April Food Buzz: The Best Restaurants in Paris this Spring

April Food Buzz: The Best Restaurants in Paris this Spring

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photo: Le Duc

“April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom, holiday tables under the trees.”

E.Y.HARBURG

Four Seasons George V – Cour Aux Etoiles

For the first time, the hotel’s magnificent marble courtyard — punctuated with floral creations by George V’s iconic Artistic Director Jeff Leatham — becomes an open-air gastronomic experience. The palace holds the most Michelin stars of any hotel in the world. Three at Christian Le Squer’s Le Cinq, one for David Bizet’s Orangerie (which the gastrotati say is worth two!) and one for Simone Zanoni’s Le George. From April 17th until summer’s end, taste the creative dishes of this talented trio and their teams on the chicest patio in town. (Menus: €65, €95, €310 + wine)

Simone Zanoni, David Bizet, José Silva, Christian Le Squer, photo: Four Seasons

Paris Need to Know

Le Bristol has a total of four Michelin stars with L’ Epicure & 114 Faubourg, The Ritz, Paris three stars for L’Espadon and Les Jardins de L’Espadon, Le Plaza-Athénée three stars with Alain Ducasse, and Le Meurice two stars (with Alain Ducasse as well).

Four Seasons George V, 31 Avenue George V, 8th. Metro: George V. Tel: 01 49 52 70 00. Website: www.fourseasons.com/paris/

Le Duc (since 1967)

Celebrating 50 years since the Minchelli brothers – Paul and Jean – created a culinary revolution (serving raw fish, unknown at the time, copied everywhere since) on Boulevard Raspail, an oyster’s throw from Fondation Cartier and the ateliers of César and Dali. With yacht attitude, the interior’s all varnished wood, portholes and piscatorial bronzes – as originally created by stylish restaurant designer Slavik (1920-2014), also responsible for the first Drugstore Publicis, Chez George, Porte Maillot, Le Jules Verne etc.

Chef Pascal Hélard. Photo credit: Lisa Klein Michel

Together with Madame Valerie Minchelli (Jean’s widow), the equipe work in tandem with Maîtres d’hotel Christophe and Olivier. From the kitchen, chef Pascal Hélard sends out starters of Sardines à l’escabèche, gleaming raw sea bass slivers, scallops and oysters in their shells, sea bass and salmon tartares, fresh crab salad, monkfish drizzled with olive oil and lime, John Dory, vodka butter, sautéed clams with thyme, shrimps Château de Feuilles, Saint-Jacques au naturel. Drink the vivacious 2013 white Burgundy Rully 1er cru Rabourcé from Olivier Leflaive (50€). Mains of, say, langoustines soufflé or ginger roasted langoustine; monkfish fricassée with caramelized endives; not forgetting perfectly grilled red mullet, anchovy butter, turbotin and sole with steamed seaweed. Try the excellent Domaine Richeaume “Cuvée Columelle 2012 (60€) and finish with Roquefort cheese (bread from Lalos), Île Flottante, Chocolate cake, or the Rum Baba. Classic excellence guaranteed.

Lunch €55, Dinner A La Carte from €95 + wine.

243 Boulevard Raspail, 14th. Metro: Raspail. Tel: 01 43 20 96 30. Closed Sunday-Monday. Gone fishing! Valet Parking. Website: restaurantleduc.com

Le Duc

Restaurant Alan Geeam

New adventure for the gregarious and talented Alan Geeam who has transformed the former Akrame into a 20-seat, contemporary wood and natural stone space. He hopes this gastronomic restaurant, near the Arc de Triomphe, will bring him some *** from Michelin. “Opening a restaurant is like a birth,” he reflects. “This is my fourth address and my award winning brigade including Irwin Durand and Julien Noray, the pâtissier, have been working on it for nine months!”

Alan Geaam

The talented, mostly self-taught, chef is sending out exquisite dishes from the tiny open kitchen (signature pigeon on signature Sylvie Coquet plates, yum!) with a nod and a wink to his native Lebanon and world travels. Lunch 40€ + 25€ with wine pairings; Menu Decouverte 60€ + 40€ with wine; 7 plate Signature Tasting Menu 80€ + 50€ wine pairing; or A La Carte about 60€ + wine. “Call me a fabricant de plaisir,” says this very passionate chef from the door of his state-of-the-art auberge.

We say it’s a triumph! But do reserve ahead.

19 rue Lauriston, 16th. Metro: Etoile/Kleber. Tel: 01 45 01 72 97. Closed Sunday & Monday. Website: www.alangeeam.fr

La Fourchette de Printemps

This Michelin-star bistro was opened in 2009 by Nicolas Mouton (great name for a chef, eh!?) and Cedric Delvart (pâtisserie) formerly of Le Crillon with Dominique Bouchet and Le Bristol with Eric Frechon. From the starters we chose Koulibiac of Salmon and Crispy shrimp– cut with balsamic, studded with parmesan, Taggiasche olives, quails eggs and basil– and mains of citrus crust roasted St. Jacques scallops and Spicy lacquered duck with turnip mousse. Wine, by the glass from €8. Sip the red Rhône Valley Saint Joseph “Poivre et Sol” Domaine F. Villard 2014 (58€) or try the versatile White Languedoc 2014 Saint Chinian Mas (Isabelle) Champart (32€). To finish, enjoy La Pomme with green apple sorbet or Le Biscuit Roulé Chocolat Jivara/mandarin confit. Menus lunch & dinner from €18-€30; A La Carte about €40-45 + wine.

30 rue du Printemps, 17th. Metro: Wagram/Malesherbes. Closed Saturday lunch & Sunday. Website: www.lafourchetteduprintemps.com

Michalak Café

Café Michalak

Warning! Do not go to Christophe Michalak’s website if you’re hungry! Rather hop on a Vélib bike and race over to his recently opened café. Post Plaza Athénée, where he was Executive Pastry Chef, the rock n’ roll pâtissier launched his own “cosmic” brand, authored several books, and launched a cookery school.

Christophe Michalak © delphinemichalak

Now by popular demand you can “eat-in” or “take-away” his unique, wild, wacky and always delicious products. On the café menu, you’ll find sweet-savouries such as crème brûlée with old parmesan, gougères with Cantal cheese and Curry, warm tomato madeleines – as well as soups, salads, smoothies, and omega filled healthy sandwiches… And of course those wicked desserts! Average spend lunch €14 – you have been warned!

60 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 10th. Metro: Poissonnière. Open Monday-Saturday 11h-19h. Website: www.christophemichalak.com

Diary Dates:

Dinner April 20th chez Anicia when François Gagnaire welcomes chef Greg Cuilleron and Vincent Lagrand (wine maven at www.cavemarconlepuy.com). The menu: anicia-bistrot.com (120€ with wine)

Anicia Bistrot Nature by François Gagnaire, 97 rue du Cherche-Midi, 7th. Metro: Duroc Tel: 01 43 35 41 50. Read our review here.

Clos Montmartre millésime 2016

You have until April 31 to order Vin du Clos Montmartre from the vineyards of the Republic of Montmartre. (Red 45€ – Rosé 30€ made from mostly Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes). And diarize 11-15th October for the 84th Wine Harvest with profits going to various local charities.

Bouteille cuvée

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !

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