34 rue des Rosiers
Paris is not exactly a city known for its street food, but the fallafel
sandwich here makes for a transcendental vegetarian experience.
Piled into a pita is the requisite super-crisp, garlicky chickpea
fritters, with creamy hummus, lightly pickled red cabbage, cucumbers,
fried eggplant and just-hot-enough harissa. Grab one to eat in the
street with the locals and watch the people pass by. You
have to order from and pay the cashier on the right before offering
your receipt to the guys in the window who produce your sandwich.
Fils des Saisons
6 rue des Fontaines du Temple
A newly renovated restaurant with a menu composed of seasonal specialties.
The chef composes the menu according to what is found in the market:
on the menu foie gras roasted in honey, tartar of red radish with
marscapone and balsamic vinegar, pan-grilled Perch, homemade sorbets,
bread uniquely presented on a skewer and coffee served with caramels.
20 rue St-Martin
If you loved Benoît before it became the property of Alain
Ducasse and Thierry de la Brosse -- the pair that revived Aux Lyonnais
-- chances are you'll adore it now. Without changing the vintage
1912 setting, which needed nothing more than a minor dusting, the
illustrious new owners have subtly improved the menu with dishes
such as marinated salmon, frogs' legs in a morel mushroom cream
sauce, and an outstanding cassoulet served in a cast-iron pot. Hardworking
young chef David Rathgeber, formerly of Aux Lyonnais, keeps the
kitchen running smoothly and the waiters are charm incarnate. It's
a splurge to be here, so go all the way and top off your meal with
tarte Tatin that's caramelized to the core or a rum-doused baba.
5 rue de la Bastille
Opened in the 1860s, Bofinger is the oldest Alsatian brasserie in
town and one of the best. It's a Belle Epoque dining palace, resplendent
with brass and stained glass. Affiliated with La Coupole, Julien,
and Brasserie Flo, the restaurant has updated its menu, retaining
the most popular traditional dishes, like sauerkraut and sole meunière.
Recent additions include roasted leg of lamb with fondant of artichoke
hearts and parsley purée, grilled turbot with brandade of
fennel, and stingray with chives and burnt-butter sauce. Shellfish,
including fresh oysters and lobster, is almost always available
in season. Weather permitting, you can dine on an outdoor terrace.
In light of the restaurant's rich history, they've designated an
in-house staff member, Jean-Pierre, to conduct brief complimentary
tours of the place for interested diners. During the course of your
meal, if you're interested, make your intentions known, and a brief
French-language tour will probably evolve. If you don't speak French,
the gist of the tour will be delivered, in English, on a pamphlet.
5 rue du Trésor
Within the picturesque Marais area, discover one of the favourite
places of trendy young parisians. Gorgeous girls and dashing young
blokes - gay and straight - attend this trendy bar. Partying is
the done thing and the place generally gets packed-up at weekends.
A warm and friendly place with colored walls and comfortable red
leather armchairs, fun nights are animated by crazy DJs.
Centre Pompidou, 6th floor, 19 rue Beaubourg
The Centre Pompidou is again in the spotlight; all of artsy Paris
is talking about this place. Georges is in a large space on the
top floor of Paris's most comprehensive arts complex, with views
through bay windows over most of the city. The decor is minimalist
and postmodern, with lots of brushed aluminum and stainless steel.
Tables are made from sandblasted glass, lit from below, and accessorized
with hypermodern cutlery. Menu items are mostly Continental, with
hints of Asia. Some combinations surprise -- macaroni with lobster,
for example. Others seem exotic, including roasted ostrich steak.
Aside from these dishes, some of the best items on the menu are
roasted scallops with lemon butter and tuna steak spiced with coriander.
There's also a luscious version of sole meunière (may that
dish never go out of style!). To get here, head for the exterior
elevator to the left of the Pompidou's main entrance. Tell the guard
you have a reservation; otherwise, you might not be allowed up.
9 place des Vosges
One of Paris's most talented chefs, Bernard Pacaud, draws attention
with his vivid flavors and gastronomic skill. Expect culinary perfection
but a cool reception at this 17th-century town house, where the
decor resembles an Italian palazzo. Pacaud's tables are nearly always
filled with diners who come back again and again to see where his
imagination will take him next. The dishes change seasonally and
may include fricassee of Breton lobster with chestnuts, served with
purée of pumpkin; turbot braised with endive, served with
julienne of black truffles; or one of our favorite dishes in all
Paris, poulard de Bresse demi-deuil homage à la Mère
Brazier (chicken roasted with black truffles and truffled vegetables
in a style invented by a Lyonnais matron after World War II). An
award-winning dessert is tarte fine sablée (a delicate small
biscuit) served with bitter chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
19 place des Vosges
Tucked under the 17th-century stone and brick arcades of the Place
des Vosges featuring red and white checked table cloths and old
fashioned wooden tables, Ma Bourgogne has a nice country air about
it, which would make it feel right out of Burgundy were it not for
the typical Parisian wait staff in their white aprons and black
vests. The fare is hearty, with huge servings of lentils and pork,
foie gras, steaks, and enormous salads full of cheese and ham. The
terrace seats, heated with gas parasols, are highly coveted even
in the winter.
12 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
The perfect ending for a day wandering the streets of the Marais
is a great authentic meal in a lively atmosphere. Excellent wine
menu which features a special selection of the month. Le Coude Fou
serves a great soup as a starter which is served in half a crusty
loaf of bread. Lively music and staff, with great artwork on the
9 rue du Béarn
This bistro attracts a fashion-conscious crowd. The wood-decorated
interior is warm and welcoming, the menu short and modern with Asian
touches. Start with refreshing raw tuna flash-fried in sesame seeds
and served with a Thai sauce; then why not try pan-fried scallops
with lime or a vegetarian risotto rich in basil, coriander, cream
and green beans.
4 rue de roi de Sicile
One of the best places in town for a good Pad Thai (and other delectable
Thai treats), located just around the corner from 7 rue Malher.
Their Pad Thai is served with chicken or shrimp and has the perfect
blend of spice and sweetness. The space is dark and intimate and
the service is warm, friendly and attentive.