5 Restaurants to Try Right Now in Paris

5 Restaurants to Try Right Now in Paris

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Bellanger. Photo: Alice Santini

Le Club Etchebest

The vibe here is plush 1930s private members club. Take a window seat in a vintage leather armchair; the Seine sparkles, the Pont Alexandre III is majestic, and the Eiffel Tower shimmers – ça c’est Paris.

Le Club “Captain” Christian Etchebest (of La Cantine du Troquet fame) is part of Generation Constant, the talented band of chefs who trained under the fabulous Christian Constant. From the Basque region, Etchebest set up his first “Troquet,” (slang for bistro or bar) on rue de L’Ouest (14th arrondissement), showcasing the food and wines of south-western France – there’s now six in Paris.

Always ready for new challenges, Etchebest has enthusiastically reworked the menu for The Club Seine river restaurant – an elegant former private space moored at Port de la Conférence. Young chef Romain Casas (Carré des Feuillants and Club Gascon, London) heads the open kitchens.

Restaurant Le Club. Photo: Margaret Kemp.

Study the menu, kick back on the bucolic Mademoiselle Mouche terrace/garden overlooking the Seine. 5 starters, 5 main courses and 5 desserts. South-West accents are never far away, especially with charcuterie by Etchebest’s bestie, Eric Ospital.

Here are some samplings: Market fresh green and white asparagus, thé matcha sabayon sauce; raw carpaccio and cooked scallops, avocado, beetroot and cauliflower. Pierre Duplantier’s plump organic poulard, fragrant venere whole grain black rice; the beau grilled rib of Eric Ospital’s pork; Slow cooked veal aux morilles mushrooms, fregola and old Comté cheese or, if you prefer fish, scallops, citrus and pumpkin.

Restaurant Le Club. Photo: Margaret Kemp

Choose Pic Saint Loup L’Olivette Clos Marie 2017 (€10-€45) or white Jurançon sec, cuvée Marie from Charles Hours 2015 (€8-€39. Then linger longer over warm chocolate mousse, seasoned with Espelette pepper and pumpkin, but don’t ignore pastis, mandarin and yoghurt ice cream or strawberry and basil panna cotta.

Port de la Conférence, 8th
Metro: Alma/Marceau
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 25 82 51
Closed Monday
Daily formula (€24) includes a glass of wine & coffee. A La Carte about €42
Sunday Brunch 11hrs-15hrs €55 includes a flute of champagne – children €30
Free guarded parking – day and night

Chez Fred

Chez Fred

The typical classic neighborhood bistro – on boulevard Péreire since 1945 – has a convivial new owner Laurent Hullo (Plaza Athénée, Monsieur Bleu, Kinugawa); a new chef, David Crozet (Scossa, Conticini, Costes, Monsieur Bleu, NYC the world); and an interesting “Parisian” menu impeccably served by Monsieur Alain, chez Fred for 17 delicious years!

Begin with a piscine (rosé wine, ice cubes), nibble crunchy radishes, butter, and fresh baked baguette. From the terrace admire shiny Bentleys, Rolls and Ferraris, neatly ferried away by the voiturier.

Chez Fred

A La Carte includes egg mayo, foie gras, confit de canard maison, snails, tartars, grilled Charolais beef or veal with morilles mushrooms: truffle rigatoni. (Average spend about €60 + interesting wines.)

Daily market blackboard specials, such as last Wednesday’s sexy plump white asparagus topped with airy egg white mousseline, chives (€14), followed by wild grilled salmon, beurre blanc, spinach and minted petits pois (€19). Vanilla Flan (€5) rum baba, crème caramel, apple tarte tatin, chocolate mousse are to share … or not!

190bis Boulevard Pereire, 17th
Metro: Pereire
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 74 20 48-
Valet Parking, Closed Sunday, Terrace

Apple Tatin, Chez Fred

Brasserie Bellanger

Victor Dubillot’s great-great-aunt Marie-Louise Bellanger’s cookbook inspires the title of this canteen chic, recently opened with co-start-up colleague Charles Perez. Here’s a neo-brasserie revolution coming your way.

“We didn’t know Marie-Louise. 100 years after she jotted down her recipes we’re using them! That’s the USP”, say Victor and Charly whose concept is a tribute to the conviviality of the brasseries of yesterday, revised and corrected for the 21st century.

Bellanger

As in, egg-mayo (€2), leek vinaigrette (€6), Burgundy chicken rillettes “Mamie Bellanger” (€7), signature Laguiole sausage + mashed potatoes (€13), Orgy Veggie – barley risotto, spinach coulis, old Comté cheese (13 €). Paris Brest (€8) Lemon Tart ((€8) Floating island with mango (7 €).

Cooking, insist Victor & Charly, is first and foremost about excellent products, and, on a pre-opening road trip of 6000km, throughout the hexagon, they sourced the best of French terroir from Périgord to Paris, read, from farm to fork.

Avocado toast, Bellanger. Photo: Alice Santini

“I want to copy that” décor’s by B3 Designers. Check out the basement bathrooms! All the codes of the traditional Parisian brasserie are respected, you know, those little details that signal you’re in Paris the minute you walk in.

140 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 10th
Metro: Barbes/ Poissonnière/Gare du Nord
Tel: +33 (0)7 82 32 92 08
Average spend lunch/dinner €25/€35
Open 7/7. Terrace. From 18hrs “Pimp my Spritz” cocktails (€7-€10)

Fish of the day, Bellanger. Photo: Alice Santini

Monak

Yacin Berrabah, former World Kickboxing Champion, has come up with a concept for a restaurant/cocktail bar, with oodles of attitude. “I want a place to chill that’s like me,” admits Berrabah. “Great food, cocktails, wine, convivial/casual atmosphere.” Fine, I believe you boy, no way am I going to mess with a Kickbox champ!

From the kitchen, Chef Marc Dizman fearlessly sends out: Delicious truffle pizza (€29), Grilled lobster for two (€89), chocolate fondant dessert (€14), and always a “suggestion du chef.”

Monak

The two floors are punctuated with love-it or loath-it funky art, sculptures and neons by the likes of Emmanuelle Rybojad and Kadoche.

Monak’s signature cocktail (€18) is shaken with or without alcohol. Mocktails including my favorite “Candid Meg” are €10 – the wine card offers some beauties.
And Berrabah’s a welcoming host. Trust me !

25 Avenue Pierre 1er of Serbie, 16th
Metro: George V
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 63 14 97
Valet parking. Open 7/7 from noon-2am

Terrace at Les Fables de la Fontaine

Les Fables de la Fontaine

David Bottreau (ex-Christian Constant until 2005) and chef Mehdi Karamane present Fable’s Spring/Summer “Menu Grand Bleu” – to be taken without moderation (€110 for two + wine, includes coffee). We drank Château Miraval 2017 by Jolie-Pitt-Perrin, €10 the glass.

Ah ! The shady terrace – you’re on the left bank plage of the atmospheric rue Saint Dominique – perfect for people watching.

Les Fables de la Fontaine

“Le Grand Bleu” menu lists three healthy (bikini ready) market-driven starters such as cajun spiced squid salad; chilled green petits pois soup; red beetroot, horseradish mousse, smoked eel, ginger and shiso with crusty bread and creamy home made fennel butter.

The main of Atlantic bass/sea bream (catch of the day) are grilled, skin golden and crispy, deboned tableside with, say baby leeks. Cheese – Saint Maure de Tourraine, tomato chutney, riquette and/or dessert – go for the rice pudding souffle, caramel and vanilla ice cream! Wicked! Here come the holidays!

A La Carte about €52 – Lunch formula €28 (Mon-Fri)
Carte Blanche menu €75

131 rue Saint-Dominique, 7th
Metro: La Tour Maubourg
Open 7/7, terrace
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 18 37 55

Les Fables de la Fontaine
Les Fables de la Fontaine

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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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