Big Talents, Tiny Places: Small Paris Restaurants
Some of Paris's top chefs have opened terrific spots with just two dozen seats—or no seats at all. Daniel Rose's Spring has only 24 seats in the dining room.
Chef-owner Gregory Marchand worked at London's Fifteen with Jamie Oliver and at New York City's Gramercy Tavern, so his ingredients are impeccable and his food is never overwrought. His teensy menu offers just two starters—perhaps a gazpacho made with heritage tomatoes and smoked trout with watercress—as well as two entrées and two desserts.
Yves Camdeborde insists that the hors d'oeuvres spot next door to his legendary Left Bank brasserie Le Comptoir is not a tapas bar. (This is France, not Spain, he says.) Still, the place has no seats, so customers stand at the counter tapas-bar-style to eat dishes like octopus with shellfish broth, as well as Camdeborde signatures like chicken hearts with parsley.
Since 32-year-old Adeline Grattard won her first Michelin star, getting a table in her Zen-inspired dining room with dark-wood tables and ancient stone walls has been tough. Diners who do make their way in might find the rare omble chevalier (a lake fish), beautifully cooked with bok choy and ginger, on the daily-changing French-Asian tasting menu.