Sunday, September 14, 2014


Bye Everyone!

I've moved on from Paris…to Sunny CA.  My time in Paris was lovely in so many ways, and I will always treasure my memories from those three glorious years.

Off to new adventures in Berkeley!

We'll always have Paris…


Sunday, July 13, 2014


The FRENCHIE dynasty is amazing.  The Resto, To Go and Wine Bar seem to always please.  This post focuses on what you can find at the Wine Bar.  It's easy to find Gluten Free and Dairy Free options, the wine is great, and service (while occasionally slow) comes with a smile.  It should be noted that if you want a prime seat with a view at the window to the kitchen you MUST queue early.  For their 19h00 opening you want to be in line by 18h15.  I'm not joking!  My trusty iPhone camera failed me, but here are two highlights.

 Love the business cards on the yellow bike seat.

The menu.

 The view from the best seat in the house.

60 mo aged Jamón Ibérico sliced in front of us on the rotary slicer.  Before service the chef ran the plate under the heat lamp to gently warm the fat.  Oh heavens.

 I love mackerel.  A lot.  I think I could have bathed in the smoked anchovy purée.  

Goodnight FRENCHIE Wine Bar!

A great spot for a few shared plates, or an informal dinner on the town.  Definitely worth a jaunt into the 2nd.

NOTE:  As a timesaver for me, and because these things change, especially in the summer, I'm not going to post the opening info anymore in these posts…please check the website for that information.

Friday, January 3, 2014

La Balançoire

Back in April I took a lovely walking tour of Montmartre and called my favorite dining companion to see if he wanted to meet me for lunch.  He did a quick internet search and found that I was just a few blocks away from La Balançoire, which had great reviews on TripAdvisor.  He made a quick reservation and we walked into the lovely small restaurant.

They have magic silverware.

The menu was limited for lunch, though the Dinner menu on the wall appeared to have a lot more options, many Gluten Free.  We asked the server to verify with the Chef which options were GF and he happily went to the kitchen to ask.  We were given options, including the offer to alter recipes (which is unusual for Paris).  Love that.

I chose the sweet pea soup (which bordered on the thickness of a purée) garnished with tender carrots and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.  Warm and satisfying.

My dining companion had the terrine with caramelized onions.  Also GF, but who wants to have a terrine without bread?  I don't.  

The cut of meat wasn't my favorite, but it was well cooked.  The potatoes were crispy and the sun dried tomato compound butter flavorful.

The cod with pesto was a tad overcooked, but tender and a large portion for lunch.  The green beans were well seasoned and satisfyingly crispy.  And plentiful!

Overall it was a great find considering it was a last minute choice.  Usually I make it a habit of calling ahead to advise the staff that I have a special dietary requirement to give them a chance to prepare if need be, so it was nice to find such accommodating staff.  

I would definitely go back.  

La Balançoire
6, rue Aristide Bruant - 75018 Paris
Métro: Blanche (Line 2)

Hours (as of January 2014)
Open Tuesday - Saturday
Lunch 12h00 - 14h30
Dinner 19h00 - 23h00

Forgive Me

Life has gotten in the way of my goal for this blog.  

I originally envisioned myself eating my way through the restaurants of Paris, delighting in all the options available to someone needing to eat Gluten Free.  Hmmmm.  Not so much.  Eating Gluten Free in Paris is hard.  Even harder if you're trying to avoid Cow's Milk Dairy too.  (Which I've figured out is also giving me problems.  Hooray.)  

I got discouraged.  I got mad.  I stopped eating out.  Looking at the posts that were waiting to be published made me sad.  I JUST WANT TO EAT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE DOES.  I felt like that for quite a few months, but I'm over it now.  Am I over that I can't eat what is on my neighbor's plate that looks ridiculously AWESOME?  Not really, but I've come to terms with the fact that if I want to be happy and healthy I need to eat according to what my body needs, and not what my eyes crave.  I know this process will continue to be hard, but I can handle it.  I have to. 

Please forgive me for neglecting this blog.  I've forgiven myself.  And please join me on reliving some great meals of the last year!  

Friday, April 26, 2013


As promised I went back to Noglu this past Wednesday for their burger special.  Overall it was another well prepared and inventive meal.  

The Wednesday offerings.

The lightly grilled squid with caramelized onions and celeriac purée.  The squid was cooked perfectly, the onions pleasantly sweet and the purée smooth but lacking in seasoning.  The portion was large for a starter, which my dining companion happily benefited from.

The GF bread really is that good.  The texture is soft without being gummy.  

The Burger Noglu.  The bun was better than I expected.  It's factory produced, which I found out when I saw them for sale downstairs, with a light neutral crumb and crispy crust.  It stood up well to the juicy burger.  The quality of the meat was obvious, but again, needed seasoning, particularly salt.  The cheddar was melted on top, and was darn tasty.  The patty sat on top of some grilled sweet potatoes which my dining companion liked, and I decidedly did not.  When I want a burger I want to taste meat.  The sweet potatoes were so overwhelmingly sweet the meat faded into the background.  I took them off and all was forgiven.  The rocket salad on the side was minimally dressed and needed acid, salt and pepper.  The potatoes were good, and I'm pretty sure they were fried in duck fat.  Yum.  

Perfectly saignant as requested. 

On to sweets.  My dining companion had the Café Noglu.  On the left is a slice of lovely pineapple upside-down cake.  The pineapple was nicely caramelized, and the cake tender.  The chocolate mini muffin in the middle was the highlight.  Moist and full of dark chocolate goodness.  The blueberry muffin had a great lemony kick, and I could see those at my next brunch.  A great introduction to GF pastry.

I really like what they're doing at Noglu.  I will be back.

Friday, April 19, 2013


It seems appropriate that I should make my first Gluten Free restaurant review about Noglu, Paris' first dedicated Gluten Free restaurant.  

I've only eaten there once, but I'm planning on going back next Wednesday to try their burger special.  I was fortunate enough to speak with the owner, Frédérique Jules, and I really like what she's doing. 

You want to safely eat Gluten Free in Paris?  This is your place.  Everything in the restaurant is GF.  There is also a nice bonus that they clearly mark all dishes containing Lactose. 

I was there in January for lunch, and I chose the Formule Midi (the plat of the day plus my choice of entrée or dessert for 23 euro), and my dining companion ordered off the Menu.  Overall the meal was good, with some small forgivable missteps.  (Disclaimer: I am really really picky.  It's one of my many faults.)  This is perhaps the safest restaurant choice for anyone with Celiac to eat while in Paris.  

The lovely Passage des Panoramas.

The Velouté de Potimarron.  A flavorful, thick, creamy (yet Lactose Free) pumpkin soup.  The garnish was duck lardon, which could have been crispier.

Pieds de cochon croustillant, chou braisé.  Crispy pigs foot with braised cabbage.  Crisp it was, but the pied itself could have used a few more hours of braising as it was a bit toothsome.  It was also a very large portion for a starter of such a rich nature.  The cabbage was delicious, though both it and the Jerusalem artichoke purée needed salt.

Their soft Gluten Free bread.  One of the better GF breads I've had, and it's made in house so there is no chance of cross-contamination.  

Lieu jaune poêlé, riz noir et purée de celeri rave.  Pan fried skin-on Pollock filet, black rice and celery root purée.  Again, everything including the mushrooms needed seasoning.  The purée was nice, but the fish was a bit overdone, and the skin wasn't very crispy.  The black rice, cooked risotto style, was a bit underdone.  There was a dusting of orange zest that was a bright, inventive and unexpected touch.

Pizza Noglu.  Three cheeses, coppa and caramelized onions.  My companion had absolutely no complaints about this crispy flavorful pizza.  

The delightful side salad that came with the pizza.  Wonderful winter vegetables, arugula, pine nuts and a perfectly acidic vinaigrette.  Excellent. 

The market based menu of the day.*

And sorry about the lack of dessert reviews, neither my dining companion or I are sweets fans.  But all the other diners around us licked their plates clean if that is any indication of the quality.

I know I had a lot of critiques of my meal, but really, it was good.  The fact that I can walk into a restaurant that I know is safe for me is HUGE.  I am willing to forgive those missteps, and look forward to eating there again next week.

*I should probably go ahead and give the disclaimer that I am in no way a photographer of any skill.  I take pictures on my iPhone exclusively, so please forgive the sometimes grainy images.  I hope the pictures I include can give you a good idea of what you can expect when you order Gluten Free in Paris.

16, passage des Panoramas - 75002 Paris
Métro: Richelieu Drouot - Exit rue de Richelieu (Lines 8 and 9)

Hours (as of April 2013):
Lunch 12h00-15h00 Monday-Friday
Brunch 11h00-15h00 Saturday
Salon de Thé 15h00-18h30 Wednesday-Friday
Dinner 19h30 to 23h00 Thursday-Saturday

Thursday, April 11, 2013



If you've stumbled upon this page I'm guessing you probably entered the search terms...

Gluten Free in Paris
Gluten Free Restaurants in Paris
Can I Survive in Paris Gluten Free?

When I moved to Paris almost two years ago I didn't worry about Gluten.  I ate a crisp warm baguette every day, feasted on the finest pastry, chose anything from every glorious menu placed in front of me, and felt like crap every morning.  I can't believe it took me so long to figure out Gluten was responsible for how out of sorts I felt.  (I blamed it on the general excess of moving to a country famous for their heavy food, ridiculously amazing cheese and glorious wine, all of which I consumed in excess.) 

It took going to cooking school to figure out what was ailing me.  A month into the Basic Cuisine Course at Le Cordon Bleu something clicked and the light bulb went off.  After Basic I got rid of Gluten cold turkey and almost immediately my head cleared, my symptoms were gone and I dropped 10 lbs.  Wow.  (At this point I don't have a Celiac diagnosis, more on that in a later post.)

It was hard to give up the things I love, and I secretly have a pity list of everything I'll never be able to eat again, but I'm slowly coming to the realization that this is the New Me.  I just have to grin and bear it and make living Gluten Free as good as I possibly can.

Finishing cooking school was a trial since I couldn't taste many of the dishes I had to prepare, but it didn't kill me.  And I managed to stay healthy.  Now that I've graduated I have no freaking idea what I'm going to be when I grow up, but I do know that I'm going to live in Paris for another year and during that time I will have to eat.  And I like eating out.  And because I live by the motto Cook or Die, I will have to cook too.  Come join me as I live and eat Gluten Free in Paris.