Eat the Year – Start Here! Paris Restaurants to Try This Winter

Eat the Year – Start Here! Paris Restaurants to Try This Winter
“The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a star.” –André Daguin 1935-2019. RIP chef. Aux Lyonnais Celebrates 130 Years In 1890 the former coal depot became a famous bistro, serving authentic Lyonnais specialities. Fast forward to 2002 when Alain Ducasse acquired the space (near the Bourse and the Opera Comique), having fallen in love with its history. As a 16-year-old apprentice, Ducasse remembers time spent in Mionnay, near Lyon, at Alain Chapel’s eponymous restaurant, calling him “my spiritual Father”. To celebrate 130 years, Aux Lyonnais’ head chef Yann Mastantuono invited three chefs (from Les Collectionneurs – the group of interesting restaurants, hotel and travel ideas) to showcase dishes that will feature on the menu this year. There’s the warmest of welcomes from the charming Directeur du Salle Eric Mercier, who’ll talk you through mouthwatering dishes by Julien Allano from Clair de la Plume, Grignan (February), André Taormina from Ambroisie, St Didier de la Tour (March), and Jean-Michel Carrette from Aux Terrasses, Tournus (April). Begin with Allano’s “Compression of winter vegetables”. Follow with Carrette’s “pikeperch mousseline, Nantua sauce”. Then Taormina’s tender compression of wild rabbit with potato gnocchi. And, to finish, Aux Lyonnais chef Mastantuono’s perfect chocolate soufflé (made with Ducasse chocolate) and vanilla ice cream. Match with white Saint-Véran from Gilles Morat or the fruity red Saint-Amour Château des Bachelards 2016. 32 rue Saint Marc, 2nd Tel: +33 (0)1 42 96 65 04 Metro: Richelieu Drouot Closed Saturday lunch Sunday & Monday Lunch – from €24 Dinner from €35 Dupin, a French Bistro In 1995, L’Epi Dupin – situated on a side street opposite La Grande Epicérie – was the concept of chef François Pasteau. He sent out incredible food from his postage stamp kitchen; L’Epi was the talk of the town, with mission statement eco-responsibility and seasonality. Recently Pasteau decided to take his foot off the peddle (“not entirely, you can still find me at L’Epi Malin, serving organic fast food,” he told us). Say hello to Le Lavendou-born Nathan Helo, with the same zero-waste locavore values as Pasteau, now helming Dupin. Following time spent studying business in London, then Grasse, and at Michel Rostang’s fabulous family addresses via Four Seasons George V, with David Bizet (now chez Taillevent!) The decor is by Richard Lafond (Tomy & Co, Pierre Gagnaire, Bordeaux etc.) using light wood, and a play of lights showcases original beams. Cute miniature vintage stoves decorate an alcove with Jean Gabin’s words etched beneath. “Je boirai du lait le jour ou les vaches mangeront du raisin.” (I’ll drink milk the day cows eat raisins!) I have a problem with Helo’s menu! I need to taste everything! Helo chooses his veg then decides which fish or meat to marry them to. My kind of chef. Always a place for vegetables, locavore where possible, as in multi-colored beets, physalis, mackerel and warm Ten Belles bread for mopping. Weekday lunch (€30 + wine) may finish with a “sharing” dessert: Baba Chartreuse Menton lemon, almonds, tarragon-verveine, anyone? You bet ! A la carte, look for smoked organic chicken egg, mussel marinade and corn barbecue, candied Brussels sprouts, sorrel, kiwi and salmon or a delicious cake of potatoes, cereals, poultry and pan juices. Wine? By the glass, the red Il fait soif from Maxime Laurent (€6 – €32 bottle) is an aromatic match for Helo’s delicious, original cuisine. 11 rue Dupin, 6th Metro: Sevres-Babylon Tel: +33 (0)1 42 22 64 56 Closed Sunday-Monday 5 course Tasting Menu – €56 + wine A La Carte – about €42 Terrace Shabour From the brigade that brought you Balagan – Dan Yosha, Assaf Granit, Uri Navon and Tomer Lanzman introduce Tel Aviv/Brooklyn attitude to the Sentier district. In Hebrew, Shabour means “broken” as in we’re (gently) breaking the codes. “And the first thing we broke was this place which dates from the 17th century and which, together with Maxime and Rodolphe of Cent15 Architecture, we’ve revised and corrected – making Shabour an invisible bridge between Israel and France, Jerusalem and Paris.” Around the giant marble bar, share not only with your +1 but also the entire central kitchen – make NBFs in a festive setting. Bread’s baked in an olive branch to dip in grilled octopus with Harissa sauce. Covet the fine Limoges china and crystal glassware. Taste the catch of the day, baba ganoush (mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahini, olive oil, a kick of spice), smoked tea poached egg, tahini, salmon eggs and caviar. Tortellini, chorizo, machluta (stewed fava beans) thick yogurt and pine nuts, eggplant caramel; beef cooked with dates and figs; pumpkin and labneh ravioli, tarragon infused brown butter. And then luscious ladles of chocolate mousse, blitzed with fleur de sel and olive oil: cheese cake, compôtes, everything changes daily and is made “in our fashion with love – chez nous becomes chez vous!” Wash down with Canadian Ice Cider (€12 glass). Shalom! 19 rue Saint Saveur, 2nd Metro: Réamur-Sebastopol, No ‘phone – email reservations Dinner only from 6.30-11.30pm Tasting Menu €81 – A La Carte Starters €8-19 Mains €26-€46 Pudds – €12-€14 Mourchevel Mountain Village Feeling a little jaded? Here’s a breath of post holiday fresh air on a hill overlooking le tout Paris. On Fecheray Terrace, in Suresnes, there’s a pop-up “ski resort” with 360 degree views of the city, and a Courchevel attitude. Just the ticket. With a strutting “frosty the snowman” atmosphere, Mourchevel’s concept rolls out a typical family ski resort altitude restaurant. The ambiance is ensure with a decor of “vintage” wood, skins and furs. Grown-ups sip mulled wine, while kids grill…

Lead photo credit : Aux Lyonnais. Photo: Pierre Monetta

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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, 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 !