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Patricia's Current Paris Restaurant Picks

The following are some of my favorite Paris Restaurants, divided between Bistro and casual restaurants and Top Tables.

(Note : when calling or faxing from outside of France, dial 33 and delete the first 0). Unless noted, all restaurants take most major credit cards. Prices include service but not wine. Note that most restaurants are closed in August and during Christmas holidays, but dates change from season to season. Reservations are always recommended.


CURRENT PARIS RESTAURANT FAVORITES

(* Top Tables)


1ST ARRONDISSEMENT


LE MEURICE

228 Rue de Rivoli, Paris 1 / +33 1 44 58 10 55 / Métro: Tuileries (line 1) / Open Monday to Friday 12:30-2pm and 7:30-10pm / Dinner jacket required in the evenings / www.meuricehotel.fr/restaurant-le-meurice

The food here is almost too beautiful to eat: This spectacular starter at a recent lunch at the Meurice with friend Dorie Greenspan at the Meurice in Paris stunned us both. The flavors of this seafood plate matched the sparkle of the dish; raw baby shrimp, kuzu jelly, deep-fried shiso leaves, baby turnips topped with beurre blanc. Transported us from the Rue de Rivoli to the shores of Brittany!


LE RUBIS

10, rue du Marché Saint Honoré, Paris 1 / +33 1 42 61 03 34 /Métro: Tuileries or Pyramides (line 1, 7, 14)/ Monday to Friday 7am – 10pm, Saturday 9am-3.30pm / Hot meal at lunch only / Closed Sunday.

This old wine bar remains virtually unchanged from 1936, just as boisterous, pushy, and old-fashioned: the perfect spot for a bargain 11-euro platter of confit de canard (duck cooked in fat) and a thick potato gratin; or a meaty petit salé aux lentilles (braised salted pork with brown lentils).


YAM’TCHA

4, rue de Sauval, Paris 1 / +33 1 40 26 08 07 / Metro: Louvre-Rivoli (line 1) / From 50 to 65 euros per person, without wine / Closed Sunday evening, Monday, and Tuesday.

Chef Adeline Grattard (pedigrees include time spent with chefs Yannick Alléno now of the Michelin  three-star in the hotel Meurice and Pascal Barbot, of the Michelin three-star L’Astrance) and her Chinese tea sommelier husband Chiwah Chan make a rare pare, she working elegantly in her tiny box of an open kitchen at the entrance, he with great ceremony (but not ceremoniously) delivering tiny cup after cup of soothing and remarkably matched teas that pair lusciously with her carefully constructed French-Asian cuisine. The name, by the way, is Mandarin for “drink tea,” and you will!


2ND ARRONDISSEMENT


SATURNE

17, rue Notre-Dames des Victoires, Paris 2 / +33 1 42 60 31 90 /Métro Bourse (line 3) /Closed Saturday and Sunday / 35 euro lunch menu, 37 euro dinner menu.

Saturne delivers fresh, inventive fare that is at once familiar and surprisingly new.

The blond wood decor and airy glass roof is warming, and service is attentive and correct. Chef Sven Chartier loves the mandolin, and everything from all manner of root vegetables to golden Comté cheese are sliced paper thin. At lunch time, snacks and wine are served at the bar near the entrance.


3RD ARRONDISSEMENT


CAFÉ DES MUSÉES

49, rue de Turenne, Paris 3/+33 1 42 72 96 17/Métro: Chemin Vert (line 8) /Open daily.

A great neighborhood bistro with some of the best house-smoked salmon I have ever sampled, a lovely wine list, fabulous ambience.



5TH ARRONDISSEMENT


DANS LES LANDES

119 bis, rue Monge, Paris 5 / +33 1 45 87 06 00 /Métro: Censier-Daubenton (line 7) / 12 – 11 pm, closed Sundays and Monday.

Anyone in the mood for a quick, inexpensive, hearty lunch should head over to the 5th and the month-old Dans les Landes, the second restaurant of a 15th arrondissement favorite, Afaria. A rambling café just steps from the Rue Mouffetard market and the charming St Médard square, this smart little spot is full of varied tapas-style tastes from France’s southwest.


LES PATES VIVANTES

22, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 5 / +33 1 40 46 84 33 / Métro: Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) / Closed Sunday. (There is a second shop on 46, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, Paris 9 / +  33 1 45 23 10 21 / Métro: Le Peletier (line 7).

Satisfying and amazingly long alabaster handpulled noodles are prepared right in front of you. There’s tons to offer here, but we headed straight for the heat, their spicy “crevettes touchant la ciel,” a giant bowl of soothing wheat noodles teamed up with squares of soft tofu, Chinese cabbage, shrimp in the shell, and plenty of Sichwan peppercorns.  A great starter here is their mustard green salad, bathed in a sesame oil dressing, plenty of garlic, and whole almonds. And this is one of the few places in Paris where a  “doggy bag” is not only allowed, but offered!


6TH ARRONDISSEMENT


21 RUE MAZARINE

21, rue Mazarine, Paris 6/+33 1 46 33 76 90 / Métro: Odeon (line 4) / Closed Sunday and Monday.

Reservations for dinner only.

Fish magician Paul Minchelli (formerly of Le Duc and his eponymous restaurant in the 7th arrondissement) has resurfaced! Lucky for us, since he knows the treasures of the sea like few other chefs. The modern, elegant bistro offers a delicious confit of sardines, extraordinary fresh herring, a stunning  tartare, and a welcome squid risotto. Sommelier Didier Granier will steer you in the right direction.


BAR DE LA CROIX ROUGE

2 Carrefour de la Croix Rouge, Paris 6 / +33 1 45 48 06 45 / Métro: Saint Sulpice (line 4)

On the menu for us, always, is the Assiette Saint Germain, an open-faced sandwhich -- or tartine -- of perfectly toasted Poilane bread lightly spread with butter, then topped with ultra-thin slices of the most delicious rare-roasted beef. The garnish is pretty much an afterthought, a few forgettable slices of tomato, a touch of greens dressed with a classic creamy mustard vinaigrette, and some welcome,  puckery cornichons. There is always a jar of pungent mustard on the table, as well as a small glass (or two) of chilled Brouilly.


LE COMPTOIR

9, Carrefour de l’Odéon, Paris 6/+33 1 44 27 07 97 / Métro: Odeon / Open daily: Sunday to Thursday 12pm – midnight, Friday and Saturday 12pm – 2am.Reservations for dinner only.

Yves Camdeborde has hit the jackpot with his vest-pocket bistro that is full day and night. The no-reservation lunches are fantastic, with a great array of salads, platters of cheese, good wines by the glass. Dinner offers a single menu, often featuring the chef’s meaty specialties of France’s southwest.


FISH LA BOISSONNERIE

69, rue du Seine, Paris 6/+33 1 43 54 34 69 / Metro: Mabillon (line 10) / Open daily.

I can often be found here feasting and feting at the city’s best wine bar, run by the great duo, Juan Sanchez and Drew Harre. The food is always good and reliable, the bread outstanding (warm from the Cosi bread oven across the street), and the wine selection will never let you down. The Flying Fish menu at lunch, with a great salad and a different pasta dish every day is a delight.  Do you need another reason to go?



PIZZA CHIC

13, rue des Mezieres, Paris 6 / +33 1 45 48 30 38 / Métro: Saint Sulpice (line 4) / Open daily 11:30 – 3pm and 7:30 – 11pm (Sundays til 10pm).

Despite the restaurant's dreadful name – Pizza Chic – I vote their Pizza Aurora the best in town. Simple is best: thick, fresh tomato sauce, soft pillows of rich mozzarella, a touch of basil set on a full-flavored crust and baked to perfection in a wood oven. Critics are all over this place complaining of the outlandish prices. But I don't mind paying 19 euros for a delicious dinner in the center of Paris.


ZE KITCHEN GALERIE

4, rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 6/ +33 1 44 32 00 32. / Métro: Saint Michel (line 4) / Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday.

A favorite: Chef William Ledeuil has turned his mind to Asian matters and the food is truly lively and fun. He manages to really spice up foie gras, makes great soups and pastas, always good fish and shellfish. Great casual ambience.


7TH ARRONDISSEMENT


35˚ OUEST

35, rue de Verneuil, Paris 7/+33 1 42 86 98 88 / Métro: Rue du Bac (line 12) / Closed Sunday and Monday.

More fish, more restaurants on the Rue de Verneuil, right around the corner from the Musée d’Orsay. This one is a winner, with a tiny dining room with just a dozen or so tables, a few seats at the bar, with delightful tartare, a light and fresh fillet of sole topped with a delicate Parmesan crust, and a sparkling array of fresh langoustines teamed up with a fine “pipérade” of minced vegetables in a light peanut sauce.


L'ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON

5, rue de Montalembert, Paris 6 / +33 1 42 22 56 56 / Metro: Rue du Bac (line 12).


AU BON ACCUEIL

14 rue Monttessuy, Paris 7/+33 1 47 05 46 11/Métro: Alma- Marceau (line 9) / Open Monday to Friday 12-2.30pm and 7-10:30pm, and Saturday evening 7-10:30pm.

Owner Jacques Lacipière has left this fabulous bistro in good hands: This place always hits the spot for me, from the freshest of fish and shellfish, to a sublime potato purée, to a very fine wine list.


LES BOTANISTES

11 bis rue Chomel, 75007 Paris 7 / +33 1 45 49 04 54 / Metro: Sevres-Babylone (line 10, 12) / Closed Sunday.

Jean-Baptiste and his wife, Virginie, are gracious and professional hosts while chef Jerome Cadillat (who trained with chef Alain Dutournier) turns out satisfying bistro. If you go, sample Philippe Gilbert's citrus-like Menetou-Salon from the Loire Valley or Remi Jobard's classic Bourgone Blanc from Burgundy. Best taste: warm raspberries paired with an unforgettable scoop of pistachio ice cream.


BRASSERIE AUX PTT

54 rue Cler, Paris 7 / +33 1 45 51 94 96 / Métro: Ecole-Militaire (line 8).

The freshest most delicious oysters from Patrick Liron in Normandy. The choice is vast, and include the lean and rustic Pleine Mer from Blainville, with the strongest tide in Europe; the Spèciales Saint-Vaast, as far north as oysters grow in France, offering a hint of hazelnuts; the Belle du Liron, an oyster with a lovely equilibrium, and a healthy touch of iodine; and the rich and meaty Spèciales from Utah Beach, with an extraordinarily long finish.  The season is almost over, but there is still time to enjoy the oysters -- to take home or to savor at the cafe -- on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of March.


CHEZ LES ANGES

54, Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg, Paris 7/+33 1 47 05 89 86/ Métro: La Tour Maubourg (line 8) / Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Jacques and Catherine Lacipière have created a beautiful, contemporary brasserie with a fine seasonal menu that offers plenty of game and mushrooms in cooler months, fish, shellfish and vegetables in warmer months. A great list of wines, especially Burgundies.


LE CINQ MARS

51, rue de Verneuil, Paris 7/+33 1 45 44 69 13/Closed Sunday and Monday.

A sweet and lively bistro, offering classic fare with a modern touch: Excellent rustic stews, a fine cucumber and goat cheese salad, a good selection of wines and a winning ambience.


RÈGLE DE JE(U)

Le Restaurant de Jean-Francois Piège, 79, rue Saint-Dominique, Paris 7 / +33 1 47 05 36 96 / Métro La Tour Maubourg  / jeanfracoispiege@thoumieux.com  www.jfpiege.com www.thoumieux.com.

Put on your highest heels, your tightest and shortest black dress, your biggest diamond studs and reserve a table at Règle de Je(u), the newest table of Jean-Francois Piège, ex-Crillon, les Ambassadeurs, Louix XV, and Plaza Athenée. There is no menu, just a list of ingredients of the day. You choose as many as you wish, by price. 1 ingredient is 70 euros, 2 ingredients 90 euro, 3 ingredients 115 euro, and 3 ingredients with wine, 165 euro. But each menu includes a generous and beautiful selection of starters, and of course dessert. The wine list is as extensive as any palate, expertise, or budget could imagine.


8TH ARRONDISSEMENT


DOMINIQUE BOUCHET

11 rue Treilhard, Paris 8/+33 1 45 61 09 46/ Métro Miromesnil (line 9, 13) / Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Simple modern fare at the hands of chef Dominique Bouchet is a treat indeed: Try the poached skate wing paired with a salad of potatoes, capers and lemon; or the elegant terrine of Beaufort cheese, artichokes and ham, served with a tiny green salad alongside. Wines are bargain- priced and the warm, cozy dining room makes you want to come back again and again.


L’ATELIER ETOILE DE JOEL ROBUCHON*

Publicis Drugstore, 133, avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris 8 / +33 1 47 23 75 75 / Métro: George V  (line 1) / Open daily / Lunch reservations accepted / Dinner reservations at 6:30 only / Small tastes from 14 to 65 euros / Nine-course tasting menu, 150 euros. www.joel-robuchon.com

Intense, explosive flavors and imaginative fare await diners at Joel Robuchon’s newest addition to the Paris restaurant scene, L’Atelier Etoile de Joel Robuchon. Situated in the lower level of the Drugstore Publicis at the Etoile, the bright red and black space is already full of glittery Las Vegas-style drama. But the real scene is what’s on the plate and what happens to your palate with each pleasurable bite.

The menu offers some welcoming Robuchon classics, many dating back to the 1980’s and the early days of Jamin. But with Japanese chef  Yosuke Suga in charge an entirely new line of Asian-inspired aromas and flavors share the limelight. Suga previously served as head chef at the Atelier branches in New York and Taipei, and is a member of the very tightly knit group of Robuchon chefs who travel the world to make sure each of the 10 Ateliers stay on top of the game.


PIERRE GAGNAIRE *

6 rue Balzac, Paris 8/ +33 1 58 36 12 50/ Métro: George V (line 1) / Closed Saturday, Sunday lunch, and Wednesday lunch. www.pierregagnaire.com

There is no chef more creative than Pierre Gagnaire is: I love dining in this cozy, grown-up, grey and white dining room, savoring Gagnaire’s thoughtful fare. It’s never the same, but I’ve been wowed by everything from tiny clams fried in polenta and set on a bed of mushroom purée; an unusual serving of grated coconut paired with bits of cauliflower and a celery root purée. Who else could make us collage with pleasure over a single fat raspberry rolled in sugar?



10TH ARRONDISSEMENT


PHILOU

12, Avenue Richerand, Paris 10 / +33 1 42 38 00 13 / Métro: Jacques Bonsergent (line 5) / Closed Sunday and Monday /   25 euro menu.

The bright and lively Philou, home of Philippe Damas offers old-time ingredients – like pig’s cheeks and calf’s liver – and serves them up with a simplicity and freshness that is thoroughly appealing. The choice of wine is excellent : Try the superb 2006  Côtes du Rhone, Vieille Julienne, so rich and powerful it could easily pass as a Châteauneuf du Pape. The tiny place off the Canal Saint Martin is super loud, super fun, and a super bargain.


11TH ARRONDISSEMENT


AL TAGLIO

2 bis rue Neuve Popincourt, Paris 11 / +33 1 43 38 12 00 / Metro: Parmentier (line 3) or Oberkampf (line 5)/ Open daily noon to 11 pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday) / Deliveries of whole pizzas, serving 8 to 10, 24 hours in advance.

Along with the wood oven treasures from Pizza Chic (113, rue de Mézíères, Paris 6) I vote Al Taglio’s pizzas as some of the best in Paris. Walk into this small, casual eatery at noon and the chef will already have three or four giant rectangles of steaming pizza set out before you.  You indicate the size of slice you want, they weigh it, and you pay by the kilo. Prices range from about 27 to 36 euros per kilo, with an average slice priced at around 5 euros.


ASTIER

44 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, Paris 11/ + 33 1 43 57 16 35/Métro: Parmentier (line 3) / Closed Saturday and Sunday / www.restaurant-astier.com

If you’re in the mood for rabbit with mustard ; giant bowls of herring bathed in oil and herbs ; a fine wine list and a fun-loving crowd then reserve at this well-run neighborhood bistro. The more casual eatery and epicerie Jeanne A. next door is run by the same owners.


LE BISTROT PAUL BERT

18, rue Paul Bert, Paris 11/ +33 1 43 72 24 01/ Métro: Faidherbe-Chaligny (line 8) / Closed Sunday and Monday.

Owner Bertrand Auboyneau is one of my favorite Parisian restaurateurs and I could dine at this boisterous, crowded  old-time bistro once a week, feasting on steak and fries, ultra-fresh fish and shellfish, always imaginatively prepared and served with a flourish. One of the city’s surest bistro bets, with a great wine list to boot!


L’ECAILLER DU BISTROT

22. rue Paul Bert, Paris 11/01 43 72 76 77/ Métro: Faidherbe-Chaligny (line 8) / Closed Sunday and Monday.

Around the corner from Le Bistro Paul Bert, this fish restaurant is under the same ownership and offers impeccable, simple, inexpensive fish and shellfish preparations, in a blue and white tile fish bistro décor.


LE VILLARET

19 rue Ternaux, Paris 11/+33 1 43 57 89 76/ Métro: Parmentier (line 3) / Closed Saturday lunch and all day Sunday.

This spotless bistro is a find: The menu and the wine list are just my style, with astonishingly priced Burgundies and such fare as a winter medley of root vegetables – turnips, salsify, artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes – as well as roasted country chicken on a bed of curly green cabbage, bathed in a creamy, sherry-like sauce.


WEST COUNTRY GIRL

6, Passage Saint-Ambroise, Paris 11 / +33 1 47 00 72 54 / Métro: Saint-Maur or Parmentier (line 3) / Open lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday, Tuesday lunch only,  closed Sunday and Monday.

Here in this small, 50’s-style diner the specialty – galettes and crepes – are truly outstanding: parchment-paper thin and golden. Lunch will set you back around 9 to 12 euros. Oysters are also one the menu later in the week.



14TH ARRONDISSEMENT


LE DOME

106, boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 14 / + 33 1 43 35 25 81 / Metro: Vavin (line 4).

I LOVE the beginning of a season and HATE when it ends. That's the story with oysters, best of course in months with an "R".  One can feast on plump, huitres Tsarskaya from the oyster beds off Cancale – huge, meaty, slightly briny, a slight hint of hazelnuts (they were "created" in 2004, following a lovely history) – followed up by a most intriguing spicy octopus salad (too many red peppercorns) laced with an avalanche of fresh herbs.

In the 19th century, oysters from Cancale were delivered to the czars in Russia. For more than 30 years, we made Le Dome our Sunday lunch restaurant , always loving the ambience of the terrace, the friendly maitre d, Jacques and Stephane.


LE SEVERO

8 rue des Plantes, Paris 14/+33 1 45 40 40 91/Métro: Alésia (line 4) / Closed Saturday  dinner and Sunday.

Owner-chef William Bernet --- who began his career as a Parisian butcher – runs a bistro to build a dream on. Fantastic Limousin beef, astonishing fries, and the wine blackboard fills an entire wall, offering some fine sips indeed.  Need I say more?


TOYO

17, rue Jules Chaplain, Paris 6 / +33 1 43 54 28 03 / Métro : Vavin / Closed Sunday and Monday.

New restaurant of ex-private chef of designer Kenzo, Toyomitsu Nakayama. Toyo’s clean, sleek, quiet little restaurant on a hard-to-find street in the Montparnasse neighborhood in the 6th arrondissement is a gem. Toyo is there in the open kitchen, cooking on his griddle and induction plaques, creating a cuisine that’s not Japanese and not French, but completely his own. The streamlined 35 and 45 euro lunch menus offer just enough choices, and the series of small plates make for a fun way to witness Toyo’s talents.


15TH ARRONDISSEMENT


L’EPICURISTE

41, Boulevard Pasteur, Paris 15 / +33 1 47 34 15 50 / Metro: Pasteur (line 6, 12) / Closed Saturday lunch, all day Sunday, and Monday lunch / 34-euro menu.

The new 15th arrondissement home of  Stephane Marcuzzi and chef Aymeric Kraml. We last saw them at the small and charming L’Epigramme in the 6th, where the pair outgrew the miniscule kitchen, and set out in search of a bit of breathing room. The new space is spare, a bit cold, but the welcome, service, and cuisine easily make up for that. Although I found that overall the food lacked just a touch of brightness, and the absence of any real vegetables truly deplorable, the wine list was brief and well-priced, and the well-balanced red Grand Tinel Cotes-du-Rhone, at 32 euros, appeared a perfect match for this wintry fare.


16TH ARRONDISSEMENT


ASTRANCE*

4 rue Beethoven, Paris 16/+33 1 40 50 84 40/Métro: Passy (line 6) / Closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Pascal Barbot is the hottest chef in town, and one of the hardest tables to secure. Vegetables come from vegetable king Joël Thiebault, and the chef is a pure magician in the kitchen.


PRE CATELAN*

Bois du Boulogne, Route de Suresnes, Paris 16/+33 1 44 14 41 00/ Métro: Porte d’Auteuil (line 10) or Jasmin (line 9) NB 1.8km form nearest metro station / Closed Sunday and Monday (open in summer months) / http://www.precatelanparis.com/

Chef Frédéric Anton is fabulous, a young Michelin three-star at the top of his game: Try his langoustines; beets with warm Comté cheese; or the turbot in watercress pesto. Excellent wine list and knowledgeable sommeliers.  In summer, reserve a table on the romantic garden in the Bois du Boulogne.



17TH ARRONDISSEMENT


GUY SAVOY*

18 rue Troyon, Paris 17/+33 1 43 80 40 61/ Métro : Ternes (line 2) / Closed Saturday lunch, Sunday, and Monday. www.guysavoy.com

An all-time favorite grand chef: The specialties here are endless, and don’t leave without sampling the dreamy artichoke soup with truffles, and take the sommelier’s advice on the wine.



18TH ARRONDISSEMENT


LA TABLE D’EUGENE

18, rue Eugène Sue, Paris 18 / +33 1 42 55 61 64 / Metro: Marcadet-Poissoneries (line 4 and 12) and Jules Joffrin (line 12) / Closed Sunday and Monday / Lunch menus at 18, 25 and 35 euros.  30 euros and up at dinner.

Chef-owner Geoffroy Maillard 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; and a knack for beautiful food prepared with top-rate ingredients. Prices can vary from 18 euros for lunch to custom-designed “skies the limit” menus for two to twenty.


20TH ARRONDISSEMENT


QUEDUBON

22, rue du Plateau, Paris 20 / +33 1 42 38 18 65 / Métro: Buttes-Chaumont (line 7bis) /  Closed Saturday lunch, all day Sunday, and  1 week in winter.

Another simple but great bistro to add to the list. The food was not just bon, but the carrots were among the best carrots I have ever tasted (and I am not a carrot fan), the oxtail was properly falling off the bone, and braised to perfection, the ideal example of the famed Maillard effect on meat. Bénard offers a small but excellent choice of three cheeses. The giant blackboard lists up to 150 different wines, including Richard and Couturier from the Southern Rhone, Chave from Hermitage, Leccia from Corsica, and more.


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