Les Petits Marseillais
72, rue Vieille du Temple
| Want some southern French cuisine, but only have time to visit Paris? Check out Les Petits Marseillais in the Marais. This bar/restaurant serves great food à la Marseillaise in a warm, almost sunny environment (a real accomplishment in grey Paris). The gambas (prawns) and calamars (squid) are excellent. The "Petits Marseillais" steak is also excellent. The wait staff here are helpful and provide excellent recommendations. You'll want to save room for desert, but no worries, all of their deserts are good. A dinner here will cost you about 20-30 € before the wine, which starts at about 18 € per bottle. Lunch is slightly cheaper with an 11 € menu.
Un Piano sur le trottoir
7, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
| This little restaurant in the Marais, which advertises itself with the descriptor "Ambiance Musicale" starts the day as an eccentric little restaurant, but as the evening continues, it becomes a piano bar with karaoke. It might seem strange for your late dinner to be interrupted by your waiter singing Neil Diamond to you at your table, but it's an experience that you definitely won't forget, and will likely enjoy. While the menu, all French, changes throughout the year, the chef makes a great lapin à deux moutardes (rabbit in two mustard sauce). The desserts here are hit and miss, but the moelleux au chocolat is quite good. A meal at this charming and cozy restaurant, closed Mondays, costs about 16-30 € before wine, which starts at about 18 €. You can't miss the place. Just as its name suggests, there is a piano on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.
Godjo Le Restaurant
8, rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique
| This little restaurant, just down the street from the École Polytechnique serves Ethiopian cuisine in a Franco-Ethiopian environment. The service is tremendous, the tables are cozy, if slightly cramped, and the food is wonderful. You can't go wrong on this menu, and you get to eat with your hands. What's not to like? Bring someone with you when you go, otherwise you'll find yourself with a massive amount of leftovers. A meal here will cost about 15-20 € per person.
32 bis rue Sainte Anne
| Higuma is an inexpensive Japanese noodle shop serving Udon, Ramen, and Tempura amongst other standards of Japanese cuisine. While the decor is drab, the food is a good deal and right down the street from the Place de l'Opéra. Situated in a small enclave of Japanese shops and restaurants, Higuma makes for a great lunch between sight-seeing stops. A meal here costs about 10 €.
Bayou la seine
20, rue St. Paul
| Bayou la Seine is a cajun restaurant in the heart of the Marais. Next door is the American market Thanksgiving (great if you have a burning desire for some peanut butter, but be prepared to spend twice the price for it). Bayou la seine serves excellent Cajun fare with a mild French touch (the restaurant is run by an American and a French chef). The Oysters Rockefeller are excellent and so is the Jambalaya. Dinner will cost at least 20 € per person before wine and can easily cost you 40 € each. You might want to try out the Cajun Brunch on Saturday morning, which costs about 20 € per person.
3, rue Laugier
| L'Ane Rouge (The Red Donkey) is not just a restaurant. It's a cabaret which produces stand-up comedians and humorous shows. Besides the show, the place is also known to be one of the very last restaurants to serve horse meat to gourmet dinners.
24, Place du Marche Saint-Honore
| Absinthe is the name of
a popular Paris bistro where, though they don't serve Absinthe,
they do serve excellent food in a friendly setting. Located
on a quiet but very chic square, in warm weather you can dine
on the terrace. The bistro is part of super-chef Michel Rostang's
restaurant empire so, quality is kept high while prices run
at about 40 euros per person with wine.
25, avenue Montaigne
| It's new again. Super
chef Alain Ducasse has settled into his new home at the Plaza
Athenee hotel, in a contemporary space designed by the young
Patrick Jouin. Meals to remember (with many new dishes) from
the only French chef to have received two three-star Michelin
ratings in the same year. Prices to remember too. Count 140
euros and up.
49, rue Volta
| An Argentine restaurant
set in an old butcher shop, is sure to have atmosphere, but
here they also have good food, Spanish wines and friendly service.
Very popular with journalist and fashion people. About 40 euros.
25, rue de la Pompe
75016. Metro La Muette
| Sashay over to the sushi
bar or past the boutique to the dining room at this new eatery
owned by Laurent Taieb (owner of Lo Sushi) and designer Philippe
Starck. After over ten years of directing his talents elsewhere,
Starck has again turned his eye to Paris and created a seductively
homey space filled with theatrical touches. The cuisine is anachronistic
for Paris: continental fusion with Eastern accents and a Zen
devotion to well-being. However, if you crave steak-frites,
you can find it listed on the menu under "I Am Bad."
53, quai des Grands Augustins
Closed for lunch Saturday and Sunday
| A few years ago Guy Savoy,
a chef who has a two-star restaurant named after himself, decided
to extend his domain by creating gastronomic bistrots that would
serve simply cooked, excellent food, at affordable prices in
a friendly atmosphere. This is one of these bistrots. Les Bookinistes
is facing a row of bouquins, or book stalls, on the Left Bank.
Inside, there is a sense of fun and ease that is reinforced
when you receive one of the warmest welcomes in Paris. The set
lunch menu of three courses is 25 euros, a seriously good price
for the quality of the food on offer in a restaurant that prizes
simplicity, flavor and fun over pomp and ceremony.
47, rue de Bretagne,75003
| Expect to wait at the
bar before you're able to catch Omar's eye for a table. Once
seated, order a mechoui or other Arab dishes and enjoy the friendly
atmosphere. Open until midnight. Closed Sunday lunch. No Credit
Cards. 30 euros.
16, avenue Rapp
| The owners are Arnaud
Pitrois and his wife Christel. He creates his magic in a five
square meter kitchen, and she runs the dining room. Arnaud is
only 28 years old and has a very impressive background that
shows up in every dish. He has worked with Guy Savoy and Christian
Constant, who have probably done more to add new ideas to classical
French cuisine than anyone else in this city. They have trained
an increasingly important group of young chefs who are dedicated
to their craft and who have opened their own restaurants where
one can eat superbly at very reasonable prices. Le Clos Des
Gourmets is one of these. The menu changes slightly every week,
and daily additions are marked on a blackboard.
12, rue de Presbourg
| With a superb view of
the Arc de Triumphe, a fresh menu by young chef, Didier Doucet,
an elegant high-ceilinged interior and all new management this
restaurant is on the upswing. Tony Gomez presides over both
restaurant and downstairs nightclub with the style and taste
that has made him the man to follow on the Paris night scene.
Here he has created an atmosphere where you eat well (and maybe
see some beautiful people) without entering the stuffy world
of four-star mannerisms. He is as happy that you enjoy the scallops
topped with thin truffle slices, as the art work large format
photos of jazz musicians from Gomez's own collection.
Centre Pompidou. Sixth Floor.
Metro Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville.
Closed Tuesday. Open until 2am
| This new canteen for the
artsy crowd can be found high above the city on the sixth floor
of the Centre Pompidou. "Georges" is run by the Costes familywhich
has brought us many trendy Paris cafesand is designed by young,
Paris-based architects Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane.
The design is striking with giant, aluminum-clad bubbles rising
out of a silver floor. These contain the kitchen, bathrooms
and VIP lounge. The real star of the restaurant, however, is
the impressive wrap-around view of Paris. To access the restaurant
without buying a museum ticket, take a special elevator just
to the left of the main plaza entrance. Sadly, this doesn't
mean you will be able to sneak into an exhibit after coffee.
Coffee, light food or hot entrees (10 euros and up).
6, place de la Bastille
| Legendary chef Christian
Constant has conceived the menu for this large, airy, contemporary
restaurant next door to the Bastille Opera. The 300-place restaurant
gets it names from the graceful, curving staircase leading to
the upstairs dining room. The interior by Elizabeth de Portzamparc
is refined and modern. The owner is the Flo group, proprietors
of Paris favorites like La Coupole, Julien and Brasserie Flo,
amongst others. While they may have made the leap to designer
interiors, the food is traditional French with Constant's
creative touch, of course. Menu at 30 euros. A la carte over
45 euros per person.
Second floor Eiffel Tower
| The Jules Verne Restaurant
is on the second platform of the Eiffel Tower. A private elevator
(you must have a reservation to gain access) takes you 123 meters
up, where a welcoming committee will greet you. Although dinner
is quite expensive, lunch is a very good value. There is a lunch
menu from Monday to Friday consisting of three courses for 45
euros and a selection of wines priced under 30 euros.
8, rue de Berri
Open daily noon to 12:30 pm
| Lo Sushi, with its ultra
modern video screens and curving conveyerbelt, was designed
by Andree Putman. Sit at the counter and try to choose as plate
after plate of fresh and colorful sushi passes by. Plates are
different colors representing different prices. When you're
finished the waitress tallies up the empty dishes. About 5 euros
33, rue Marboeuf
| Four rooms, with four
different ambiences, take you from day lit cafe, to the ice-green
leather chairs and stunning black and white of the bar, to the
hushed orange of the candlelit restaurant, to a "chill out room"
with a low ceiling and even lower seating in this new restaurant
designed by French architect Christian Biecher. The concept
being that urban professionals can come at any time of the day
or evening for something to eat and drink. Very chic and relaxed
without being "trendy." Glass of champagne 10 euros, dinner
30 euros and up.
L'Os a Moelle
3, rue Vasco de Gama
Closed Sunday & Monday
La Cave de l'Os a Moelle
181 rue de Lourmel
| Thierry Faucher, who worked
with the brilliant Christian Constant, is another one of the
talented young chefs contributing to the modernization of traditional
French cuisine. Faucher opened his restaurant, L'Os a Moelle,
outside of Paris' chic districts in order to offer excellent
food at reasonable prices. The result is that he is booked full
every night. He's also taken his concept one stage further and
opened a bar across the road where you can eat at one of two
communal tables. L'Os a Moelle is small, friendly and unfussy.
At lunch the prix fixe menu is 25 euros with a choice of six
entrees. At night the price is 30 euros for a set, six-course
meal with a choice of dessert. It's all decided for you but
you won't be disappointed. Everyone arrives anticipating an
unknown menu--one they know will be brilliant. Meanwhile, across
the road the atmosphere is informal and the food is homey. The
set-price menu is 20 euros, and you serve yourself in your own
10, rue de Sevigne
| Excellent Italian cuisine
prepared by Toni, in this tiny restaurant, that fills up quickly
with those who know that pasta is good for the body and the
soul. Reservations suggested. Around 30 euros.
49, avenue Jean Moulin
Closed Sunday and Monday
| Yves Camdeborde's popular
restaurant, La Regalade, is intimate, cluttered and warm. The
food is what the French call cuisine familiale, but the menu
goes from the fine and subtle to the truly traditional. This
restaurant caters to those who believe that simpler is better.
Camdeborde is definitely one of the talented young chefs who
exercises this thinking and the price, 28 euros for three courses
at lunch, is very reasonable for the standard of quality.
6, rue Christine
Closed Saturday lunch and all day Sunday
| While it might not sound
very French, a meal of meat and potatoes is at the heart of
the country's culinary experience. Long before nouvelle cuisine,
there were grilled steaks and plump fowl turned over a fire.
What could be better then a crisply roasted free-range chicken,
accompanied by a creamy puree de pommes de terre, then followed
by an excellent dessert? Not much. Fortunately, Parisian chef
Jacques Cagna, of the famous restaurant that bears his name,
created the Rotisserie d'en Face, an open, roomy restaurant
where you can get exactly this meal and more. About 45 euros
13, rue de Montalivet
Closed for lunch Saturday and Sunday
| It hasn't taken long for
Parisians to discover ZO, tucked off the Rue Faubourg Saint
Honore on a very quiet, but central street. In just nine months,
young and dynamic owners Micael Memmi and Olivier Haski have
conceived two-menus-in-one, both inspired by southern cuisine.
French provincial cooking shares the spotlight with sushi. Each
menu has its own chef. The clientele, too, is a mix from the
worlds of business, fashion and politics. We recommend the mille
feuille of zucchini, tomato and mozzarella, and an incredible
dessert, le Ying et le Yang, served warm and oozing an unctuous
chocolate sauce. Lunch menu 15 euros. Dinner around 30 euros.