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Brunch at Le Sésame in Paris

All of our meals in Paris were memorable, but our brunch at Le Sésame is one we look back on fondly. Rain storm, Canal Saint-Martin, and apricot smoothie is not a combination we'll likely come across again anytime soon.

An article in the Times Magazine, penned by Lindsey Tramuta in June 2012, steered us to Le Sésame on Quai de Valmy in Paris's 10th Arrondissement. If you draw an analogy between Paris and Brooklyn (one well on its way to becoming a reality), you might call the 10th Arrondissement the Bushwick to the 11th's, adjacent to the southeast, Williamsburg. Both neighborhoods, thanks to a creative, vibrant, and youthful energy, have become sites for highly sought after addresses by Parisians and people moving to the city. But, like Bushwick, the 10th is still playing catchup, cosmetically speaking.

In 2003, former Mayor Jean Tiberi launched a $85 million dollar preservation and development project that included renovations to the canal and better policing. The result is a burgeoning neighborhood, and our brunch at Le Sésame was a reaped benefit.

We waited 30 minutes for one of the small tables outside under the awning. The timing was perfect, and it turns out park benches running parallel to a canal are a great way to kill half an hour. We closed our book and walked over to a two-top as a couple was paying for their meal.

"Drawing inspiration from her travels," Tramuta wrote, "the owner Léna Balacco describes the cafe as New York in spirit and Scandinavian in style." The Scandinavian influence comes in the form of local, farm-fresh ingredients. The New York part shines in the execution. At Le Sésame, bagel sandwiches and American desserts take up much of the menu.

Of the six bagel sandwiches on the menu, we went for the Bondin (E9), a sesame bagel with roast beef, lettuce, yellow mustard, and cream cheese. The flavors were ordinary, so was the sound of pouring rain dancing on the red awning above us. Enjoying these things in Paris, along the Canal Saint-Martin in the city's 10th Arrondisement, was anything but.

Le Sésame | 51 Quai de Valmy | 33 1 42 49 03 21 | www | map

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