Le Petit Prince – Wonderful Restaurant in Paris’ 5th

In a city where every street seems to reveal another culinary marvel, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the Search for the Perfect Neighborhood Restaurant when living in or visiting Paris.

Le Petit Prince is one of these Perfect Neighborhood Restaurants. Its wonderful menu and intimate Parisian ambiance remind you of how wonderful dining out can be, particularly in a place as wonderful as Paris.

I’ve been going here many times over the years, and sending friends even more times over the years. Everyone’s marveled at how good the food at Le Petit Prince is, and how special it feels to dine in a place that clearly represents the place you are visiting.

It’s slightly hard to find, but don’t give up – it’s well worth the effort: Le Petit Prince, 12 rue de Lanneau (5th arrondissement), Tel. 01.43.54.77.26, Metro: MAUBERT MUTUALITE

Della Santina’s & Enoteca – Sonoma

Della Santina’s is one of those Italian places where it is difficult to decide what to order because everything you see on the menu and coming out of the kitchen looks great. Fortunately, you won’t go wrong with anything on the menu here. Roast meats are fantastic. Pastas are fresh and sauced well. You really can’t go wrong with anything featuring mushrooms. If they have penne con funghi or anything con funghi, give it a try as they really seem to understand how to honor mushrooms.

The main room is a sweet white cottage-type area, making you feel as if you’re eating in an old school Sonoma family’s home. (And, in a way, you are!) The vine-covered patio, out back, is a beautiful place to have dinner when the season’s right.  The servers are always nice and knowledgeable.

The wine list offers an amazing variety, and Della Santina’s is run by one of the most knowledgeable wine guys in the county. (Which is saying something in a county of wine experts.)  I was introduced to Radio-Coteau here, which you should try if there are still a few bottles kicking around. On my last visit, there weren’t, but, we discovered the restaurant’s own private label, “R Cellars,” that had a fantastic, very nicely priced, pinot noir.

The commitment to wine knowledge is why Enoteca (also owned by Della Santina’s folks), next door to the restaurant, is worth stopping by before or after dinner. Many interesting wines are on offer there, for sipping on site or taking home with you. There’s even a wine club if you just can’t get enough. 

For more info & hours (they also do lunch), check out www.dellasantinas.com, or just swing by: 133 East Napa Street, Sonoma (right off the town square).

Some Awesome Thin Crust in the Outer Sunset

I’m not usually a thin crust pizza fan, but the Pizza Place on Noriega changed my mind. Great toppings, awesome sauce to cheese ratio, and a crispy yet not too cracker-like crust. (Full disclosure on sauce to cheese ratio comment: I prefer a fairly balanced sauce to cheese ratio, and dislike pizza that has too much cheese or too much sauce. Your preference for this ratio will drive your pizza preferences, whether you are a thin crust or a thick crust devotee.)

Good selection of beers on tap (including the ever refreshing PBR), and nice variety/quality, yet reasonable, wine list. Some great salads to start off with, particularly the wilted spinach with Zoe’s bacon. Amongst the pizza selections, the Dimitri’s pretty outstanding when you’re in a garlic/meat-tastic mood.

The folks who work here are super nice as well, even when it’s crowded, and it can be, because it’s really good. If you’re solo, the bar is a good place to get a beer and grab a slice.

Pizza Place on Noriega, online http://www.pizzaplacesf.com/ in person @ 3901 Noriega @ 46th Avenue.

Restaurant Samo – Awesome Korean

It seems strange to tell you that, if you are in Paris for more than 2 days, you simply have to go to a Korean restaurant. But Restaurant Samo is just that place.

Order the Korean BBQ beef, and you will be delivered a heavenly meal of marinated beef that cooks at your table, along with a variety of Korean pickles and vegetables. (Start with the potstickers, aka <<ravioli>> if you’re really hungry.) The food is fresh, the seasoning perfection. With a bottle of Bordeaux from the good, reasonable wine  list, you cannot go wrong.

1 rue du Champ de Mars (right off rue Cler)