Planning your Christmas meal in Paris (what the Frenchs call Réveillon on Christmas Eve for dinner and then Christmas Day at lunch)? What you should buy to please your guests and family? Don’t expect for any of it to be cheap, Parisians spend a bit more than usual when it comes to their Réveillon.
Foie gras: Our national pride every Christmas week. Eat it on a slice of toasted bread with onion confit. On this very year when Japan decided to ban foie gras from its country, we just feel sorry for Japanese foodies (but we do respect ethical decisions). Those travelling to Paris are more than welcome to have a canapé of our delicious foie gras.
Where? La Grande Epicerie (Left Bank).
Smoked Salmon: French are the first European consumers of smoked salmon.
The places to buy it: La Grande Epicerie (Left Bank) or Kaviari (a caviar producer in le South Marais district – by the way Parisians eat caviar as well but it’s definitely not for all wallets) or Autour du Saumon (in le Marais district).
Duck, Chicken or Turkey: The “plat de resistance”. Your main dish isn’t that specific to France, unless we are talking about the stuffing. In that case, go for chestnuts.
Seafood: The alternative. Some Parisian families on Christmas day go big for the large plate of seafood as an appetizer or as a full meal: scallops, mussels, oysters, lobster and crab, prawns and shrimps, whelks, sea urchins, etc.
To order to go, we recommend this famous seafood restaurant chain in Paris (four locations): Le Bar à Huîtres.
Cheese: Because you’re in Paris, a tour at your local cheesemonger is a must-do (here’s a selection to find the closest cheese-store close to you). As well as bringing a fresh baguette to the table. Check out where the best bread is made in Paris.
Deserts: The classic Bûche de Noël (Christmas Chocolate Yule log) or if you’re a large family go for the 13 dessets, a Provence tradition (that represent Jesus and the 12 apostles): dried raisins, figs or dates, walnuts, almonds, fresh fruits (orange, apple, grapes, winter melon) and sweets like ginger bread. Sweeten the deal with chocolates: Here are our favorite Chocolate makers in Paris (good locations for your Yule log as well).
For all fresh local French food (cheese, vegetables, foie gras or seafood), head to trendy delicatessen / grocery store La Maison Plisson, between La Bastille and République.
As for drinks…
Champagne to kick off the night of course: Choose among Drappier, (Drappier Grande Sendrée 2008), Don Pérignon, Louis Roederer, Deutz, Pol Roger or Bollinger bottles.
After the bubbles, time for white and then red French wine to buy at your local cellar master (better price and choice than at the grocery store).
For your seafood, go for a dry white wine like Petit Chablis. For your foie gras, you want something sweet, like Sauternes. For your turkey and cheese, go red. We recommend Saint-Emilion for your main dish and a more sundrenched red wine (Provence, Languedoc) for your cheese.
Where: La Grande Épicerie de Paris, Rue de Sèvres, Paris, France
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone (Line 10)