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French and perfect restaurants in Paris : Ré-ser-vez !

My dear, poor, non-French people,

I know some of you can feel a bit lost in Paris, so I decided to share with you  my favorite restaurants…
The thing is, although I’m trying, I can’t restrain myself, and the list is so long that I had to divide the post into different chapters.

So here is the first one: the restaurants you should really book as soon as you’ve received your flight email confirmation…

As you might know, you’re not the only person dreaming of enjoying the parisian moveable feast… Paris is the gastronomy capital of the world, and also one of the most visited city. It’s hard even for Parisiens to book in the most coveted restaurants : I could write a whole post about the restaurants where I never managed to got a reservation, despite all my tricks !

Le Chateaubriand

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129, avenue Parmentier
75011 Paris

 

Just the best restaurant in Paris.
Prix fixe menu (60 euros), always amazing.
The chef is the first French on the list of the best chefs in the world. I was lucky to interview him when he came to LA for the great “Le Grand Fooding” at the Moma : not only the dish he was making was amazing (beans, chickpeas and coriander with Meyer lemon, so simple and bursting with flavours), but he was also very funny and unpretencious. Love this guy.

Great organic wines too. Even my boyfriend was impressed! (and the waiters and sommeliers are also all kind of cute, non?)

PS: A big secret if you couldn’t book in advance : after 9.30 pm, they are open without reservation. Just go there, and wait at the bar with a glass of one of their great “vins naturels”

Septime

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80 rue de Charonne,
75011 Paris

This restaurant is the best discovery of my last voyage in Paris…
One of the hardest to go to too! You have to book at least one month in advance, but you can do it on line, so it’s convenient when you live overseas.

Now let’s talk about food.
It’s amazing !
Prix fixe too, 55€ at night.Actually I’m trying to find the words to describe what I ate there, but I can’t.
Sometimes the eyes tell the story better…
PS : I hear it’s easier to book for le déjeuner, lunch.

 

La Dame de Pic

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20 rue du Louvre
75001 Paris

 

Anne-Sophie Pic is for me the symbol of the French and perfect woman. Oui oui!
I’m in love of her cuisine as much as of her story.

She comes from a great family of chefs : her father and grand-father were both three-Michelin stars. But as a kid, she didn’t want to follow their footsteps ; actually, she absolutely rejected it, and never learned how to cook!

As she had just finished her studies, her father suddenly died, and her life totally changed. She decided to take over the restaurant and the legacy.In a few years, she managed not only to keep the restaurant, but also to gradually win the same three stars her father and grand-father once earned. She is actually the only woman to be “Trois macarons”.

Her cuisine is very delicate and precise. I love the way she plays with flavours and textures. She’s a “publicité vivante” (living ad) for “less is more”.

In La dame de Pic, her restaurant in Paris, she has decided to play with perfumes.
Upon deciding what you’re going to eat, you get to smell a perfume, the same way you would pick one at Annick Goutal or Serge Lutens (my two favorite French parfumeurs, these are other places you should really see and smell in Paris).
You then get a menu which follows the perfume you chose.

PS : If you speak French, her cookbook is also incroyable

Le Comptoir du Relais

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9, Carrefour de l’Odéon
75006 Paris

My dear, dear, Yves Camdeborde, you’re such a French and Perfect chef… Cambdeborde has become one of the most famous chefs in Paris these last few years, and not only because he’s a tv personnality! With crazy guys like Christian Constant and Stéphane Jégo, he has revolutionized the bistro cuisine, and taken it to another level, in between popular cuisine and high-class restauration.

Le Comptoir is his masterpiece.

Just next to l’Odéon, for a très Saint Germain des près moment…
It’s also, above all,  very good.
Neo-Bistro and Prix fixe menu, written on the mirror…
There are always French celebrities too…

If you can make it through booking, you can always go and wait in line. Sometimes quite a long time, but it’s worth it…
Then just nearby, in what used to be a crepes stand, you can have one of the most coveted apéritif in Paris, at “l’avant comptoir“.
And I hear the hotel, Le Relais is merveilleux.


L’Ami Jean

Chef Stéphane Jego

Chef Stéphane Jego

27, rue Malar
75007 Paris

 

Great great bistrot-style haute cuisine.

Stéphane Jego loves basque food and most of all very good food.
I love how comfy and homy his restaurant can feel… You can spend hours there, eating and drinking, while “rebuilding the world” (refaire le monde, one of France’s best restaurant conversation… )

His creamy riz au lait (rice in milk ?) can stay in your dreams for years…

PS : I don’t know why Americans are so obsessed with l’Ami Louis. French people never go there, it’s not good ! Go to l’Ami Jean !

Le Jules

Le Jules Verne

La tour Eiffel
Paris

 

This is most certainly the most romantic restaurant in Paris. If not the world!
(and also the smallest kitchen!)

Yes, it’s about dining IN the Eiffel Tower.

Dining there whith Paris “à vos pieds“, to your feet…
At night when the tower sparkles every hour, and when you’re in the tower itself, you feel like a shooting star…
That’s what romantique looks like !

This is one of the many restaurants owned by Alain Ducasse.
This great French chef has currently 18 Michelin stars among all the restaurants he owns and directs!

Le Grand Véfour

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Palais Royal
Paris 

This restaurant is at the same time an amazing food and historic monument.

It was opened a few years before the French Revolution, in 1784, and was the favourite of some pretty famous French gourmets, like Napoleon Bonaparte (yes, this small brown-haired guy who tried to conquer Europe and is kind of still well-know all over the world) or Victor Hugo (the French writer who wrote “Notre Dame de Paris” and who must eat his beard of rage in heaven when listening how “Les Miserables” became “Les Miz”).

The decor is still the same, and you can choose to eat at the same table where George Sand (the first French female writer and feminist), Colette (know “Gigi” ?) or Simone de Beauvoir (“The Second sex” writer) once ate. Plenty of feminists!
If these three “Grandes dames” loved the place, then I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it too.

GuyMartinbyMichelLangotFR

Chef Guy Martin has succesfully managed to maintain the balance between tradition and modernity.

Still can feel the Pigeon Prince Rainier III on my bud tastes.
Pigeon + Foie Gras + Black truffles + Veal = Perfection !
No wonder the young prince this dish was created for later married a Hollywood Princess named Grace Kelly… It’s almost too good to be true!

Le Grand Véfour is also very dear to my heart because it’s the first Michelin starred restaurant I ever went, with my dear uncle Bernard. He gave me his love for good food and upscale places, and le Grand Véfour is a beautiful example of both.

ETC, ETC…

Haven’t found a reservation yet?

Try also

Hélène Darroze, Female chef, 2 Michelin Stars, and an inspiration to the movie Ratatouille

Joël Robuchon, recordman of the number of Michelin stars earned, the most reknowned French chef to this day, who is still trying to invent new ways to cook and share the pleasure of eating

Senderens, with the amazing French chef Alain Senderens, who had the guts to give back his Michelin stars to be more free and try a new cuisine : it was a success… He regained the stars by the way…

Pierre Gagnaire, poetic legend of the French cuisine : his teaming with French chemist Hervé This has changed the way cuisine is seen in the world. People often say he’s the father of mollecular cuisine, I say his cuisine is just to die for.

 

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