This past Monday, the world renowned Michelin restaurant guide released its 2015 selections (the guide goes on sale today). While the guide was once considered the virtually unchallenged benchmark for where to eat in France, they are not without their critics today. However, their star rating system remains a very much sought after accolade for many French (and of course international) chefs. So here is a quick round-up of new stars awarded in Paris for 2015 (* indicates restaurants that also appear in the iPhone app and/or The Food Lover's Guide to Paris 5th edition):
ALAIN DUCASSE AU PLAZA ATHENEE* (Paris 8) (from the previous 3 stars that he held before the renovation and re-envisioning of the restaurant)
La Table du Lancaster (Paris 8)
Félicitations to Chef David Toutain and Chef Geoffroy Maillard of La Table d'Eugène, two huge talents who are well deserving of this recognition. See here for my review of Restaurant David Toutain.
La Table d'Eugène – a varied menu where you want to try everything
Five years ago, when chef Geoffroy Maillard opened La Table d’Eugène, the minuscule unadorned bistro was set in what was then considered the “outer borough” of the 18th arrondissement. Though the place was spare, the food he turned out was positively lofty, with his always dependable bargain-priced modern bistro fare. Today, the neighborhood is no longer considered a long haul for many diners, and despite Maillard’s solid success, prices remain affordable, with lunch menus ranging from 28 to 55€, and lunch and dinner menus (many with wine) can be found from 65 to 160€. His recent renovation turned the rather bare yet classic bistro into a spot clearly aiming for a Michelin star, and he seems to have succeeded. With a soothing and somber play of greys and blond wood, the dining room seems to have doubled in size, with comfortable wooden bucket chairs and cozy banquettes. Maillard still has his finger on it all: a lovely varied menu that makes you want to try everything; service that is as efficient as it can be, even when the tiny dining room is packed (as it always is); a knack for beautiful food prepared with top-rate ingredients. He has a penchant for lots of citrus and Asian fruits, pairing red-skinned King Edward potatoes with razor clams, Japanese horseradish and kaffir lime. His favorite lamb shoulder is teamed up with carrots, honey and cumin. Daily fish specials enjoy the company of mangoes and pomegranates, fennel, daikon and the zest of limes. And desserts retain a happy place here, with a pâté of varied citrus joined by mint, coriander, and an avalanche of fresh herbs. For such a tiny spot (for sure room for no more than 20 diners) the wine list offers a wealth of choice: My favorites here include Yves Cuilleron’s Viognier-rich Condrieu, Charles Hour’s well-priced Jurançon sec Cuvée Marie; along with a selection of wines by the glass.
La Table d'Eugène | 18 rue Eugène Sue | Paris 18 | Tel: +33 1 42 55 61 64 | Metro: Jules Joffrin or Marcadet-Poissonniers | Open Tuesday - Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday | Lunch menus 28-55€, dinner menus 65-99€ (4-10 courses, 95-160€ with wine pairings) | Reservations essential.