Back in Paris

There is something insanely comforting for me when I return to Paris.  Emily put it best (she is here with us for the first few days).  When you return to a city, again and again, you don’t feel that need to go full stop, to eat, see and try absolutely everything because you know you will return….and I try to at least twice a year.

After dropping our bags off, we went immediately to Mokonuts for a late lunch.  The food is delicious from the first bite until the last cookie.  Twenty guests can enjoy a meal where the true secret sauce is that you are really eating at the extended home of Moko Hirayama and Omar Koreitem, the couple who closes shop when they need to go pick up their kids.  He does savory, she does sweets.  The labneh appears to be a constant on the menu and it should be.  It pairs with everything and is so delicious.

These meatballs were amazing.  Moko told me the key was the bacon fat with really good lamb.  Although don’t leave without having a few of her cookies.  She added pumpkin seeds to her chocolate chip cookies this time and the tahini cookies are always perfect.  I pushed her on doing a cookbook but not sure that would fit into her day right now and in all honesty, she just enjoys what she does without any need for accolades.  I am applauding.

We strolled back through the city with a quick freshen up before the next meal at Le Beratin, a place where the Parisian chefs eat.  Located in Beauville, the 20th, an area where more restaurants are popping up.  The food is good and the wine list is extremely well curated.  These oysters are from the beaches of Normandy, possibly my favorite spot for oysters in the world.

We each had something different for a main.  The dishes are all simple yet layered in flavors.  Pork ribs, lamb shoulder, and fish.  The picture speaks for itself.

This chocolate dessert was perfect.  A buttery chocolate mousse that was rich and layered sitting on top of a thin vanilla cream.

We wandered for a while after dinner.  The wine bar of the area was packed.  What is really nice is people can have a drink outside the shop, gather on the street and enjoy the evening.  It doesn’t get dark until around 1030 in the summer which makes for a neighborhood party.  I only wish you could do this in NYC.  We could all learn a lot from the culture around food and drink in Paris.

This display of cheese and charcuteries is inside the wine shop.  Another thing in NYC, you can’t sell anything but wine and liquor in the shops, nothing else, so even if you want to create a store that is curated with wines, cheeses, loaves of bread and more…you can’t.  Very unfortunate as it is so nice.

And off to bed, we went

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    I had Mokonuts and Le Baratin on my previous list but we ended up skipping them for another visit. Baratin seemed too busy and noisy. Was that your experience?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Both amazing

      1. William Mougayar

        Good to know.How was Clamato?Are you taking a liking to natural wines 🙂

        1. Gotham Gal

          Clamato post coming. Thumbs down

          1. William Mougayar

            Ok. Check out Bistro Paradis, tiny place but where the real chef still cooks in the kitchen.

          2. awaldstein

            @gothamgal:disqus I love the tiny, out of the way, hyper local.Liked this place a lot with friends last time in town:Yard 6, rue de Mont-Louis 75011 ParisBuddy in the natural wine tour business who lives in Paris shared his working list of bars and restaurants with great natural wine selection that might be of value. If interested, I will email it to you.Joanne–thanks so much for these posts!

          3. Gotham Gal

            Always happy to get lists!

  2. jsrand

    Aside from the pork ribs, bacon fat and oysters, you really know how to hurt a guy…although Beth and I had a fabulous trip to Provence so we really can’t complain too much.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I can’t help myself!

  3. Erin


  4. Pointsandfigures

    It is amazing how late it stays light out in Paris. I love those wine bars too. We went to Le Baron Rouge many years back and it was awesome. People came in with empty bottles of wine and just filled them from casks and hoses in the bar, capped em, had a drink and went back home.

  5. Liz B.

    Thrilled to see this post as I was in Paris two weeks ago and enjoyed every bite of my meal at Mokonuts. The labneh was beyond. And Moko and Omar charming and adorable, the consummate hosts.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Perfect word for them….hosts.