Paris is both full of svelte attractive people, and delicious restaurants aiming to make them all less svelte -- adding fuel to that already uneasy dynamic, here are 10 just-opened spots all aiming to blow out Parisian waistlines in 2014.
Name: Le BAT
Why You Should Care: BAT stands for Bar à Tapas. But let’s be clear: these are not your dive bar Spanish tapas. The options at Le BAT are tapas with a French gastro touch and a bit of international fusion (think: oysters w/ a pomegranate & ginger vinaigrette). The tapas rotate weekly, but if you somehow don’t like tapas? Fear not friend, because you know what else BAT stands for? Bar à Tartares, so get some delicious raw steak instead.
Name: Les Enfants Rouges
Why You Should Care: Sure, Paris’s Japanese resto scene is booming, but a Japanese chef cooking French food? Apparently not only is it a thing, but it’s an amazing thing. Les Enfants Rouges used to be mostly a wine bar, but now that Daï Shinozuka is helming the kitchen, everyone's crowded around the tables instead of the bar. It’s certainly French cooking taken to the next level, with a bit of mix from other culinary cultures; salmon fillets in beef bouillon anyone? There’s a solid wine list, complete with some natural wines, and Shinozuka gets his bread from Parisian favorite Thierry Breton.
Why You Should Care: While the neighborhood around St. Lazare train station leaves something to be desired (better graffiti, maybe?), now there’s Chef Eric Frechon’s new venture Lazare to keep you well-fed while you wait for your train out to Normandy, or just need a break from hanging out on Les Grands Boulevards. In the large space that’s all-French-food-all-the-time, you can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s a daily lunch special for 18€, and if you really want to go all out, check out the Sunday “Grandmother’s Breakfast”, a 38€ brunch blowout. Recommended? The horse steak topped w/ grilled bacon.
Name: Café Trama
Why You Should Care: This classic French spot pairs its rough Art Deco designs w/ a country-style menu boasting the likes of duck foie gras w/ apple & fig chutney, Thai-flavoured (!) beef tartare, and country terrines with sweet & sour pickles. It’s all reasonably priced, and there’s a solid wine list (naturally) available by the glass.
Name: La Cantine de la Cigale
Why You Should Care: If you’re looking for a casual Parisian bistro feel, La Cantine de la Cigale has plenty to offer. Well-priced, it’s a good fit if you are looking for a traditional French dining experience but don’t want to shell out hundreds of euros. Even better: they don’t take rezzies. Roll with crispy pig ears as a starter, then onto razor clams, and roasted barbue fish to follow.
Why You Should Care: From the uber-chef behind neo-bistro Septime, Clamato’s seafoodery is appropriately decorated w/ boat deck-style wooden floors & ceilings, while the menu sees a slew of oysters (from Utah beach to Maldon rocks), small plates like curry marinaded shrimp, and naturally a clam-laded Bloody.
Why You Should Care: When you’re craving the taste of home, head to Bronco, which advertises “legit American food”. Read: greasy, fatty, and lots of burgers, starting at 11€ (which is actually pretty reasonable in a city whose gourmet obsession extends even to the humble beef puck). Order a coffee and you’ll get a brownie with it. And if all that doesn’t pull you in, maybe the party scene will: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1030p onwards there’s a DJ.
Name: Holybelly Cafe
Why You Should Care: Dedicated to all things breakfast, Holybelly’s Canal Saint Martin spot is smartly decked out in old-school tile floors and rough wooden tables. They get their (strong) coffee from the nearby Belleville roastery, and use it to wash down day-starters like eggs w/ boudin noir, and bacon brownies
Why You Should Care: Slinging Franco-Asian cuisine out of a former butcher shop, head Chef Yoshi Morie has whitewashed the walls, and laid out inventiveness like hay-smoked white tuna w/ red onion & blackberries, or burnt mackerel filets with poppy seeds to go with a small-but-perfectly-formed wine list of all-natural vinos.
Why You Should Care: Israeli street food in Paris? Sure, why not. In the heart of the Marais, the city’s Jewish quarter, is Miznon -- already well known in Tel Aviv for its quick-yet-delicious Israeli fare, the food of choice is pitas, which they’ll load up w/ chicken, lamb kebab, steak, etc. You can eat in the restaurant or grab a pita to go. Plus? You can get Israeli wine too, and it must be good if it’s competing against the local stuff, right?
1. Le BAT16 bis Blvd Montmartre, Paris
2. Les Enfants Rouges9 Rue de Beauce, Paris
3. Lazare ParisC.C St Lazare Paris, Paris
4. Café Trama83 rue du Cherche Midi, Paris
5. La Cantine De La Cigale124 boulevard de Rochechouart, Paris
6. Clamato80 Rue de Charonne, Paris
7. Bronco39 Rue des Petites Écuries, Paris
8. Holybelly19 rue Lucien Sampaix, Paris
9. Encore43 Rue Richer, Paris
10. Miznon22 rue des Ecouffes, Paris
Located in the 9th, this tapas resto serves small plates that are not of the Spanish variety, rather, they cook up their food with a French gastronomic touch with international fusion.
Les Enfants Rouges is unique in the fact that it's a French fare resto with a Japanese chef, and boy does it work. Come by for some salmon filets in beef bouillon and order from their extensive wine list.
This large space serves all French fare all the time and you can order breakfast, lunch, or dinner to that effect. Looking for something super-French? Get the horse steak with grilled bacon.
This cafe with an Art-Deco design serves up classic French fare using only fresh ingredients and produce, and there is plenty of foie gras and charcuterie for your French fix.
This resto has a casual Parisian bistro feel to it and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. And the best part? (other than not losing limbs) They don't take reservations so you can just pop in at a moment's notice.
Seafood lovers in Paris rejoice. The name, of course, is a reference to the tomato juice drink that you'll often find in your Bloody (concocted here with clam juice), and the fact that it has a killer bar in addition to great ocean grub should have you running to get here.
Bronco doles out legit 'Merican food, such as gourmet burgers, and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, there's a DJ so you can rock out while you chow down.
Located in the 10th, this resto is perfect for breakfast (we're talking classic bacon and eggs breakfast), and they have a wicked coffee to boot.
This resto serves up Franco-Asian fare made by the fabulous Chef Yoshi Morie. They source their ingredients from some of the best purveyors in the country and the focus of the wine menu is "natural".