scout paris 
 
The pleasant staff, warm atmosphere, and delicious French cuisine made me an instant fan of Cafe Constant--a cafe located in the 7eme. The food is reasonably priced for the quality and there is a nice menu selection to satisfy just about anyone. Tip: Reserve a table for lunch, order the artichoke heart salad with mushrooms, along with the sea bass filet and mashed sweet potatoes. Constant's homemade profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce are the perfect ending to a splendid lunch.
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Filet of Sea Bass with Mashed Sweet Potatoes at Cafe Constant
The entrees (appetizers) are 11 Euros each, while plats (entrees) are 16 Euros. Chef Constant's set menu consists of a plat and dessert for 16 Euros and a plat, entree, and dessert for 23 Euros. This is an excellent offering and hard to beat, considering the location.

The space felt like a local cafe because the customers looked quite at home chatting with the staff, while they spent the hour or two with family and friends. It's a good sign.

If you are looking for lighter fare, just walk down the street and try Chef Constant's Les Cocottes. It's a bit more casual and modern than Cafe Constant. Cafe Constant is located at 139, rue Saint-Dominique, 75007. Metro: Ecole-Militaire.
 
 
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My sleepy neighborhood in the 15eme is a nice haven from the busy streets of Paris. I like to take a walk at the end of the day along the Seine at Port de Javel Haut (Metro: Line 10, Javel). It offers a nice view of the mini Statue of Liberty (it makes me a little homesick for my hometown NYC), a dock filled with impressive yachts (a girl can dream, can't she?), and another perspective of the Tour Eiffel (it never gets old).

There is also the beachy restaurant La Plage. The restaurant looks like it should be located in the super chic Hamptons or France's version Deauville. But, this is the point. Not everyone can make it to a real beach town and we all deserve a little beach-like experience in the summertime. So, to all of you who decided to stay in Paris this month, spend a breezy evening at Port de Javel sans sand. If you want a little sand, then visit Paris Plages. You see, Paris has it all!

more on...la plage

La Plage is open for lunch or dinner and serves French fare. Sit outside on the terrace or inside--either way it's an experience. Entree's (appetizers) range from 12 to 18 Euros, while plats (entrees) range from 21 to 29 Euros. Make a reservation for lunch and order their fixed Midi menu--28 Euros for an entree, plat and dessert or 23 Euros for an entree/plat or plat/dessert. Or, just come a little earlier before the dinner crowd arrives, order a drink and enjoy the view. Metro: Line 10, Javel or RER C to Javel. Tip: You need to walk past the RER and the path is directly behind it. Call ahead for a reservation: 01 40 59 41 00.
 
 
Luckily there are places in Paris that offer a quiet escape from the crowded streets. One little slice of heaven is Ralph's, which is located inside Ralph Lauren's flagship store on Boulevard Saint Germain. Anyone who adores the style of Ralph Lauren will feel right at home dining in the restaurant's breezy courtyard or cozy interior space.
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An inviting table in the courtyard at Ralph's.

the cuisine

The menu is truly all-American with delicious entrees including Ralph's Cobb salad, Ralph's burger, lobster roll, and California crusted chicken. The friendly service, generous portions, fresh food, and serene atmosphere make Ralph's worth your time. Prices are a bit steep with entrees ranging from 18 Euros to 40 Euros apiece. The Ralph Lauren dining experience is definitely worth the splurge.

I know what you are thinking. Why should you go to an American restaurant in Paris? Well, why not? You definitely still feel like you are in Paris, it's a great way to spend an afternoon, and Ralph Lauren does everything so well. His store that is located just steps away from Ralph's is absolutely awe-inspiring. And, once you finish having lunch, a walk through Ralph Lauren's store is a must to see the design for yourself!

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. For a reservation, call 01 44 77 76 00. Metro: Saint-Sulpice or Saint Germain. Ralph's is located at 173 Boulevard Saint Germain in the 6th.

 
 
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Every table received a Kate & William flag..how lovely.
I watched the Royal wedding at the English pub Frog and Rosbif on Saint-Denis with friends and lots of happy strangers. The pub was packed with people as excited and passionate as I was about watching the wedding of Will and Kate on large television screens. It was a beautiful wedding, but it wouldn't have been as much fun to watch it without fish 'n chips, a pint of beer, and a party! During the week, the pub has a great happy hour--beer cocktails for 3 Euros, beer for 5 Euros, and non-alchoholic beverages for 1 Euro. And, the staff is super friendly. I'll be back! For now, Congrats to the beautiful couple!!! The pub is located at 116 rue St. Denis. Métro : Etienne Marcel
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And they lived happily ever after...
 
 
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One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is stopping by my local outdoor food market to pick up the freshest tomatoes, strawberries, and raspberries. The fruits and vegetables at these markets are amazing in this city. The markets even top the ones in New York City. Yes, I said it. These images are from my local marche, but you can find one in just about every Parisian neighborhood.
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The fruit is so sweet and fresh at the local markets and I always feel more in touch with the local culture. If you are visiting Paris, just ask the hotel for the closest market in your area. It's definitely a nice option for picking up snacks.
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135, rue Saint-Dominique. Metro: Ecole Militaire.
I hate to cook. But, I do enjoy food. So, it's no surprise that going out to eat is one of my favorite pastimes. Thank goodness for my Parisian friends who share the same passion as I do.

A friend of mine introduced me to Les Cocottes de Constant—a wonderful French restaurant on rue Saint-Dominique--a pretty street in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower.

Chef Christian Constant's well-edited wine list and lunch menu has a nice selection of salads, sandwiches and soups. The light and airy modern space filled with tall tables and bar stools sets the tone for the casual and friendly atmosphere.

I suggest taking a seat at the bar and ordering the soup du jour, Caesars salad, and Chef Constant's decadent chocolate cake. Prices range from $15 to $30 Euros for main dishes. The restaurant is located at 135, rue Saint-Dominique. Metro: Ecole Militaire. 


 
 
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Georges is located at Place Georges Pompidou. Metro: Rambuteau
For a fabulous lunch in a stylish setting along with the best panoramic views of Paris, book a table at Restaurant Georges at the Centre Pompidou.

The sleek design and colorful surroundings is something you must experience in person. And, it's a great way to spend the afternoon.

Choose to sit inside in the super modern dining room or on the expansive deck. Either way, you are in for a treat.

The modern art museum's sixth floor restaurant has a delicious selection of salads, sandwiches, and main dishes including salmon, pastas, and steak. Popular dishes include the crab salad (30 Euros), club sandwich (19 Euros), and spring rolls (19 Euros).

Georges is a bit pricey with main dishes ranging from 19 to 40 euros. Come anyway! Share some dishes with your table or sit in the bar area and order a drink. It's definitely worth the splurge.

The museum itself is time well spent because it has an incredible collection of modern art. The Centre Pompidou also features a library and a moderately priced cafe.

The building is located at Place Georges Pompidou. The museum is free for adults under 26 (starting April 4). And, the museum is free on the first Sunday of every month. If you plan on only going to lunch at Georges, there is no entrance fee. Closed Tuesdays and May 1. Metro: Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville.

Inside Restaurant Georges

 
 
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Le Bonbon au Palais, 19 Rue Monge. Metro: Cardinal Lemoine.
On my way to brunch, I discovered the sweetest place in Paris--Le Bonbon au Palais. This small candy shop offers a colorful variety of regional candy from France. 

The boutique is reminiscent of an old-fashioned candy store. But, it's definitely a modern spin on an old classic.

The nostalgic design is inspired by the shops owner Georges' 1950s childhood classroom and his love for old-fashioned sweets.

Georges carries a mix of well priced, hard-to-find, French candy that makes perfect gifts and souvenirs from Paris.

Large glass containers are filled with an assortment of candy including handmade marshmallows, licorice, caramels, lollipops, chocolate bars, and bonbons.

One visit to Le Bonbon au Palais will make you a loyal customer. The staff is also quite friendly.

I am so glad that I got lost on my way to brunch! You never know what you will find. Le Bonbon au Palais is located at 19 Rue Monge in the 5th Arrondissement. Metro: Cardinal Lemoine.




 
 
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Le Petit Cler, 29 rue Cler. Metro: École Militaire
Paris has an endless variety of bistros. My favorite pick? Le Petit Cler--on rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement.

Customers will feel right at home in this tiny bistro with its friendly staff, intimate tables, and delicious French cuisine. 

The menu serves classic French fare from duck confit, pork stew, and seared salmon to roasted free-range chicken, steak tartare, and seared pork sausage. 

Make sure you order from Petit Cler's wine and cocktail list. A nice pairing is a glass of the Petit Chablis with Petit Cler's moelleux cake--a flourless chocolate fondant cake served warm. It's pretty heavenly and worth every calorie.

Even in the cold winter season, customers can enjoy sitting in the front patio (complete with heat lamps) or dine inside to enjoy the cozy space with walnut walls and small bistro tables. 

Prices are mid-range with main courses starting at $16, a glass of wine is about $5, and $8 for dessert. This dining spot is quite popular, so try to plan ahead and make a reservation.

I know where every French bistro in Manhattan takes inspiration from--cafes like Le Petit Cler. Come here for lunch or dinner and you will understand why.

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A glimpse inside Le Petit Cler.
the dish...
  • Le Petit Cler is located at 29 rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement--on one of the prettiest cobblestone streets in Paris.
  • Metro: École Militaire. 
  • Prices start at 12 euros (about $16) for a main course.
  • The bistro gets very busy for dinner, so plan ahead and make a reservation. 01.45.50.17.50
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served. Credit cards accepted.
  • During the winter season, Le Petit Cler has heat lamps (as do most cafes in Paris) in order to keep the front of the restaurant nice and toasty.
  • New Yorker's will compare this bistro to Pastis in Manhattan--just a bit smaller in scale.


SUNDAY ANTIQUES MARKET ON RUE CLER 

It was a typical November Sunday afternoon in Paris: A walk in the rain, a leisurely lunch at Petit Cler, and shopping. I was excited to stumble upon an antiques market on rue Cler. It doesn't happen every Sunday, but this was a serious market. Dealers set-up nicely designed booths filled with quality inventory including colored glass, decorative china, antique hardware, and French textiles. 


Enjoy the scouting shots...

trends in the market: vintage flatware, china, and hardware.

 
 
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Hot chocolate at Angelina. 226 Rue de Rivoli. Metro: Concorde.
Looking for the best hot chocolate in Paris? Visit Angelina for a cup of decadent hot chocolate in one of the prettiest tea salons in the city.

The classic tea salon opened its doors in 1903, across the street from the Louvre and the Tuileries. Angelina's serves a full menu with sandwiches, salads, pastries, tea, and hot chocolate. Even Coco Chanel was a fan.

Angelina's African hot chocolate (about $9) is served in a pitcher along with teacups and a bowl of Chantilly cream--if the chocolate alone isn't enough. The chocolate is rich, thick, and heavenly. 

Choose from a variety of amazing desserts and breads. Our table decided to try a little bit of everything--a buttery croissant ($5), a raisin brioche ($5), and a colorful selection of macarons ($3 each). 

The staff is quite friendly and the service is excellent. They don't rush you out the door, even though there is a line of people waiting to be served. 

Before you leave, don't forget to walk through the bakery where you can take home Angelina's hot chocolate, tea, cookies, and fresh pastries. Two tips: Go upstairs to view the ornate dining room from the balcony. And, leave yourself at least 20 minutes to wait for a table.

The cafe is not for the budget-minded, but I am a big believer in treating yourself from time to time. A visit to Angelina's is a splurge you will not regret.  Trust me!

before you go...
  • Angelina's is located at 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001. 
  • Metro: Concorde, Tuileries, or Pyramides.
  • Go before or after a day at the Louvre. There is always a wait outside, but it moves fast.
  • The tea salon is open everyday from 8 AM until 7 PM.
  • It was designed by Belle Epoque architect Edouard-Jean Niermans. 
  • Review the map below.