The book that cracks the code, from the incomparable Patricia Wells. An acclaimed authority on French cuisine, Ms. Wells has spent more than 30 years in Paris, many as former restaurant critic for The International Herald Tribune. Now her revered Food Lover’s Guide to Paris is back in a completely revised, brand-new edition.
In 457 entries―345 new to this edition, plus 112 revisited and reviewed classics―The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris offers an elegantly written go-to guide to the very best restaurants, cafés, wine bars, and bistros in Paris, as well as where to find the flakiest croissants, earthiest charcuteries, sublimest cheese, most ethereal macarons, and impeccable outdoor markets. The genius of the book is Ms. Wells’s meritocratic spirit. Whether you’re looking for a before-you-die Michelin three-star experience (Guy Savoy, perhaps, or Restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée) or wanting to sample the new bistronomy (Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Comptoir du Relais) or craving something simple and perfect (L’As du Fallafel, or Breizh Café for crêpes), Patricia Wells tells you exactly where to go and why you should go there. You no longer have to rely on the iffy “reviews” of Yelp or Trip Advisor.
Included are 40 recipes from some of her favorite chefs and purveyors and, of course, all the practical information: addresses, websites, email, hours, closest métro stop, specialties, and more.
That’s why Patricia Wells’s updated guide, now in its fourth edition, is a hit. With detailed information on 450 restaurants, Wells takes readers by the hand and demystifies the culture so well known for its luscious food and demanding gourmands. Sidebars abound: she dissects breads, foie gras, and oysters–and even gives the cultural background on why the French may drink wine in the morning (to kill worms, of course), as well as discussing the pros and cons of eating the rinds of cheeses. Also listed are the best bakeries, cafés, and specialty shops, as well as 50 recipes to try at home.
If there is a criticism to be made of this sturdy and informative book, it’s of the writing of this International Herald Tribune critic, which is sometimes riddled with stock descriptions and clichés. Yet readers are likely to forgive her this occasional foible, as Wells’s interesting details and enthusiasm are enough to send devout Italophiles, even, to Paris–where they can sink their teeth into those crusty baguettes. –Melissa Rossi