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Hungry for Paris: The Ultimate Guide to the City's 102 Best Restaurants Paperback – April 15, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Paris vacation in book form, this volume travels from the glittering restaurants of the Boulevard St.-Germain to the grittier haunts of Belleville and Clichy, offering insights into classic bistros, new favorites and even a smattering of ethnic cheapies (the sorts of dining establishments that Parisians themselves have only just started getting used to). Lobrano, European correspondent for Gourmet magazine, is an observant and dedicated restaurant-hound, noting the peculiarities of a certain proprietor at one brasserie, recording the exact temperature at which oysters are served at another. No entry is longer than two or three pages, but rest assured they're fully stocked with strong opinions and recommendations; happily, Lobrano is unafraid to challenge culinary convention, calling L'Ami Louis, long a brutally expensive stop on the "when in Paris" tour, "a pretty egregious example of conspicuous consumption... especially when you can find better roast chicken and foie gras anywhere." Not since Patricia Wells's classic Food Lover's Guide to Paris has a guidebook given readers such a mouthwatering tour of the City of Lights.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A wonderful guide to eating in Paris.”—Alice Waters
“Nobody else has such an intimate knowledge of what is going on in the Paris food world right this minute. Happily, Alexander Lobrano has written it all down in this wonderful book.”—Ruth Reichl
“Delightful . . . the sort of guide you read before you go to Paris—to get in the mood and pick up a few tips, a little style.”Los Angeles Times
“When I got the book, I started flipping through it, jumping in and out of various chapters listlessly. But the writing was so good, I wanted to do it justice and read it front-to-back, and found it to be not just a list of restaurants but a truly superb read.”—David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris

Hungry for Paris is like a cozy bistro on a chilly day: It makes you feel welcome.”The Washington Post
“This book will make readers more than merely hungry for the culinary riches of Paris; it will make them ravenous for a dining companion with Monsieur Lobrano’s particular warmth, wry charm, and refreshingly pure joie de vivre.”—Julia Glass

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Later Printing edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812976835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812976830
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dollar skidding, plane fare soaring --- it's not likely I'll be having dinner in Paris any time soon.

But that doesn't mean I can't eat in Paris by proxy. Naturally, the lucky stiff who's having the meals I'm missing is an American --- someone with an expatriate's appreciation of culinary greatness. This person can write as well as he/she can enjoy the handiwork of a fine chef. And, finally, this gourmet can appreciate the value of the dollar.

On the basis of Hungry for Paris, Alexander Lobrano is my Paris rep.

He's so American: "My first visit was in August 1972, en famille, with my parents, two brothers and sister. We stayed at a now-vanished hotel just off the Champs Elysees and every day began with a glass of warm TANG, which my late father mixed up in the bathroom water glasses, as a bit of thrift."

Lobrano is an ideal guide because he remembers who he was, how he became the expert he is now, and how you can acquire expertise. And he can do that hard thing --- see what's in front of him: "The French never drink Perrier with meals because they think its large bubbles make it too gaseous to go well with food." He has a good ear for the quotable restaurant owner: "Come on, eat! Go ahead! I'm going to charge you a lot of money, you know!" He can let it rip: "A heavy rain filled the gutters with bronze-covered chestnut leaves last night, and the city is suddenly the city is nude." And, above all, he has an awareness of ultimate goodness: "It is hard to imagine a better lunch than a creamy wedge of Camembert smeared on a torn hunk of crackle-crusted baguette and a glass of red wine."

But, eat in restaurants he must, so he's off to 102 of his Paris favorites. Some of them are mine, too. Most, refreshingly, are not.
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Format: Paperback
As a Paris resident and food travel pro, my job is to refer clients to the best dining options around the world. I rely on a combination of personal experience and expert food journalist knowledge to make the best possible suggestions. It is often the equivalent of being asked to arrange a blind date though, since individual preferences vary and expectations are high, i.e. "This is our first trip to Paris and we can't wait! Can you suggest a charming restaurant in a fun area, with great food and wine that is not too expensive?" What is charming, fun, with 'great food & wine', and affordable for me personally might not be to someone else. I usually need to ask more questions to understand what the client is expecting, so that they aren't let down.

In my experience, I have found that what most people are actually looking for is an ambiance suggestion, yet, most culinary guides heavily reference the chef and menu items. Knowing the chef trained with Ducasse and that the writer dined on langoustines with ginger foam is significant - perhaps more for serious foodies than the casual visitor - but where a chef trained and what 'was' on the menu doesn't say enough about what to expect overall.

Hungry for Paris is one of the few reference books that I trust based upon M. Lobrano's discerning palate and his extensive dining experience in Paris. However, it is the "In a Word" section at the end of each listing that is the most valuable in my making a decision. For instance, page 259 recommends restaurant Carte Blanche in detail, and then sums up, "Excellent, imaginative contemporary French food in a pleasant setting with well-drilled service makes this restaurant in the heart of the city well worth seeking out.
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Format: Paperback
Having just returned from Paris, I highly recommend HUNGRY FOR PARIS as a superb source of restaurant information and an absolutely wonderful read. What I especially loved about this book is that it offers a brilliantly chosen selection of restaurants for every possible occasion and pocketbook; guidebooks that offer 500 or 1000 restaurants are of no use to me--how do I know which ones are really good? Lobrano's sensible selection solves this problem, and even better, his writing is sublime. With great originality, he's created a hybrid book that's a mixture of a guidebook, a memoir and a delightful portrait of Paris. I loved this book!
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If you need help demystifying the vast array of dining options in Paris, this book is great. My wife and I recently traveled to Paris for the first time, and the vast number of dining choices was almost overwhelming as we were planning our trip. Then we got Hungry for Paris. It helped frame the options in terms of variation in regional cuisine, location, atmosphere and price point. We ended up dining at three of the restaurants described in the book, and each was excellent. We also avoided some of the "big name" places that get great mentions in general guide books, but got less than enthusiastic responses from Mr. Lobrano. We love smaller, neighborhood restaurants, and this book is a great source to find some of the best. The book was also helpful to orient us to dining in Paris, so we didn't come across as neophytes as we explored the many excellent dining options the city presents. So, if you love food and are going to Paris, I heartily recommend this one.
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