The Chicest Restaurants To Go To In Paris According To Our In-House Foodie Charlene Fang
Maison by Sota Atsumi
Image: Instagram @maison_sota
Fans of Clown Bar’s highly creative French cuisine (they’re famous for making calf brains swimming in dashi broth cool) will make a beeline for Maison by Sota Atsumi. The former Clown Bar chef has opened his own eatery, a laidback, convival 40-seater space in the 11th arrondissement, in a setting that was once a repair workshop of coffee machines. Here, the menu of Japanese-accented French cuisine is less experimental and more homely in feel – but with some serious culinary chops. Think perfectly seared monkfish with foie gras, market fresh tuna belly in arugula juice and a begging-to-be grammed Paris Brest. Bookings are opened two months in advance but don’t let this put you off. Just show up and hope someone cancels.
Image: Instagram @oursinparis
That this chic Greek tavern-style eatery is the brainchild of Simon Porte Jacquemus – he planned every detail – together with Kaspia Caviar is reason enough to have a meal there. That it is located is within the Galeries Lafayettes’ on the Champs Elysees makes it a no-brainer. Inside, a wall of displayed ceramics and handwoven rattan chairs sit in a cool whitewashed space adorned by a a lemon tree and cosy niches, setting the scene for small plates like sea urchin taramasalata, flounder cooked on the bone, clam linguine and Sicilian salsa with red mullet. With the food inspired by the Mediterranean sea and the setting by Jacquemus’ “dream place”, a meal at Oursin is akin to stepping into the mind of this fashion genius and what inspires him.
Le Train Bleu
This showstopper of a restaurant located in the heart of Gare de Lyon in Paris – yes, the actual train station – is a world apart from its frantic setting. The elaborate Belle Epoque dining room was designated as a Monument Historique in 1972 and originally created for the Exposition Universelle. Today, it retains a dreamlike elegance with chandeliers, leather banquettes and walls adorned with murals depicting the route from Paris to the Cote d’Azur. The kitchen, now helmed by chef Michel Rostang and his daughters is quintessentially French with flambeed dishes and a menu heavy on broths and stock, standouts include a juicy chicken served with a rich tarragon cream sauce, fluffy quenelles with perch, and fresh profiteroles served tableside. But perhaps the star of the show is the dapper blue-uniformed groom who’ll help guests with luggage and regularly announces train arrival and departure times.
Image: Instagram @delirium1
Picture this: An all-candlelit setting, stone walls with stainless steel accents and an open central kitchen concept where heavily-tattoed chefs wield magic in front of enthralled diners seated behind an elegant green marble counter. A setting this stylised could only be found in Paris. Set up by Assaf Granit, one of Israel’s most famous chefs, on rue Saint-Sauveur in Paris 2nd arrondissement, the newish eatery has already won awards and countless rave reviews (Vogue loves it) for its bold flavoured cuisine described as “a bridge between Israel and France, Jerusalem and Paris”. A sharable, movable feast, delight in the signature Frenavon bread spiked with za’atar, the eye-catching grilled squid accompanied by a bold harissa sauce, the tea-smoked poached egg anoited with a tahini foam, caviar and salmon eggs, while palate cleanser of mustard ice cream or chocolate mousse with fleur de selresets the tone for a rich ending of thecreamy panna cotta-likemalabi served with fresh figs and tart raspberries.
Image: Instagram @esulee
This under-the-radar spot (they don’t have a website or listed phone number) may not be super new but it is still an in-demand spot to dine at. A favourite of the city’s chefs, C.A.M by Korean chef Esu Lee and restaurateur Phil Euell has been the talk of the town for its playful combination of Korean-Australian-French flavours.The results are expectedly original, fried tofu stuffed with brie, rice and gondre (a wild Korean herb), shrimp toast made with brioche, steak tartare with a spicy gochujang sauce and lettuce “cups” of soy-sauce beef with herbs and clams. Reservations aren’t accepted for parties smaller than six so you’ll just have to rock up to 55 rue au Maire and hope for the best.