For Parisians, how food looks on a plate is just as important as how it tastes - colors, textures, and garnishes must be arranged impeccably.
Not only at haute cuisine establishments, but small, simple restaurants where even a humble hot chocolate is sometimes poured in a heart shape on the cup's inside edge. Handly picked up selection of restaurants in Paris.
Despite the vertiginous prices of Paris haute cuisine, a meal at one of these nec plus ultra tables is an investment that just can't disappoint, and snagging a sought-after table at chef Pascal Barbot's three-star restaurant on a cobbled side street in the 16th arrondissement is well worth persistence. The smallest and most casual table at the top of the Parisian food chain, this high-ceilinged dining room with mirrored walls, widely spaced tables and friendly service offers a decidedly 21st-century take on French haute cuisine. Barbot, who trained with Alain Passard and once served as chef to the admiral of the French Pacific fleet, loves vegetables, fruit and fresh herbs, and his style is brilliantly witty and deeply imaginative, as seen in signature dishes such as his galette of finely sliced button mushrooms and verjus marinated foie gras dressed with hazelnut oil, or turbot with baby spinach and sea urchins, both of which are part of his regularly changing tasting menus.
4 rue Beethoven, 16th
Ever since Chicago-born chef Daniel Rose moved from the 9th arrondissement to a renovated 17th-century house in Les Halles in July 2010, he's been playing to a packed house with his inventive cuisine du marche menu. This talented American shows off just how cosmopolitan the city's culinary talent pool has become, and Parisians have been swooning over dishes such as Basque country trout with avocado and coriander flowers and grilled New Caledonian prawns on a bed of shaved baby fennel. There's also Buvette (wine bar) in the basement, with a selection of charcuterie, cheese and several plats du jour; and with reservations tough to land for a table upstairs, it's a good bet for anyone who wants to taste Rose's wares without going through the reservation wringer.
6 rue Bailleul, 1st,
Since most of Paris's storied brasseries are now owned by corporate chains and serve wiltingly mediocre food, it's a pleasure to head to one of the last remaining independent ones in a quiet corner of the silk-stocking 16th arrondissement for a fine feed of such well-prepared French classics as onion soup, escargots, sole meunière, steak tartare, roast lamb and other Gallic standards. The people-watching here might be subtitled "the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie", service is efficient and this place has what the French call du gueule, or real character.
133, avenue Victor Hugo, 16th
Ze Kitchen Galerie
Styled like the neighbouring art galleries on this Saint Germain des Pres side street, this loft-like white space with parquet floors is furnished with steel tables and chairs and decorated with contemporary art. Chef William Ledeuil's popular restaurant offers an intriguing experience of contemporary French cooking. Ledeuil, who trained with Guy Savoy, is fascinated by Asia and makes imaginative use of oriental herbs and ingredients in original dishes like Sardinian malloreddus pasta with a pesto of Thai herbs, parmesan cream and green olive condiment, or grilled monkfish with an aubergine marmelade and Thai-seasoned sauce vierge.
4 rue des Grands-Augustins, 6th
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