It’s no secret that the French are enamored with New York. Not the whole state, however, just the city. Astounding Parisians not only by its sheer size, energy, and unapologetic excesses but also by its boundless food choices, Manhattan is like a culinary amusement park. For the French, whose food scene has long been dominated by traditional, bistro fare, the diversity in NYC is understandably appealing. But what seems to seduce French appetites most is not the ethnic variety so accessible in NY but rather straight up, all-American comfort food—bagels and cream cheese, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, milkshakes, cupcakes and “real” NY cheesecake.
What might have once required a trip stateside is now readily available on virtually every Parisian street corner, from retro diners and delis to organic canteens and swankier, American-themed restaurants like La Maison Mère. This modern bistro looks and feels as though it were lifted right out of SoHo and plopped directly into the heart of the increasingly bobo (bohemian bourgeois) rue des Martyrs neighborhood of the 9th arrondissement, just south of Pigalle. A few doors down from the ultra-trendy boutique hotel, Hotel Amour, and only a block from British brunch institution, Rose Bakery, MM boasts a meat-focused Franco-American menu and an impressive cocktail selection.
From pastrami and salmon to Aubrac steaks and burgers served on repurposed French school desks, there’s enough to satisfy all tastes (and for those not particularly eco-minded, an American Black Angus burger is even on offer). Despite the spate of American-inspired eateries where mediocrity tends to classify menus at best, La Maison Mère gets a gold star for their interpretation of New York deli classics with a French twist. A slightly retro décor, a bustling atmosphere and a top-notch menu make for prime bobo & burger real-estate.
Guest-blogger Lindsey Tramuta is a Paris transplant from Philadelphia. You can read her blog, Lost in Cheeseland, here.