Jazz in Paris

Jazz is as much a part of Parisian culture as its art galleries and café life. Think Billie Holliday, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. They–and many others–were welcomed in Paris while America wasn’t quite so hospitable. Their legacy lives on.

Here are some jazz clubs that are a quick walk from the Hôtel de Ville. Click on the links to see who’s playing:

Le Baiser Salé, 58, rue des Lombards, 75001

Duc des Lombards, 42 rue des Lombards, 75001

La Peniche Le Marcounet, A great place–on a peniche (barge) on the Seine–to hear music in the summer. Located at the foot of the Pont Marie, 75004

Sunset Sunside Jazz Club, 60 rue des Lombards, 75001

Le 38 Riv’, 38, rue de Rivili, 75004

And for all the jazz going on throughout the city, visit Paris Jazz Club.

To get in the spirit, rewatch ‘Round Midnight, Bertrand Tavernier’s classic movie about jazz in 1950s Paris.

Best Crêpes in Paris

It was my last night in Paris and I thought I’d grab a simple crêpe for dinner around the corner at the perfectly respectable Crêperie Beaubourg before returning to the apartment to pack up. It’s an easy spot for a simple dinner–and you can sit outside on the terrace overlooking Stravinsky Fountain.

I walked out the door and was overtaken by the beautiful, spring night. Crêperie Beaubourg was too close. I decided to take a nice, long stroll deep into the Marais to try Breizh Café instead.

I’d read about the place for years but had never dined there. It lived up to its reputation! I ordered a pichet of cider (which I shared with the solo diner seated next to me), a savory crêpe (or galette, as they’re called) filled with smoked salmon, then a sweet crêpe topped with buttery apple chunks, a caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.

I worked it all off on my walk home. (Ha.)

Crêperie Beaubourg

2, rue Brisemiche

75004

Breizh Café

109, rue Vieille du Temple

75004

Le Trésor

An easy spot in the Marais, a short walk from HdV. Sit on the terrace if the weather is nice (there are heaters out there, too). The restaurant specializes in the cuisine of the mountainous Auvergne region in central France (beef and aligot, a very rich potato purée with cheese, are on the menu), but you can get other stuff, too.

It’s a nice spot, not too expensive, with friendly service.

Le Trésor

9 rue du Trésor, 75004

1.42.71.35.17

The terrace.
Steak and aligot. Mmm.

Clover Grill (and Le Grand Restaurant)

Jean-Francois Piege has a little empire in Paris that includes two of my favorite restaurants, La Poule au Pot (see below) and The Clover Grill, known mostly for its great meats. The ambiance in both is great and the food really top-notch. And both are within walking distance from HdV. (His third restaurant, called Le Grand Restaurant, is probably fantastic, too, though I haven’t yet been. It seems to focus more on the modern, both in decor and cuisine. And it’s over in the fancy 8th arrondissement.)

Clover Grill

6, rue Baillieul, 75001

1.40.41.59.59

Clover Grill

Le Grand Restaurant

7, rue d’Aguesseau, 75008

1.53.05.00.00

Le Grand Restaurant

Gallery Hopping in the Marais

Here are some great galleries to pop into while in Paris. Click on the names to see what shows are up.

Note that many (but not all) are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Anne Barrault, 51 rue  des Archives (m*Rambuteau)

Art:Concept, 4, passage Sainte-Avoye (m*Rambuteau)

Art Jingle, 31 bis rue des Tournelles (m*St Paul, Bastille, Chemin Vert)

Christian Berst, 3 Passages des Gravilliers (m*Rambuteau, Arts et Metiers)

Galerie Bertheas, 25 rue des Tournelles (m*Chemin Vert, Bastille, St. Paul)

Daniel Templon, 30 rue Beaubourg (m*Rambuteau)

Fait et Cause, 58 rue Quincampoix (m*Chatelet-Les Halles)

Galerie Particuliere, 11 rue du Perche (m*Rambuteau, Filles du Calvaire)

Filles du Calvaire, 17 rue des Filles du Calvaire (m*Filles du Calvaire)

Marian Goodman, 79 rue du Temple (m*Rambuteau)

Nathalie Obadia, 3 rue du Cloître Saint-Merri & 18 rue du Bourg-Tibourg (m*HdV)

Perrotin, 76 rue de Turenne (m*Filles du Calvaire)

Suzanne Tarasieve, 7 rue du Pastourelle (m* Filles du Calvaire)

Thaddaeus Ropac, 7 rue Debelleyme (m* Saint-Sebastien Froissart)

Yvon Lambert, 108 rue Vieille du Temple (m*Filles du Calvaire)

Xippas, 108 rue Vieille du Temple (m*Filles du Calvaire)

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5 rue de Fourcy (m*St. Paul, HdV, Pont Marie)

Hunting Museum, a Favorite!

I’d lived in Paris for years and years, then went back often for years and years and not once, in all those years, had I visited La Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in the Marais. It took a raving friend who’d recently been to get me to go to this little jewel box of a museum. It’s the best!

Tapestries with hunting themes at the Musée de la Chasse.

Housed in a wonderful, old hôtel particulier (1655), the museum offers room after beautifully restored room filled with surprises. A taxidermy polar bear welcomes you (everyone takes a picture with him) and other stuffed animals await. There’s a room displaying a rifle collection (some of them are truly beautiful), a small video screen in a dark alcove of a white unicorn in the rain, and antiques chairs made with antlers. It’s eclectic and fabulous.

There are often super-interesting exhibitions by contemporary artists here. The most memorable show for me was when Sophie Calle took over the place. Click on this link for an article about it as well as some images.

A must-see!

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

62 rue des Archives

75003

L’Ami Louis

I think of this as more of a cold-weather sort of place, with its cozy ambiance and comforting food. Slabs of foie gras, roast chicken and fries, roasted meats. The first time I went was about 30 years ago. Nothing’s changed!

It’s a controversial place–it’s expensive, some say over-rated, some complain of snobby service–but I’ve only had the best experiences there. Go in with a good attitude and I think you’ll have a great time.

We celebrated New Year’s Day there once recently and had an absolute blast. The jovial waiters showed us around the kitchen and hammed it up for photos. We closed the place down with glasses of Poire William and cognac.

To me, this is the perfect Parisian bistro.

L’Ami Louis

32 Rue Vertbois

75003

011.33.1.48.87.77.48

Benoit, a Classic Bistro, Just Around the Corner

One of the best restaurants in the city is just around the corner–and it’s been there for over 100 years! Run by Alain Ducasse, it’s a splurge but it’s perfection. We love the roast chicken and the cassoulet, though they aren’t always on the ever-changing menu. Oh, and I love the baba au rhum for dessert!

Benoit

20, Rue Stain Martin

75004

Just Down the Road

Les Philosophes is a long-standing favorite with locals and tourists, alike. It’s convivial and cozy and the perfect spot for a relaxed meal. Choose something from the handwritten menu or go in with a craving for onion soup, a specialty of the house.

Les Philosophes

28 Rue Veille du Temple

75004