Ever since travel stopped being an aristocratic privilege, the locals everywhere have delighted in disdaining tourists as sidewalk-clogging dimwits with no taste buds. Parisians know better. No sooner than a really good new restaurant opens in the hyper-reported French capital than it lands on to-go lists from San Francisco to Shanghai. Here are the seven newbies they’d like to keep for themselves this summer.
Caillebotte 8 rue Hippolyte-Lebas, 9th Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-53-20-88-70
When chef-owner Franck Baranger of the impossibly popular bistro Le Pantruche in the bobo-licious 9th Arrondissement — think a Gallic version of Park Slope — opened this second address, everyone in the quartier hoped they’d be able to get at some of the best modern-bistro cooking in Paris again without booking weeks in advance. So far, so good, but word of this little masterpiece, named in honor of the painter who lived and worked nearby, is getting out.
Recommended: Beet soup with fresh goat cheese and salmon eggs; pan-roasted cod with chickpea puree; chocolate ganache cake with brioche ice cream.
Coretta 151 rue Cardinet, 17th Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-42-26-55-55
Overlooking a beautiful new park named for Martin Luther King in the hip Batignolles neighborhood, this spot, from Mexican-born star chef Beatriz Gomez (Neva Cuisine), is named for King’s late wife. This duplex space — bar on the ground floor, restaurant upstairs — in a modern building is signed by Brune de la Guerrande and is the best-looking restaurant Paris has seen for a long time.
Recommended: Mackerel with white miso sauce; Granny Smith apple and ginger; veal sweetbreads with preserved lemon; sable tart with roasted pineapple.
Clamato 80 rue de Charonne, 11th Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-43-72-74-53
Young chef Bertrand Grébaut, who bagged a Michelin star for his spectacularly creative contemporary French cooking at his restaurant Septime this year, opened this frisky little small-plates seafood bar with partner Théo Pourriat this past winter and the city swooned. Not only is the catch-of-the-day menu great, but service is friendly, they don’t take reservations, and they do pour a variety of good natural wines and craft beers.
Recommended: The kraft-paper menu changes constantly, but look out for Utah Beach oysters from Normandy, "accrabes," a crab-meat riff on Caribbean accras (deep-fried fritters usually made with salt cod), and a high tide of ceviches and carpaccios.
Les Enfants Rouges 9 rue de Beauce, 3rd Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-48-87-80-61
Japan is more besotted by French gastronomy than any other country in the world, which is why dozens of ambitious young Japanese chefs arrive every year to apprentice in Paris kitchens. Many stay on and open restaurants, including the excellent Passage 53, Es, and Encore. Now chef Daï Shinozuka, who most recently worked as sous-chef to Yves Camdeborde at the famous Comptoir du Relais in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, has rebooted an old wine bar in the Marais as one of the best new modern bistros in Paris, and it’s immediately become an industry hangout with off-duty cooks.
Restaurant David Toutain 29 rue Surcouf, 7th Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-45-50-11-10
Young chef David Toutain is the rising star to catch in Paris right now. After cooking his way through the kitchens at Bernard Loiseau, Marc Veyrat, Arpege (Alain Passard), Mugaritz (Andoni Luis Aduriz), and Corton in New York, Toutain dazzled Paris during an 18-month stint as chef at L’Agape Substance in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and then he took off for Asia. Back in Paris, he turned on the lights at his own first restaurant last December, and this duplex dining room with a minimalist décor that mashes up Japan with Scandinavia has been packed ever since.
Recommended: The tasting menus offered here change regularly, but dishes like seared-duck foie gras in baked-potato bouillon with black truffles and cuttlefish with yuba (bean-curd sheet) and nearly translucent Parmesan gnocchi show off his potent gastronomic imagination.
Le Servan 32 rue Saint-Maur, 11th Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-55-28-51-82
Tucked away in the 11th Arrondissement where all the wild things are, this just-opened bistro in an old café with a retro cool atmosphere is run by charming sisters Katia and Tatiana Levha. Tatiana formerly cooked at a pair of three stars — Alain Passard’s Arpege and Pascal Barbot’s L’Astrance — and her cooking is deliciously bold and authoritative. Pour le petit histoire, she’s also chef Bertrand Grébaut’s girlfriend.
Recommended: Crabmeat vichyssoise; grilled quail with pickled cucumbers and crushed peanuts; strawberry-rhubarb tart with yogurt ice cream.
La Table d’Hugo Desnoyer 28 rue du Docteur-Blanche, 16h, Tel. 01-46-47-83-00
Butcher Hugo Desnoyer supplies a select galaxy of gastronomic stars in Paris, including Pierre Gagnaire, Inaki Aizpitarte at Le Chateaubriand, and Pascal Barbot of L’Astrance, with the best meat in France. Now at his new shop in a leafy part of Paris, you can feast on the spot at the appropriately butcher-block-topped table d’hotes. Only open during store hours (8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday), it seats just eight, and it’s become one of the toughest reservations in town.
Recommended: Staggeringly good steaks and a short-but-brilliant wine list.
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