BEST NEW RESTAURANTS
L'Angle du Faubourg Though not as opulent as its legendary 56-year-old sister restaurant Taillevent, L'Angle du Faubourg has its own minimalist style--and a Michelin star. Chef Stefane Cosnier's menu, while small, is almost perfect. His cubes of lamb shoulder, subtly flavored with garlic and cooked until tender, are terrific. The impressive wine list includes such fabulous choices as Didier Dagueneau's 2000 Pouilly-Fumé Silex and Yves Cuilleron's 1999 Saint-Joseph Les Sérines (195 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris 8; 011-33-1-40-74-20-20).
Astrance Baby turnips, fava beans and begonia flowers--chef Pascal Berbot's delightful combinations, as in this delicious salad, reflect a poetic sensibility. Just about everything here is a surprise. Bright red tuna comes with a delicate, ginger-flavored yogurt sauce and a carrot puree; mussels are tinged with cumin and chervil. The dining room, a gray and white space trimmed with gilt-framed mirrors, is a soothing counterpoint (4 rue Beethoven, Paris 16; 011-33-1-40-50-84-40).
Hiramatsu Saint-Louis en l'Île Japanese chef Hiroyuki Hiramatsu seemed to have come out of nowhere, and before anyone had even heard of him, his intimate nine-table restaurant had earned a Michelin star. Hiramatsu shines most brightly in dishes like the astonishing pan-fried turbot with orange zest, and squab roasted with a honey glaze and served rare in a rich red wine sauce (7 quai de Bourbon, Paris 4; 011-33-1-56-81-08-80).
Maison Blanche Twins Laurent and Jacques Pourcel, who own a Michelin three-star restaurant in Montpellier, bring their ingenious cooking to Paris at this gorgeous, romantic, rooftop restaurant. Their menu has a definite Provençal accent, with choices like turbot grilled and served over a bed of baby artichokes, and roasted sea bass paired with a puckery lemon confit (15 avenue Montaigne, Paris 8; 011-33-1-47-23-55-99).
Passiflore Asia meets the Auvergne at Passiflore, where chef Roland Durand merges the flavors of the East with those of his native region, in central France. The dining room, which is decorated in warm chocolate tones with a wild leopard-print carpet, makes a striking background for Durand's masterful dishes--plump langoustines in mulligatawny sauce, wonderful cabbage rolls stuffed with minced pork and spices. Recipes like these helped earn him a Michelin star this year (33 rue du Longchamp, Paris 16; 011-33-1-47-04-96-81).
Ze Kitchen Galerie This restaurant has been the hit of the season: It's fun, hip, innovative and constantly jammed. Chef William Ledeuil's creative energy is evident in dishes like the hearty macaroni tossed with spicy chorizo, pesto and pine nuts, and the wonderfully succulent veal paired with sweet red peppers and tangy tamarind juice (4 rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 6 ; 011-33-1-44-32-00-32).
Caffé The decor is classic--lovely arched walls of red brick--but the menu takes chances, with happy results. Chef Jérome Tivaux offers a wide range of dishes, from simple raw sliced scallops topped with caviar to robust lobster gnocchi to a casserole of pig's cheeks (joues de cochon) served with an avalanche of carrots (74 boulevard de Latour Maubourg, Paris 7; 011-33-1-47-53-80-86.)
Le Soleil When you walk into an inexpensive place and see Michelin-starred chef Alain Dutournier dining there, you've probably made a smart choice. At this bric-a-brac-strewn restaurant, located directly across the street from the Clignancourt flea market, just north of Paris, top picks include the perfect roast chicken and the superfresh cod. Nightly jazz is another major draw (109 avenue Michelet, 93 Saint-Ouen; 011-33-1-40-10-08-08).