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For my bestie’s last weekend in Paris before she moved to Munich for the next chapter in her professional life, we planned a little dinner date à deux at Soya, which I had been dying to try. I couldn’t think of anyone better to give this place a whirl with. This gal and I have made Paris our stomping ground, and have grown up so much since our arrival at the same Uni in 2008. It’s pretty crazy how time flies. I must say, the hard thing about expat life is that people leaving for new horizons becomes a common thing. I’ve been the one that’s left before – as I’m sure other expats totally get this feeling, too – so it’s a bittersweet goodbye, that is filled with so much excitement. Now I’ve gotta get my ass to Munich cos I miss her too much.

Soya is a magical vegetarian canteen that serves quality organic food (finding spots with a not as easy as you may think to come by in Paris). The deco has got that earthy yet industrial feel, big beautiful wooden doors, lit candles, some artwork, on the walls, wooden benches and a chalk board where they jot down what’s on the menu. It’s that “less is more” déco that is just perfect in my book. We kicked off the evening with Soya’s mezze plate which was yummy as. For the main dish I went with the lasagna, which I just loved every bite of. My date had the epic quinoa salad with falafel and a sort of veggie tajine with some hot sauce.

Ana Clara, the Brazilian bombshell photographed above, has always been someone I admire for many reasons. One of these one hundred reasons being that this girl truly cares about her body what she puts in it food-wise, which is actually pretty hard in this day and age (or at least I find). I’m not a vegetarian, but eating meals with no meat now and again comes more often than not in my house, and trying some colorfully crafted quality meals without meat is always fine by me.

20, rue de la Pierre-Levée, 75011
Tél: 01 48 06 33 02 (reservations recommended)
Métro: Goncourt (11), République (3, 5, 8, 9, 11)

date-night-at-deux-stations-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-01This restaurant is one of the few good ones in our hood. It’s got a cozy atmosphere with lovely decor – big ball lights, wooden tables, checkered knick knacks and some signage. They’ve got two terraces- one on each side of the building, which are fabulous in the summertime for a dinner out in the most western part of Paris.

Les Deux Stations features French classics on their menu: from chicken dishes to seafood dishes, I’ve never been disappointed. I totally forgot to get a picture of Louis’s drool)-worthy steak tartare. They also have a tagada dessert on their menu (you know, those little Haribo red candies that are addicting? This dessert tastes like that) that Louis’s dad got once that was utterly amazing.

Louis and I got out of the house one week night and strolled over to Les Deux Stations. I had never really thought about it but the name comes from the fact that there are old gasoline stations (those little side of the road ones) on the streets on both sides. I found that to make the place even more charming.

I find myself loving dinners out at random neighborhood treasures. Sometimes we don’t need to cross the town to go to “that new trendy neo bistro”.

date-night-at-deux-stations-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-18Les Deux Stations
161 Boulevard Exelmans, 75016
Tél: 01 46 51 89 19
Métro: Porte d’Auteuil (10)

Paris-New York - De quelle planete es tu -1Burger places are blossoming across the city of lights, and this one is a gem in my book. Paris-New York not only has a fabulous location (Strasbourg Saint Denis), it has a fantastic atmosphere with bright lights and all the condiments you could ever need. What a great place for a dinner date. Anne and I popped by to give it a whirl, and I must say, I was impressed.

The decoration is casual, simple and bold. The floor tiling is colorful and geometric with a contrasting ceiling of evenly spaced lights, almost like the kind you would see at a fun fair park.

Did I mention they have cheesy fries with bacon?

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Paris-New York
50 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010
Tél: 01 47 70 15 24
Métro: Château d’eau (4)

Brasserie-Lipp-and-Saint-Germain-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-00When my aunt was in town for a few days, I had to get my mother-in-law’s recommendation on a typical (but beautiful) Parisian Brasserie on Rive Gauche for lunch…so she suggested Brasserie Lipp. Located across from the iconic Café de Flore, this bustling Parisian hotspot was a wonderful discovery in my eyes.

The art deco interior left sparkles in my eyes, and the grub was honestly so delicious. The menu took some time to navigate, but I finally went with the plate of the day, sea bass on a bed of steamed leeks. It was sublime, and perfect with a glass of white wine. They offer some of the most classic French dishes to their aimable clientele; Andouillette, Pieds de Porc (yes, pig feet… a true delicacy according to Louis), Steak Tartare and various fishes depending on the season. If you enjoy salads as a main dish, I would not suggest this restaurant as it says in bold at the top of the menu in perfect English: “NO SALADS FOR MAIN DISH”. Ouch.

Sometimes these borderline cliché brasseries really do the trick with friends or family in town. The small square tables with white tablecloths and mega Parisian waiters dressed in black and white really made my day. The art deco interior has so much charm, and makes you feel like you’re in one of those 1960’s French movies that you had to watch in French class in high school.

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Brasserie Lipp
151 boulevard Saint Germain, 75006
Tél: 01 45 48 53 91 (Reservations recommended)
Métro: Saint Germain des Prés (4) / Mabillon (10)

Higuma - De quelle planète es-tu? 1I’m a big gyoza fan. I just love ‘em. But if you like ramen and lamen too, I’ve got a place for you.

My mother-in-law at one point recommended Higuma to me, and she definiteyl knew the hotspot because I’ve never been there when there wasn’ a line out the door.

Higuma specialize in Japanese food: potstickers, lamen, ramen… the works. It’s a great deal and you can pair it with an Asahi lager. You’ll feel a bit rushed, but enjoy the hustle bustle atmosphere and the udon galore while you can. If you want some action on the cafeteria like steamy kitchen food prep, sit at the bar for a great view.

The portions are quite large, so come hungry.

Higuma - De quelle planète es-tu? 2 Higuma - De quelle planète es-tu? 3Higuma
32 bis rue Saint-Anne, 75001
Tél: 01 47 03 38 59
Métro: Quatre-Septembre (3), Pyramides (14, 7)