens didn’t add flavor to the dish.
The cheese course is an additional supplement and I couldn’t pass it up as this was my least meal in France!
Who would have thought green pea ice cream would be so great with blood orange? Somehow the herbaceousness of the ice cream with the sweet tartness of the blood orange tart was sublime.
Septime is a cozy restaurant offering honest food at such a reasonable price so my rating is an 8-8.5/10. If you can get a reservation, I definitely recommend going.
After lunch we had to walk off all the food and spent about two hours just walking around the city and admiring everything.
It’s no secret that Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world for its culture, art, and phenomenal food. With all my visits here, I never get tired of this place because there’s so much to explore and it’s such a lively vibrant city. Of course I’d like to see more destinations in France and I hope to do so on a future trip.
Be sure to check out my post about other popular destinations in France worth visiting.