Do you take a chance on a restaurant when you are traveling or do you do some research? I’d also be curious to know: Do you strive to only eat at French eateries when in France or Italian eateries when in Italy, for instance? Or, do you mix it up a bit, if you have the opportunity?
Depending on the length of your stay, how much of a foodie you are, is it your 1st visit to that city or region, dietary restrictions, and you may be one who has all your/lunch/dinner plans already scheduled before arrival, or you may be someone who ‘wings it’ every meal. We are all different and oft times our choices are personal or dictated by our palate and experiences. I happen to be a not ‘wing it’ person because when I have delved into that type of selection style, I tend to not come out a winner. However, this restaurant turned out to be an exception.
Meandering my way back to my apartment one evening after having a lively visit with friends, I was content to have the time to stroll, not wanting the evening to end. And to extend my satisfaction, I did land in Evi Evane with no investigating its soundness in the foodie world. And, yes, I like to step away from the country’s signature food, creative or traditional style, to get a break and have a taste of ethnic food, when available.
Evi Evane, which translates ‘to your health‘, is the name of the restaurant I decided to impulsively try. I just assumed the restaurant’s name was the name of the owner(s), which, as it turns out, are two Greek sisters, Maria and Dina. Maria handles the management and Dina, the eats and drinks menu. From their websites I posted below, Dina has the knowledge of her Greek mother’s recipes mixed with added training from the best French cooking schools in Paris.
I encourage you to look at the two websites listed at the end of this post, as you will see a number of photos of their various foods plated, beautifully. Their websites also fill you in on the stats of their restaurant and traiteur (meaning take-away food or food available for catering).
After several rounds of ‘hit and miss’ situations in Paris and other travel locations, my thinking lends pretty heavily towards researching first as said. Mediocre I can do at home and, as I have learned, I can also end up with mediocre at an eatery in Paris, Nice, Barcelona, Porto..need I keep listing, as I’m sure you get my point.
Quite frankly, I want my experience in any location to be meaningful and end up in my memory bank, not just for the historical sights, or people watching, or shopping, or the people I interact with but also I want to include the eats and drinks because they not only give me a satisfied tummy but also add knowledge about the country.
I have also found I don’t necessarily need to pay more to get a ‘special’ mouthwatering meal. These are some of my ‘go to’ Paris sources because they are food critics and I have used them enough to know I can trust them.
- Paris by Mouth: http://www.parisbymouth.com or Alec Lobrano, an American living full-time in France, has another website: http://www.alexanderlobrano.com I utilize Paris by Mouth’s website all the time, in a similar style as I use Patricia Wells (see #2). Paris by Mouth also includes food shops as well. And, they set up cheese tours, for instance. His Alec Lobrano website is a blog with current reviews of restaurants, and not necessarily in Paris. He has completed a new book which, I believe, will have a list of his top 30 current restaurants.
- Patricia Wells: http://www.patriciawells.com I have followed Patricia Wells for decades. An American who wrote two books over 30 years ago are ‘masterpieces’. One is the ‘Food Lover’s Guide to Paris‘ and the other is ‘The Food Lover’s Guide to France‘. They are/were my ‘food bibles’, Patricia and I must have similar palates. These books impart a highly extensive stack of information. For about six years now, she has had an app that you can purchase, which is based upon her revised edition of her book, ‘The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris’. It comes in very handy as I walk or visit an art exhibit, for instance, in a less frequently visited neighborhood. I would say the same about Paris by mouth‘s website. Both Patricia Wells’ books and app cover restaurants but also cheese shops, boulangeries, chocolate shops, etc and are presented by arrondissement and various price ranges. I just can’t go wrong when selecting from her or Alec’s choices. If you are interested, she also teaches highly sought after cooking classes in Paris and in Provence.
- David Lebovitz: If you are a foodie, add this guy’s blog to your list. Also American and also living full-time in Paris. He has written several books on eats and drinks. His blog does some reviews on eateries but also has recipes you might want to follow. His blog has a section on Paris restaurants: https://www.davidlebovitz.com/paris/
- Various books/articles/websites/google, of course: I am not too big on using ‘trip advisor’ reviews because they are not done by food critics. I used to bring books, yes, heavy duty books with me when I traveled and I still find some in my suitcase…especially small ones…or I have been known to rip pages out of books if I am going to a new location and don’t want them, for some reason, on my kindle. But, as some of you most likely do, you collect info from friends and articles and so you jot them down and carry a simple one page summary of a collection of names-suggestions from friends, family, articles, etc. .
- Friends that live in Paris
- And, for certain, I tap the concierge or check-in staff where I am a hotel guest.
Rue Guisarde, where the restaurant is located, is on this sweet quiet narrow street in the 6th arrondissement, and great for strolling. I had thought the restaurants on either side of me were too touristy so I had ignored them, but then this one caught my eye. Stone and old, very old timbers helped to suck me in. The simplicity of the decoration and the fresh clean look also attracted me. Yet another thing drew me in–the menu posted outside seemed authentic. And lastly, it also captured me because it meant I didn’t have to cook when I got home!
Menus are usually posted outside for convenience and I noted that it wasn’t extensive but there were a few selections I could have even though I am dairy intolerant which meant I was also hoping, to boost my selection, by kindly asking the chef, through the waiter, to make an adjustment or two on dishes to meet my dietary restriction.
Some of the photos I have posted were from a customers’ table next to me. The guests were very obliging!
And because it was such a refreshing experience the first time, I returned the following week for lunch with a friend, which added a few more photos to this post. She was easily convinced to try the restaurant because she, and her husband, had recently been to Greece for a holiday.
Although cozy and intimate made it appealing, it also meant, in this case, the space is small and has a limited number of tables, so it is best to make a reservation. But with the French rule of not encouraging their clients to hurry up and finish their meal, this standard can also be interpreted as there may be a delay, even with a reservation, due to not being able to count on the timing of someone’s stay, thus they can only do their best to honor the time of your reservation. As said, I was early, but the tables filled up quickly as it got later. So I would still make a reservation but also think ‘flexible’.
Here is the link to their website: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=https://www.evievane.com/&prev=search&pto=aue
They have 2 locations. Unfortunately, I was about to depart Paris and did not have the time to visit the Evi Evane Mezes location. The restaurant address: 10 rue Guisarde in the 6th arrondissement is the location I went to, twice.
Evi Evane Mezes (means appetizer) at 66, rue Mazarine, Paris 75006. This is the traiteur location for take-out and catering service. The photos on their website looks like you may be able to order and eat the appetizers there or take them home, as it shows some seating and tables. See their website: https://www.evievane.com/le-mezes-1