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Where to Go Next: Paris

Fogón At the restaurant's new address near the Pont Neuf, Alberto Herraiz finally has the decor to match his clever, modern Spanish food: purple banquettes with pillows that fit in the small of your back, a wavy white ceiling, blobby globe lights. You need to locate your table's secret drawer to find the flatware to eat Herraiz's exquisite tapas and larger dishes, including tuna confit with piquillo peppers served in a tuna can and squid-ink paella perched on a stand like a plateau de fruits de mer. DETAILS 45 Quai des Grands-Augustins, 6th Arr.; 011-33-1-43-54-31-33.

Restaurant Dominique Bouchet He may have renounced the plaudits he earned at La Tour d'Argent (two Michelin stars) and most recently at Hôtel de Crillon (two more), to open this intimate restaurant, but Dominique Bouchet's ingredients and techniques are still flawless. In one of Paris's most beautiful, welcoming dining rooms (lacquered white ceiling, dark wood, stone walls and lots of orchids), he prepares dishes that seem almost too simple but are so unbelievably good that you feel as if you've never tasted them before: creamy cauliflower soup—no herbs, no croutons—and leg of lamb simmered for seven hours. Bouchet is opening a cooking school next door, due to launch in May. DETAILS 11 Rue Treilhard, 8th Arr.; 011-33-1-45-61- 09-46.

Senderens For 28 years, Alain Senderens held three Michelin stars. Last year, the 66-year-old chef started fresh at Senderens, his casual restaurant on the Place de la Madeleine. In the Art Nouveau dining room, glass panels etched with glowing butterflies that change color stand in between the Majorelle wood paneling. Senderens is clearly having fun, sending out delicious Asian- and Mediterranean-accented dishes such as roasted lamb with curry, mango and lemongrass, and delicate ravioli stuffed with ricotta, chives and shallots in a buttery sage sauce. He's also rethought wine here, organizing the list by price and offering fantastic, provocative pairings—even with sherry and whiskey. The weak spot is the service, which is frenetic. DETAILS 9 Place de la Madeleine, 8th Arr.; 011-33-1-42-65-22-90.

seafood spot

Gaya par Pierre Gagnaire At this little fish place, wildly creative Michelin three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire has a chance to cook in an informal setting. You can order three-course meals or a single perfect dish, such as artichoke puree with tapioca and hazelnut-stuffed squid. The tiny kitchen also turns out desserts—like the Turinois, whipped cream layered with chocolate mousse and slightly salty praline—as sophisticated as those at Gagnaire's eponymous restaurant. DETAILS 44 Rue du Bac, 7th Arr.; 011-33-1-45-44-73-73.

bistro update

Benoit Alain Ducasse, the superchef behind Michelin three-star restaurants in Paris, Manhattan and Monte Carlo, is buying up France's most authentic bistros. His latest acquisition is Benoit, a 1912 landmark with a Michelin star near the Centre Pompidou. He hasn't changed a red velvet banquette or brass coat rack, but he has reinvigorated the menu of cuisine bourgeoise: langue de veau lucullus (tender slices of tongue with foie gras); scallops paired with capers, crisp croutons and shards of lemon zest confit; tiny frog's legs with black trumpet mushrooms in a pool of cream. The $45 prix fixe at lunch is a stunning bargain. DETAILS 20 Rue St. Martin, 4th Arr.; 011-33-1-42-72-25-76.

Published February 2006
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