Paris – Montmartre Artist World
I was eager to explore Montmartre after hearing about its artsy and bohemian roots. Montmartre was the stomping ground of many artists from the early 20th century, such as Van Gogh, Dalí and Renoir. R and I visited Montmartre twice during our stay in Paris.
We didn’t map out our entire itinerary, though we did have some restaurants and attractions in mind so we wouldn’t get stumped last-minute! For trips, I tend to like a mixture of planning and spontaneity. Too much of one extreme and it becomes either too structured or too bewildering.
For our first night’s dinner in Montmartre, we dined at La Cave Gourmande. I found this restaurant randomly on an online search but it turned out to be pretty good!
The restaurant is homey and comfortable, and business was bustling. Two waiters comprised the entire waitstaff! Across the street is Le Bistro des Martyrs, the sister bistro. It seems this bistro didn’t really sell dinner food. Ideally, you would start out at the bar with a few drinks, and then around 7:30pm/8pm or later, you head over to La Cave Gourmande to feast!
Luckily, there was a giant English menu board to tell us what we were consuming. Of course, we opted for outdoor seating so we could be immersed in the sights and sounds of Montmartre at night. This happened to include a busker who played guitar and sang American rock songs.
First up: Homemade duck “foie gras” with fig jam. The tasty fig jam paired well with the bread. I don’t recall ever having a bad piece of bread in Paris!
Then, Beetroot salad with crab meat. If you like beets, this is for you. I like beets. I also like beats. But that’s another story for another time. 🙂
The highlight was the classic comfort food, Bougignon Beef with mashed potatoes. It came with three huge slabs of rich, buttery mash! Tasted like home. My mom enjoys making beef stew, and this reminded me of it (albeit a more French version). We each had a glass of Côtes du Rhône red wine, which complemented our meal.
Our second dinner (on a different day) in Montmartre was at Creperie Brocceliande. R found this one, and it was worth the hype!
Locating its physical address, however, proved to be a bit difficult. We found it earlier on in the day, then went off to explore something else, and then inexplicably couldn’t find it again! Wifi was scarce/non-existent, so no cell phone app could reroute us. One turn down the wrong road is all it took…oh, the woes of being a tourist in a foreign land. Also, many restaurants in Paris don’t open for dinner until 7 or 7:30pm.
Perhaps running around like chickens made the meal that much more worth it. R and I both enjoyed the set menu of 1 aperitif, 1 savory crepe and 1 sweet crepe.
He chose the American Breakfast Crepe for his savory, and one with sweet apples, whipped cream and ice cream (a la mode). A true dessert crepe! The hot apple crepe was divine with a spoonful of ice cream.
Since I was in France, I had to have the foie gras and duck crepe with apples. However, I couldn’t eat that much of the foie gras since it was too rich. I went for a classic sweet crepe: Nutella and banana. Can’t go wrong!
On our last full day in Paris, we took a free Culturefish! tour of Montmartre. Our guide introduced us to world-famous sites, such as the Moulin Rouge, Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Amélie’s Café, one of Paris’ last remaining vineyards, Picasso’s Art Studio, local hangouts and homes of famed artists, etc. We also learned about France’s Marilyn Monroe, Dalida, and her rocky struggle with drugs and romance.
Here are some snippets from the tour:
15 Rue des 3 Frères, 75018 Paris, France
+33 1 42 23 31 34
Culturefish! Tours – Montmartre
La Cave Gourmande
96 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris, France
+33 1 46 06 10 34
L’As Du Fallafel
32-34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 48 87 63 60
Le Mur Des Je T’aime
Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abesses, 75018 Paris, France
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
+33 1 53 41 89 00