On the romantic Rue du Nil, straight out of Midnight in Paris’s version of the Right Bank, you’ll find the best sourcer & distributor of high-quality fare in the city. Terroirs d’Avenir was founded by Samuel Nahon and Alexandre Drouard as more than just a simple concept. Terroirs, as it’s known to regulars, is as a group of artisans and vendors of first-rate products, all condensed into a single space in a series of stalls without a sign out front, where in-the-know foodies, chefs with high standards and well-informed tourists do their grocery shopping. In the meat section, Laura Spencer, Yann le Bourdonnec and Basile Manier deal out their legendary “Big one” burger patties (€3 each), sublime pork chops from Nicolas Bailleul (€18/kg) and homemade rillettes. A stone’s throw away, Janaka Gagalagamuwa and Quentin Garo show off their blocks of ice topped with the best of small-boat fishing: sublime monkfish and turbot killed ikejime style by Gaëlle Gac in Plouguerneau (€48/kg), melt-in-your-mouth diver scallops (€15/kg), smoked fish from Le Fumoir Onake in Saint-Jean-de-Luz (€50/kg)… Behind the pink façade of their creamery storefront, Naomi Leach, Alix Levé and Alexandre Cernec carefully serve Gwell from the legendary Ferme du Bois-Joubert (€6.50 a jar), tantalizing butter churned with raw Jersey cow milk (€6.50), an ashy crown of tender raw goat’s milk cheese (€7 each) or even a blue di capra that could take gorgonzola in a fight (€45/kg). At the greengrocers stands run by Éléonore Courbot, Barbara Petit, Lucas Giachin, Simon Bertrand and Fanny Simon Emery, they’ve got everything from extra-sweet potatoes from Anjou (€5.50/kg) and sublime tomatoes from Les Jardins de Saint-Hilaire (€4.50/kg) to exquisite broccoli from the legendary Marc Paugam (€4.50/kg). In the grandiose épicerie section, you’ll find Piedmont hazelnuts (€8 for 200 g), which go hand in hand the addictive gianduja crema di nocciola spread from Papa dei Boschi (€25/kg). And, as you loop back around to the entrance, you’ll find Anaïs Rougal’s bakery section, with quality white bread (€4), perfect Barbu du Roussilon bread (€10.80/kg) and buttery croissants (€1.20 each). And if Rue du Nil isn’t on your way home, Terroirs d’Avenir’s three other locations have quite a few surprises up their sleeves… // J.P.
Hidden gem: The excellent Gascon ham from Pierre Matayron (€160/kg).
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