Paris: Middle Eastern and N. African reccomendations?
Restaurant Les 4 Frères in the 11th.
Definitely not fine dining but delicious and cheap. I haven't been back in awhile but I am happy to see it getting some press - not that the restaurant needs it as the place is always crowded - as they certainly deserves it:
Noura, but the one near the Opera, which is the best one. Go to the first floor : food is better.
I've a weak spot for their hummus beyrouti. But strangely enough the cooking is less convincing during the week end. Pastries are to die for.
Not exactly Middle Eastern but not so far away "les Délices d'Aphrodite" in the Fith arrondissement. Take the "mega pikilia "wich is a very tasteful array of mezze.
4 Rue Candolle
01 43 31 40 39
I agree about Aux Délices d'Aphrodite. The taste of the pikilia is very "authentic" in relation to the Greek originals back home. The lavishness with olive oil which is an important element of the true Greek taste is there. Strangely, the food served in that bistrot is definitely superior to the one you can get from the Mavrommatis caterer a few steps away (same management).
I am one of the few who do not like Chez Omar for couscous (other dishes OK, grillades a good alternative): poor-quality couscous, vegetables and broth, and a lot of attitude doubled with chronical inefficiency in the service. Better give my hard-earned euros to Chez Hamadi, which looks sort of run-down and is at times even a bit weird, but whose couscous though simple is far better. Note that it is Tunisian-style (fine-grained couscous colored red with tomato broth and oil, possibility of ordering oven-roasted sheep's head, osbane (a lamb chitterling sausage), mouloukhia and fish couscous.)
Thanks for the info on the Opéra Noura. I have given up on the one on avenue Marceau long ago.
Everybody reading this board should know that there is an amazing Syrian pastry shop on rue Monge. The name is Chaam and they sell lovely imported Syrian pastries from the best makers: almond, walnut or pistachio baklawa, all sorts of sweetmeats based on apricot paste (amardine), nougat and rose petals, incredible rose petal preserves directly from Damas. Lighter, less sugary and crispier than the Lebanese counterparts (however delicious the Lebanese pastries are, this is far better). A bit expensive (but to be honest they often offer discounts). Do not miss.