The city's best new spots are intimate and idiosyncratic, as Michelin-starred chefs open tiny restaurants and great cafés appear in boutiques.
Best New Spots
© Marie Hennechart
Autodidactic chef Claude Colliot has garnered a huge following for the luscious foie gras mousse he made at Le Bamboche and L'Orénoc. Now his fans can have that mousse again in his small, new stone-walled spot in the Marais. Colliot also reprises many of his previous wacky-but-genius juxtapositions, like roasted sweetbreads accompanied by peppery ginger jelly and a dessert of lime, clementine and grapefruit with argan-oil-infused caramel.
Photo courtesy of Chocolaterie De Jacques Genin
Jacques Genin, purveyor of superfresh chocolates to chefs like Alain Ducasse, now has his own postmodern shop and tearoom. His pastries, such as praline-cream-filled Paris-Brests (choux pastry rings), are made to order up the atelier's spiral staircase; candies in flavors like mint and pu-erh tea are equally outstanding.
© Marie Hennechart
Michelin-starred chef William Ledeuil has served gorgeous Asian-accented dishes at his flagship, Ze Kitchen Galerie, for nine years. Now, he brings his passion for fusion cooking to this petite outpost up the street. Ledeuil serves "zors d'oeuvres," like sea bass ravioli in Thai broth, as well as full-size portions of pasta shells (he calls them gnocchi) with chorizo and galangal-infused tomato.
Jean-François Piège left the superdeluxe Hôtel de Crillon and joined forces with restaurateur Thierry Costes to revamp this 1923 brasserie on Paris's restaurant row, near the Eiffel Tower. (Le Violon d'Ingres, Les Cocottes, Café Constant and Fontaine de Mars are all nearby.) Among Piège's standouts: squid carbonara and veal sirloin with tuna belly and crushed potatoes.
In the hip high-concept store Merci, the former owners of Bonpoint kids' clothing combine fashion, a used-book café, a haberdashery and a Christian Tortu flower shop with this airy table d'hôte (communal table). On the menu: Mediterranean-inspired dishes like fennel-and-zucchini carpaccio. Profits go to a women's charity in Madagascar.
A Provençal pan bagnat sandwich is usually filled with tuna, hard-boiled eggs and black olives. But at Rech, legendary chef Jacques Maximin stuffs the soft bun with scallop tartare. He also serves less-expensive seafood at this venerable fish brasserie (part of the Alain Ducasse empire), cooking whiting steak a la plancha (on the griddle). Still, Rech's beloved "éclairs XL" haven't budged from the menu.
The black-and-white photos and mosaic floor tiles still decorate this former Corsican bistro in Les Halles. But now, virtuoso Michel Del Burgo (veteran of Le Bristol and Taillevent) has moved in. He fills ravioli with both raw and cooked mushrooms (as well as a few shaved truffles) and serves pan-seared quail with buttery cabbage. Many Paris places have done away with cheese (it's expensive), but Del Burgo offers several, like a whole Camembert that can be taken home in a doggie bag.
Upstairs from Chez Flottes, his family's buzzy brasserie, Olivier Flottes has created a clubby space decorated with a floating paper mobile (flotter means "to float"). Restaurant guru Frédérick Grasser-Hermé designed the retro menu here with some fancy touches, like the caviar on the marrow bones; the veal blanquette is delicious.