The Food Lover's Guide to Paris

The Food Lover's Guide to Paris

by Patricia Wells

Paperback(Fifth Edition,New edition)

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The book that cracks the code, from the incomparable Patricia Wells. An acclaimed authority on French cuisine, Ms. Wells has spent more than 30 years in Paris, many as former restaurant critic for The International Herald Tribune. Now her revered Food Lover’s Guide to Paris is back in a completely revised, brand-new edition.

In 457 entries—345 new to this edition, plus 112 revisited and reviewed classics—The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris offers an elegantly written go-to guide to the very best restaurants, cafés, wine bars, and bistros in Paris, as well as where to find the flakiest croissants, earthiest charcuteries, sublimest cheese, most ethereal macarons, and impeccable outdoor markets. The genius of the book is Ms. Wells’s meritocratic spirit. Whether you’re looking for a before-you-die Michelin three-star experience (Guy Savoy, perhaps, or Restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée) or wanting to sample the new bistronomy (Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Comptoir du Relais) or craving something simple and perfect (L’As du Fallafel, or Breizh Café for crêpes), Patricia Wells tells you exactly where to go and why you should go there. You no longer have to rely on the iffy “reviews” of Yelp or Trip Advisor.

Included are 40 recipes from some of her favorite chefs and purveyors and, of course, all the practical information: addresses, websites, email, hours, closest métro stop, specialties, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761173380
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/11/2014
Edition description: Fifth Edition,New edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 465,409
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Patricia Wells, for more than two decades the restaurant critic for The International Herald Tribune, is the author of the award-winning Bistro Cooking, as well as more than a dozen other books. She also runs a successful cooking school in both Paris and Provence, where she and her husband have lived for more than 30 years.

Read an Excerpt

From the moment I set foot in France one chilly, gray January morning in 1973, I knew that Paris was a city I would love the rest of my life. More than a quarter of a century later, after spending twenty of those years in this gentle city, each day I am moved by Paris's elegance and beauty, its coquettish appeal. The quality of life here is better than in any other place I know, and eating well has much to do with it.

This is the book I came to Paris to write. Equal only to my passion for food is my love for reporting. I have always thought that one of the most enjoyable aspects of journalism is that you get to know people on their own turf, and you get to poke around, asking the questions that any curious person wants answers to. In researching this book, I - along with various companions - walked just about every street in Paris in search of the gastronomic best the city has to offer, talking, chatting, interviewing, meeting with the city's men and women who are responsible for all things great and edible. We set out to find the crispiest baguette, the thickest cup of steaming hot chocolate; to spot the most romantic site for a warm morning croissant or a sun-kissed summer lunch; to track down the trustiest cheese or choclate shop; to uncover the happiest place to sip wine on a brisk winter's day. We quickly gave up counting the number of times we got lost or rained out as we checked off addresses and discovered back streets and sleepy neighborhoods. We toured the markets and tea salons, sparred with butchers, laughed with the owners of a favorite bistro, and shared the incomparable aroma of a great loaf of bread as it came crackling from the oven. We rose eagerly at dawn to catch a pastry chef as he pulled the first batch of steaming croissants from his wood-fired oven; climbed down rickety ladders into warm and cozy baking cellars to discuss the state of the French baguette with a skilled baker; shivered as we toured the aromatic, humid, spotless rooms stacked with aging Brie and camembert, Vacherin and Roquefort. Each day we lunched and dined, sometimes at modest neighborhood bistros, sometimes in fine restaurants. We gathered recipes from pastry chefs, cooks, bakers, and teashop owners, and tested, tested, tested until my apartment took on the same irresistible mixture of aromas as the food streets and shops of Paris. Throughout, it was an exhilarating labor of love, one from which I hope you will profit, the joy of which I hope you will share.

This is a personal guide, and whenever I had to decide whether to include or delete a shop, a restaurant, a market, I asked myself one question: Would I want to go back there again? If the answer was no, the address was tossed into the ever-growing reject file.

In choosing restaurants, I have tried to be comprehensive but selective. I have tried as best I know how to tell you exactly what I think you will want to know about a restaurant: why you should go, where it is, how to get there, what you'll find when you arrive, and what it will cost. I intentionally did not rate restaurants, for I find personal restaurant ratings clumsy, arbitrary, Dan generally unreliable. Besides, they make a burdensome science out of what should, essentially, be joyful discovery.

No doubt, some places you will love less than I. Some you will love more. I hope this book will stimulate every reader to explore, look around, and ask questions, and will help everyone to understand just a bit more clearly the history, daily customs, and rich texture of Paris, the great gastronomic capital of the world.

Excerpted from The Food Lover's Guide to Paris: Fourth Edition. Copyright (c) 1999. Reprinted with permission by Workman Publishing.

Table of Contents

Tea Salons
Wine Bars
Pastry Shops
Cheese Shops
Prepared Foods to Go
Chocolate Shops
Speciality Shops
Wine and Liquor Shops
Food and Wine Bookshops
Kitchen and Tableware Shops


A Paris Recipe from Patricia Wells
Jean-Guy's Basque-Spiced Leg of Lamb
Six to eight servings
  • 1/2 cup (12.5 cl) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) coarse-grained Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground hot red pepper (such as Piment d'Espelette)
  • 1/4 cup (65 g) sheep's milk full-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

    • 2 legs of lamb, each about 1-3/4 pounds (around 800 grams) [or one larger leg of lamb, 4 to 5 pounds] bones and trimming reserved
    • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
    • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

    • 1. Combine all the marinade ingredients. Place the leg(s) of lamb in a roasting pan that will hold the meat snugly. With a pastry brush, brush the marinade over all sides of the leg(s) of lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
      2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
      3. In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil over high heat. Remove the leg(s) of lamb from the marinade, drain, and sear the lamb on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
      4. Return the lamb to the roasting pan with the marinade and any bones and reserved trimming.
      5. Place in the center of the oven and roast, allowing 10 to 12 minutes per pound (500 g) for medium rare, 15 minutes for medium. (Lamb is medium rare at an internal temperature of 140°F [60°C], medium to well done at 145 to 175°F [63 to 80°C].) Turn the lamb several times during roasting and baste occasionally.
      6. Remove from the oven and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the lamb to a platter, and place on an angle against the edge of an overturned plate. Cover loosely with foil. Turn off the oven and place the platter in the oven with the door open. Let rest a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. The lamb will continue to cook during this resting time.
      7. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Place the baking dish over moderate heat, scraping up any bits that cling to the bottom. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping and stirring until the liquid is almost caramelized. Do not let it burn. Spoon off and discard any excess fat. Add several tablespoons cold water to deglaze (hot water will cloud the sauce). Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
      8. While the sauce is cooking, carve the lamb and place on a warmed platter.
      9. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and pour into a sauce boat. Serve immediately, with the lamb.

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The Food Lover's Guide to Paris 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have purchased all editions of this tome and find it indispensible when in Paris. I recently had to purchase a new 4th Edition as I lent my first copy to some friends who took it to Paris and used it so much I let them keep it.I don't plan on going to Paris for at least a year or more, but I do find it a wonderful read when cooking inspirations allude me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had bought the original version many years ago. With this new version the book is really nice-looking. Lots of entries and photos. However, many of her dining recommendations do not rate too well on a popular travel website. It seems that maybe the proprietors and staff know that because it is she who is dining there they make a tremendous effort to have the dishes prepared quite well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello! * She smiled *