Before two years ago, there were only a handful of vegetarian restaurants in Paris and they were retro throwbacks to California in the 70s with hanging plants, dreary atmospheres, and bland, unimaginative food smothered mostly in cheese. Paris was not vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free friendly at all and the only other choice was the falafel sandwiches in the Marais. In the last 18 months a few smart and savvy entrepreneurs have had the sense to see there was a definite market for this kind of food and a string of cafes and bakeries have opened with great success.
Café Pinson is the newest one in the game. The owners, Damien Richardot, a successful restaurant owner with three popular restaurants in Paris, and Agathe Audouze, who was formerly in the fashion and cosmetic marketing business and went on to study naturopathy, decided to go partners and to create an organic, vegetarian restaurant that would be fun, delicious and beautiful. They hired an American chef from Seattle, Cameil Kaundart, and designer Dorothée Meilichzon, who had designed the hip Canal St. Martin Hotel Paradis. Dorothée used all natural and plant based materials along with Fung shei principles to create a bright, cheerful and friendly environment.
I went last week for lunch at 2:30 PM and it was jammed with the trendy Northern Marais design and fashion folk. Word has gotten out quickly as the café has only been open three weeks and has received lots of press on blogs and websites. I went for the 17 euros, three- course formule. I had a choice of salad, savory tart, or soup for first course, and selected the butternut squash soup. It was a cold blustery day and the hot and hearty soup warmed my insides well. Next up was the risotto with some form of whole grain, gluten free rice topped with shaved carrot swirls. It had a near perfect consistency, which is always tricky with risotto that’s not cooked to order. I have been on a low glycemic diet since the New Year (doctor’s orders, my sugar count has gone berserk in the last few months), which means no sugar, or any white food including pasta, most bread, and potatoes. The dessert of pureed pears with Rooibos tea was satisfying and guilt free as I lapped up every spoonful of it.
Café Pinson is mostly vegan and gluten free and there is a selection of raw dishes plus a fresh juice bar. I tried the bread and it was crusty and doughy, and I later found out it was not gluten free, but Agathe said they were still working on a recipe for gluten free bread.
I had a nice chat with Damien and Agathe about how they started the café while I was eating my lunch and their warm energy clearly matched the food and design of the café.
Sunday brunch has become the rage in Paris as of late and Café Pinson does a special one with savory Madeleines, slow cooked eggs at a low temperature, a vegetable mousse, raw or cooked granola, fresh juice, and a Nutella type spread made with raw hazelnuts.
6 rue de Forez, 75003
Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Open 9AM to 7PM, Monday to Friday
Saturday 10AM to 7PM
Sunday 10AM to 5PM
New Eye Prefer Paris Photos for Sale
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com