Liza

    

What you get: Lebanese breakfast spread with different kinds of hummus + tabouli + the creamiest natural yogurt with olives + warm pita and falafel + kibbeh + endless coffee and pulpy fresh fruit juice + the most amazing knafeh for dessert

Brunch at Liza is like being invited to your Lebanese neighbors’ apartment for a birthday party. Although there’s no smiling grandmother filling your plate with seconds and thirds, you’ll probably be doing that on your own. Just a short walk from Paris’ Palais Royal is an exotic little gold and white dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in soft light on a Sunday morning. Opened by Liza Asseily over ten years ago, the restaurant enabled the Beirut-born socialite to bring Lebanon to Paris. An outpost of the restaurant is located in the Galeries Lafayette and Liza has recently opened another venture in a former palace in Beirut.

The open sweet and savory brunch buffet at Liza is generous and everything is so delicious that you’ll want to sample a bit of each dish. Start your meal moderately with a small plate of fresh tabouli or fattoush and a few savory tarts, and then embrace the free-for-all where you fight your best friend for the last steaming kibbeh meatball.

Finish off any remaining yogurt or hummus with warm pita and then return for a plate of sweets. The dessert spread features bite-sized honey and nut pastries as well as fresh fruit, pudding and confiture covered in a nest of shredded phyllo, and knafeh. This last mind-blowing dessert is a slice of buttery phyllo crust covering a stretchy warm cheese similar to mozzarella. The cake is then drizzled with a rose and orange blossom syrup. Don’t miss out.

Liza
14 Rue de la Banque, 75002 Paris
01 55 35 00 66
Sunday brunch from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m for 31

      

Celebrating 15 Years of Le Fooding: Pur Brunch at Hôtel Amour

    

It’s about 9 p.m. and I’m still full from this morning’s beautiful brunch at Hôtel Amour. The weekend has been one long celebration of 15 great years with Le Fooding guide to Paris’ best bistronomic restaurants. The influential guide organized a fun-filled three-day birthday bash starting Friday night with great music and streetfood at La Rotonde Stalingrad and continuing Saturday evening with delicious small plates from some of the world’s best restaurants, served up among the antique furniture stands at the Saint-Ouen flea markets. For me, the weekend culminated with Sunday brunch at Paris’ oldest love hotel in Pigalle.

What we got: creative dishes by Menilmontant’s Marc Bretillot + freshly-baked madeleines from London’s St. John Bread & Wine + no-limit Nespresso coffee

Brunch began at 3 p.m. with fresh mint lemonade and a hearty chocolate, nut, and raisin bread served with yuzu butter, much appreciated at our table. Next came a canteen-style tray with soft-boiled egg, olive bread, ham, salad, and chocolate ganache. A pretty dish of warm madeleines and endless self-serve Nespresso allongés rounded out the meal. We lingered two hours under the green ivy at Hôtel Amour’s charming courtyard terrace.

While this was a one-time event, the hotel restaurant serves their own brunch menu on Sundays and I wouldn’t mind passing another warm weekend afternoon on Paris’ greenest terrace.

Hôtel Amour
8 Rue Navarin, 75009 Paris
01 48 78 31 80
Open everyday from 8 a.m. to midnight; brunch on Sundays