Come a Casa: Just like home

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Flavia Federici is an architect, born in Rome and transplanted to Paris. Her passion for food, design, and all things Italian led her to open – at the end of August -- her tiny, welcoming trattoria just steps from the Voltaire Métro in the 11th arrondissement. Walk into the casually but carefully appointed brocante-decorated eatery and you instantly feel as though you’ve been transported to Italy: the aromas, Flavia’s earnest smile and accent, the assortment of aged Pecorino cheeses sitting like a still life in the window. Her enthusiasm and energy are evident everywhere, in the careful selection of the 1950’s cast-off chairs and tables, the serving plates, as well as silverware. On the menu you’ll find a carefully crafted assortment of Percorino sheep’s milk cheese brought in regularly from a small producer in Umbria: some smoked, some aged in stone grotte, or natural caves, served with homemade confiture. Fat slices of rye bread from the Parisian bakery Blé Sucré arrive lightly toasted, rubbed gently with fresh garlic, topped with outrageously delicious ricotta salata (firm, aged, and salty, from the same Umbrian cheesemaker) and sprigs of fresh rosemary. One could make a meal of that! But don’t stop there: My favorite here is the ethereally light lasagne (photo) with fillings that change from day to day, with such variations as artichokes, spinach, or pesto, all topped with slivers of fragrant Parmesan and a touch of arugula. The wine list is compact, including a spicy, elegant Mazzi Brunello di Montepulciano and the dry Tuscan Sangiovese red, Lodola Nuova Vino Nobile de Montepulciano.



7, rue Pache

Paris 11

Tel: +33 1 77 15 08 19

Métro: Voltaire

Open 10:30AM to 3PM and 6PM to 10:30PM

Closed Sunday

Prices 15€ starters, 15€ main courses, 7 to 9 € desserts

Reservations recommended

Al Taglio: Dream pizza by the kilo


Along with the wood oven treasures from Pizza Chic (113, rue de Mézíères, Paris 6) I vote Al Taglio’s pizzas as some of the best in Paris. Walk into this small, casual eatery at noon and the chef will already have three or four giant rectangles of steaming pizza set out before you.  On a recent weekday we found mouth-watering Margherita; mozzarella and Parma ham; a version topped with truffle cream and thin discs of potato; and porcini and Parmesan. The crust is thick and airy, the kind of chewy, long-rise dough my Italian mother used to make, and all ingredients are fresh. You indicate the size of slice you want, they weigh it, and you pay by the kilo. Prices range from about 27 to 36 euros per kilo, with an average slice priced at around 5 euros.  I’ll be going back to sample the spicy sausage and artichoke variation. And imagine, having one delivered to your door? Too good to be true.

Al Taglio, 2 bis rue Neuve Popincourt, Paris 11. Tel : +33 1 43 38 12 00. Metro: Parmentier or Oberkampf. Open daily noon to 11 pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday.) Deliveries of whole pizzas, serving 8 to 10, 24 hours in advance.