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American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

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Calendar of Paris Events

November 5-8
The boutique charity organization Emmaüs (105 Boulevard Davout, 20th) is having a "Kilo Sale" where mens, womens and childrens used clothing are sold for €10/kilo (that's a lot of clothing). Daily 11am-7:45pm. 

November 8-16
The 39th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €9, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010. 

November 8-11
The Château Vaux le Vicomte is hosting its annual Palais au Chocolat. The palace will be decorated with chocolate artworks created by some of the biggest names in chocolate. Tickets are €16.50 (€13.50 for kids 6-18), which includes access to the château and gardens and exhibits throughout the estate; you can reserve them in advance online. Open 10am-6pm.

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

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Wednesday
Apr012009

Galopins

Les Galopins
33 ave Philippe Auguste, 11th
Tel 01 43 67 01 23
M° Nation

Even if you don't think you'd ever travel across town for a good restaurant, this address is a good one to keep handy in case you're ever in the Nation or Père Lachaise district. Les Galopins is a typically French bistro-wine bar. The tobacco-yellow walls (rest assured, it's just the color of the paint; the smokers have a covered terrace for dining) are covered in vintage beer posters and retro cooking images, which go well with the simple wooden tables and red checkered cloth napkins. The menu is written on a chalk board (you can ask for the printed translation in English), with starters like os à moelle (bone marrow) and foie gras, and main dishes that are heavy on the red meat and fish (I didn't see any vegetarian dishes the night I was there). Desserts are also along the traditional, with crême brulée, profiteroles, and fondant au chocolat. The wine list is extensive, of course, and reasonably priced by the glass or pichet. 

The service is friendly, with a small beer or kir offered on arrival. When my dining companion wanted his steak cooked "just a teensy bit more" they did so perfectly and happily. The other diners were mostly in their 30s, couples and groups of friends, casually dressed. It's a cozy and warm atmosphere.

Dinner is à la carte and is about €35. Lunch formules are €12.50, menus are €15 and €18.50.

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Reader Comments (1)

A really special restaurant, Frequented by the locals which is always a good sign. We visited twice last week.The food &service was superb on both occasions.Totally loved it and we would undoubtedyly return on our next visit to Paris.
April 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjmrb

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