“First we eat – then we do everything else”. — MFK Fisher
Looking for a great place to eat in the City of Light? Here’s a peek at some of the Paris restaurants that we’re enjoying right now.
In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Pakistani born chef Sylvestre Wahid helms his eponymous left bank 25-seat restaurant, designed by India Mahdavi. The chef works from a tiny, shiny, open kitchen — with a 2-seater chef’s table. (Lunch €85 + wine, A La Carte €175/€250)
Wahid’s backstory begins in Kohat, a region in the foothills of the Hindu Kush. His passion for cooking brought him to France where he worked for Alain Ducasse, Thierry Marx, and at L’Ousteau de Baumanière, Provence, and a stint in NYC at the now closed Essex House.
His cooking style is light and modern – with accents on herbs, vegetables, and hand mixed spices inspired by Olivier Roellinger. His attention to detail is precise as in the house made butter, breads made to his recipe by a local baker (“there’s no room in his kitchen to make it”). The excellent wine book, with eclectic French & world labels – and intelligent, by the glass pairings, was created by savvy head sommelier Marion Couchet.
Sylvestre, the ** Michelin restaurant, is located above the 100-year old Brasserie Thoumieux and incorporates the luxurious 15-room boutique hotel “Thoumieux” – designed by India Mahdavi. Doubles €220/350 + breakfast €18. “And, cherry on the gateaux, you’re guaranteed a table in the restaurant if you stay at the hotel!”
And for Sunday Brunch look no further than Brasserie Thoumiuex (€47).
79, rue Saint Dominique, 7th. Metro: La Tour Maubourg. Tel: 01 47 05 79 00. Website: www.thoumieux.fr
October 2016: Joël Thiebault’s stall at the iconic President Wilson street market is where chefs Micaël Memmi and Denny Imbroisi meet. Subsequently, Michaël dines at Ida, and Denny dines at Zo, they become besties and decide to launch Epoca together. You know chef Denny either from M6 TV’s Top Chef (2012), Le Jules Verne, William Ledeuil or Ida, his above mentioned outrageously successful 15th arrondissement address. Now add Epoca – the left bank trat-bistro 60-seat space – decorated “art deco-palazzo style” by talented interior architect Emilie Bonaventure.
Begin lunch with the Epoca cocktail (Stolichnaya, hibiscus syrup, lime, mint, prosecco). Starter and dish of the day cost 20€ – it’s dolce vita on Sunday with Brunch Italiano. Signatures (to share or not) include Les Carciofi alla guida (fried artichokes with tender hearts) and Les Spaghtonni caccio e pepe (spaghetti sheep cheese and black pepper). Don’t miss home made ice-cream – to share – or the tiramisu. Ciao bella!
17 rue Oudinot, 7th. Metro: Vaneau. Tel: 01 43 06 88 88. Open 7/7. Website: http://epoca.paris
What? Anagram for Elysée! Don’t ask! Le Figaro’s Emmanuelle Rubin calls Benjamin Artis’ designer space “a restau-bling”. Located in the heart of the Golden Triangle it’s an excellent address to check out what you should be (a) wearing (b) eating (c) drinking. Open 7/7 for lunch and dinner, and descend the Hollywood style staircase to the hip and happening bar with DJ and plenty of opportunities to make NBFs (“new best friends”). Order a Grey Goose vodka, lemon, basil and fresh mint based Baba Yaga cocktail (€17) from mixologist Aurélian Fleury and study the seasonal menu created by young talent Thomas Rossi (previously at One Bal Harbor Resort & Spa, Mini-Palais, La Faille in Paris, Pershing Hall and Market with Jean-Georges Vongerichten). From 22€ for the dish of the day.
“I aim to send out dishes that will please Yeeels’ cosmopolitan clientele”, Rossi explains. Perfect pizza Margerita and delicious dishes such as Roasted broccoli with truffles and parmesan – the perfect Detox salad: Penne, sauce parmesan, poulet. Veal, parsnips, sauce supreme. Cabillaud (cod) miso, potato pureé a touch of tomato. Average spend A La Carte 75€ + wine.
24 Avenue George V, 8th. Metro: George V. Tel: 01 42 88 75 75. Valet Parking. Website: https://yeeels.com/en/
Oficine Universelle Buly Marais
Recently opened, this is the latest concept by influencers extraordinaire Ramdame Touhani and Victoire de Taillac. Touhani told the New York Times that “the idea for Buly came to him after he read Honoré de Balzac’s 1837 novel “César Birotteau,” which chronicles a celebrity Parisian perfumer who loses his fortune in real estate speculation. Mr. Touhami was so intrigued by the tale that he researched it and discovered that the title character was based on a French fragrance tycoon named Jean-Pierre Bully, who sold skin tonic called Vinaigre de Bully”. There are now “Buly” outposts worldwide.
The Marais space is located in the former foundry where Rodin’s The Thinker was cast. The front of store resembles an 18th century apothecary, glass paneled oak cabinets crafted by French artisans, rare marble, mirrors, a real cabinet of curiosities showcasing Buly products. Add an elegant zinc bar, in homage to Café Tortoni – the iconic hotspot of 19th century Parisian pleasures – for coffee, juices, lunch and Nani Koré triangular Japanese sandwiches as well as the rear courtyard for dried flowers by Miyoko and pop-up collections created by Ramdame – at present it’s all about a “journey from Paris to London”.
Go figure! But do go and have a look…
43 rue de Saintonge, 3rd. Metro: Filles du Calvaire. Tel: 01 42 72 28 92. Closed Monday. Website: https://www.buly1803.com/fr/magasins#paris
Bistronomy was born here, on rue Flaubert, in 1987 when Michel Rostang opened Bistro d’A Côté (the bistro next door) in an elegant former family grocery store adjacent to his eponymous flagship gastronomic restaurant – where the marble shelves and gilded windows showcased the past. Thus began a new trend in France – and the world – with chef’s opening atmospheric informal bistrot, a more casual way (no jackets required) of tasting the cuisine of a top chef. “Le Flaubert offers neo-traditional dishes based on regional specialties from Lyon, Savoy and Provence, places close to my heart and my family”, says Michel Rostang.
Heading the kitchen is 30 something Romain Bréchignac (ex-Royal Monceau) the warm welcome comes from Flaubert Director Julien Dubois, the room’s a curio collector’s dream: the food a valeur sûre. As in starters of wild duck paté en croute, or gnocchi, veal sweetbreads, cèpes mushrooms. Mains of signature pike perch quenelles, sauce Nantua, grilled rice or Aubrac Beef, roasted butternut squash, pepper jus. Cheese from Miss Dubois https://www.facebook.com/fromageriemartinedubois/ and, say, Plum and grape dessert with honey ice-cream. The menu changes frequently, lunch from €28-€45 dinner €45 plus A La Carte and interesting wines.
Tap into the Rostang family zeitgeist here: http://www.rostangperefilles.com/?lang=en
10 rue Gustave Flaubert, 17th. Metro: Ternes/Courcelles. Tel: 01 42 67 05 81. Closed for dinner Sunday & Monday. Closed for lunch Saturday-Sunday-Monday. Terrace – Dog friendly. Website: www.bistroflaubert.com