Tourists in Paris owe a great debt of gratitude to Patricia Wells. For decades, her books have helped countless visitors to the City of Light find a favorite authentic brasserie, the crispiest croissant, a refreshing aperitif or the most decadent (and stinky) cheese. And the latest edition of her New Food Lover’s Guide to Paris just came out yesterday, with hundreds of new picks and some delicious recipes.
So we got the famed author to share with us her favorite places to eat, drink and shop in Paris, plus a recipe for a delicious French bar snack. Bon appétit!
WHERE TO EAT:
Astrance, 4 Rue Beethoven, 33 1 40 50 84 40:
“Although this is a Michelin three-star restaurant, the sommelier’s knack for finding the best wine for each dish—but nothing expensive or exotic—is beyond belief. I am always amazed, satisfied and newly informed with his choices. Of course, the food is some of the best in Paris! The last time we were there, we most loved the Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape white!”
Semilla, 54 Rue de Seine, 33 1 43 54 34 50:
“This is a regular favorite, a modern bistro with a French/Anglophone angle. The wine list changes regularly, and the food is young and modern. Favorites include the shiitake mushrooms and varied white wines, including the Saint-Aubin from Domaine Hubert Lamy.”
WHERE TO DRINK:
Fish La Boissonnerie, 69, Rue de Seine, 33 1 43 54 34 69:
In her book, Wells compares this bistro to the coffee shop on Friends, since she could sit there for hours and likely bump into an acquaintance. “Sit at the bar and order whatever the guy behind the bar suggests!”
La Rallonge, 16 Rue Eugène Süe, 33 1 42 59 43 24:
If you find yourself wandering around picturesque Montmartre and need a drink, Wells likes La Rallonge. “Great spot for quick bites, lovely wines from the Southern Rhône and Languedoc,” she says. It’s an offshoot—the name means “the extension”—of Geoffrey Maillard’s acclaimed restaurant La Table d’Eugène.
WHERE TO SHOP:
La Dernière Goutte, 6 Rue Bourbon le Château, 33 1 43 29 11 62:
“My favorite wine shop,” Wells says of this establishment in the 6th Arrondissement. It has an “incredible selection, all independent winemakers. Some favorites include all the wines from the Southern and Northern Rhône as well as the Languedoc.”
De Vinis Illustribus, 48, rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève, 01 43 36 12 12:
Another spot drinkers should check out is the well-known De Vinis Illustribus. “An amazing wine shop with an owner who knows his selections! He will sit down and taste and discuss wines that you buy! I don’t know any other place in the world that will do this!”
Can’t get to Paris? Try Wells’ recipe for toasted pistachios. They make an excellent bar snack, or you can use them to top pistachio sorbet for an excellent sweet-salty combo.
(Photos courtesy Workman Publishing; Patricia Wells photo by Jeff Kauck)