Paris Restaurants

Fusion, original or traditional cuisine, check out our selection of fantastic fare.

With a terrific location right in the heart of Paris near the big department stores and many theaters, L’Aromatik is a charming little bistro with an original art-deco décor that was once a popular night bar frequented by actors, performers (including Josephine Baker) and other night owls. With reasonable prices and friendly service, it’s a terrific choice for a relaxed and delicious meal. Young chef Bertrand Martin previously worked in several Costes brothers establishments, an experience reflected by the cosmopolitan variety of his regularly changing menu. “I’m fascinated by Asian cooking,” says Martin, who spikes the homemade béarnaise sauce served with a juicy steak with chopped seaweed and gives a creamy blanquette of monkfish a boost with cardamom oil. A delicious butternut squash soup is made with coconut milk and gently spiked with curry, and an intriguing turnover stuffed with goat cheese and pears is seasoned with allspice and garnished with dried fruit. L’Aromatik also serves an excellent Sunday brunch. 7 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (9th), 01 48 74 62 27.

Chef Claude Colliot won many fans during the years that he ran La Bamboche, a vest-pocket restaurant on the Left Bank near the Bon Marché department store. After selling the restaurant he’d founded, he did stints in a variety of other kitchens, but now he’s back with his own place right in the heart of the Marais. It’s a good-looking dining room with exposed stone walls, stylish comfortable modern chairs and hip light fixtures, and even a little counter for solo diners. Colliot’s cooking has the Zen refinement that is his signature and offers a great ecological detail, too; instead of bottled water, they offer micro-filtered water by the carafe, either flat or fizzy, for a very reasonable price. 40 rue des Blancs Manteaux (4th), 01 42 71 55 45.

Located just across from the sublime Jardin du Luxembourg, which I think is the most beautiful city park in the world, La Ferrandaise is that rarest of restaurants in Saint Germain des Pres, a really good, bona-fide French bistro. Why are such places so rare? These days the locals often love Asian and Italian food and don’t have time to prepare those long-simmered dishes their grandmothers made. When they get a hankering for real French bistro food, though, they head for amiable owner Gilles Lamiot’s place, which is named for the dominant breed of cattle in the central French Auvergne region where he comes from. Lamiot takes real pride in sourcing as much of his produce in the Auvergne as possible, which means that dishes featuring veal or beef from La Ferrandaise cattle should not be missed. His cheese tray, one of the best on the Left Bank, almost entirely Auvergnant, shouldn’t be missed either. Young chef Kevin Besson is a real talent too, making La Ferrandaise a terrifi c table, which means reservations are always necessary. 8 rue de Vaugirard (6th), 01 43 26 36 36.

Anyone looking for a perfect place for a business meal or a romantic dinner should make a beeline for this charming restaurant in the 17th arrondissement not far from the Place des Ternes. A long banquette upholstered in sage-green cut velvet with a fern pattern (fougère is fern in French) dominates the dining room, which is intimate, elegant and relaxed. Chef Stéphane Duchiron previously cooked with Jacques Lameloise, Guy Savoy and Roland Durand (Passiflore), and his cooking is original, intelligent and absolutely delicious. On a cold night, my starter of ravioli stuffed with Auvergnat pork in a bouillon hauntingly seasoned with star anise was one of the best dishes I’ve eaten in a long time and a friend’s coconut milk soup with prawns and lemongrass was excellent, too. Next, a perfectly cooked sole meuniére with Champagne butter and an excellent garnish of rice and black olives and tender veal breast with carrots, and finally a wonderful sampler of eight homemade sorbets and ice creams that we shared. Service here is warm and friendly, and since there’s only room for some 30 diners in this snug space, it’s also blessedly quiet and so perfect for conversation. 10 rue Villebois-Mareuil (17th), 01 40 68 78 66.