Monday, September 6, 2010

Restaurants: Best Places to Eat Out in Paris

Restaurants: Best Places to Eat Out in Paris

This is a common question. The issue is what do you mean by "best." The world of restaurant critics has already made a list for you in the form of the Michelin star system and lines of tourists at places like Le Jules Verne (where people invariably gush over "the view"). Any of these are fine choices if 1) Money is no object and 2) You want to do what any guidebook would suggest.

If you'd like something a bit less stratospheric in cost and not dominated by tourists and businessmen on expense accounts then try one of these:

1) l'Agrume at 15 Rue des Fossés Saint-Marcel in the 5th. (Phone:01 43 31 86 48) Tucked away on a side street this tiny little place is the domain of chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi one of the enfants terrible of modern French cooking. The interior is spare and modern and there is no view except for the apartment building across the street. But make reservations because this is arguably THE best restaurant in Paris that you never heard of. Take the five course tasting menu for 35 euros and try to get a seat at the counter looking into the kitchen. The chef explains what he is doing and tells you his philosophy of each dish as he presents it to you.

2) L’Avant-Comptoir is at 9 Carrefour de l’Odeon in the 6th. A sort of French tapas bar it is owned by Yves Camdeborde who also owns le Comptoir du Relais next door. If you're looking to try a variety of small plates rather than having a big dinner this is the place to go. There are no seats and they take no reservations. You'll be elbow to elbow with hordes of foodies and fashionable people waiting to eat next door or at Les Editeurs across the street.

3) Le Bistrot des Oies at 33 rue Bichat in the 10th. Another small place owned by two bright young men devoted to the French notion of "terroir" Have the roast goose. Take a look at their website and blog:

EDIT: Rose T makes some good suggestions too. Aloutette is actually at 18 Rue du Champ de l'Alouette by the Glacière metro stop.

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