A Vibrant Lunch at Pousse Pousse, Paris
Since it is hard to find a french dish that does not include butter, cheese or meat (most likely it will contain all three...) I assumed it would be pretty slim pickings in Paris when it came to raw/vegan/healthy restaurants. Luckily I couldn't have been more wrong, and hardly a day goes by without someone mentionning a new juice and salad bar that they think would be "right up my street". Bob's Juice Bar, Café Pinson (both featured on my Instagram), Sol Semilla and 42 Degrés are my firm favourites in Paris, and I have an ever-growing list of cafés that I still haven't got round to trying. My beautiful friend Flora, who blogs at The Velvet Whisper, shared all her favourite spots with me, some of which I still need to go and find, and I wish she was still here so I could take her to Pousse Pousse, because the chocolate tart is INSANE!
'Pousse' means 'sprout' in French. This is a very apt name for this wonderful restaurant for many reasons; the splashes of vibrant green throughout the interior are reminscent of all things sprouting in Spring and Summer; The restaurant itself, the enticing menu and the delicious food all fully represent all things fresh, colourful and energising; All the waitresses are super friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgable; And Lawrence, the owner, creator and brains behind Pousse Pousse was an amazingly interesting lady.
We started with green juices and wheatgrass shots whilst we browsed the menu. The juice was apple, fennel, lemon, ginger and lemon verbena - so refreshing and exciting to have something a bit different.
We agreed that we should eat different things so that we could try more of the menu, and despite there only being four choices, it was incredibly hard to choose. Having opted out of curried pumpkin soup and creamy avocado gazpacho (and later regretting it) we went straight for mains. The caponata with parsley spirulina cream and roasted potatoes and fennel looked and smelled epic, but wasn't so tempting on a hot summer city day...
I went for a raw vegetable crepe with a creamy herb sauce, lots of veg, lentil caviar and kale crisps, which was so fresh and delicious, and surprisingly filling, but I'll admit that the english translation doesn't make it sound quite so tempting... Amelia had a courgette, carrot and tarragon tart with a gluten-free crust, beans, roast potatoes and lentil caviar - also delicious, colourful and substantial, and arguably a better choice! All mains come with a big side salad dressed in some yummy nut oils and a bowl of dehydrated flatbreads.
Pudding was where it all got pretty pretty exciting. The orange cake was sweet and moist - perhaps too bitter for some - but personally I loved it. It came with a deliciously tangy citrus sauce and was the perfect size for us both to have a bite of something sweet before heading off for an afternoon trawling the flea markets. We had nearly finished when the owner came out to have a word. She was horrified that we would even consider leaving without trying the raw chocolate tart and insisted on fetching us a piece to share.
You really can't go to Pousse Pousse and not have the chocolate tart. My photo does it no justice because we were halfway through the slice before we even remembered to snap it...
So overall a delicious meal which left us feeling refreshed and content. It is definitely more of a lunch than dinner place as its vibe is more cafe than restaurant, but without a doubt worth a visit next time you are in Paris.
5 & 7 rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 75009 Paris
Tuesday to Friday 12pm to 3pm & Saturday 12pm to 4pm
SHOP / JUICE BAR
Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 7pm