The Urbanist’s Paris: Where to Eat

From left, Bones and Juveniles Photo: Courtesy of Bones; Courtesy of Meg Zimbeck

French Cuisine, via the G Train
For every restaurant in Paris that feels like a Brooklyn transplant (flannel-clad waiters, industrial décor, farm-to-table fare), there’s a dyed-in-the-wool French spot to counter it. Three Paris-based food experts share their picks for both in three different arrondissements.

The Foodie:
Meg Zimbeck, 10th arr., writer and founder of ­

Très Brooklyn:
Floyd’s Bar & Grill
11 rue d’Enghien; 44-79-05-52
“Find craft cocktails and popcorn dressed with Pecorino, truffle oil, and Parmesan powder here. The semi-hidden dining room has an airy feel, and the French-American couple running the show serve bicultural starters like hot buffalo frogs’ legs with celery and blue cheese, plus the city’s only properly spicy Kansas City–style ribs.”

Très Paris:
Bistro Bellet
84 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis; 45-23-42-06
“This new address on the grotty rue Faubourg Saint-Denis is one of your best bets for tasting classic bistro dishes like blanquette de veau, fish stew, and moules marinière. Chef François Chenel passed through two of the most French bistros in Paris—Chez Michel and Café des Musées—before taking the helm here.”

The Foodie:
David Lebovitz, 11th arr., author and food blogger at ­

Très Brooklyn:
43 rue Godefroy Cavaignac; 80-75-32-08
“There is something un-Parisian about this place, from the chalkboard that says the bread is made in-house to the exceptionally friendly, bearded waitstaff (the sommelier is happy to open a bottle of wine for you to try before committing). The massive côte de bœuf is particularly outstanding and goes down well with any of the reds on the wine list.”

Très Paris:
West Country Girl
6 passage Saint-Ambroise; 45-23-42-06
“Crêperies are a dime a dozen in Paris, but this one stands out. The owners—a young French couple—put so much care into every dish. The ingredients are impeccably sourced; the dark, musky buckwheat honey comes from Brittany, as do the sparkling-fresh oysters, which arrive daily.”

The Foodie:
Laura Adrian, 1st arr., co-owner of Restaurant Verjus

Très Brooklyn:
1 rue Villedo; 47-03-33-65
“Now that chef Nomoto Masafumi has revamped his casual eatery with flourishes like exposed brick, young folks can be seen lining up out the door daily for homemade udon. The prix fixe lunch menu is worth the wait—it includes tonkatsu, onigiri, and perfectly seasoned udon with miso and pork.”

Très Paris:
47 rue de Richelieu; 42-97-46-49
“Juveniles, which was run by brazenly Scottish Tim Johnston for 27 years, has a new owner and chef: Johnston’s daughter Margaux, who oversees things while her French fiancé, Romain Roudeau, runs the kitchen. Every time I eat here, it gets better and better. Try the gnocchi with poached chicken and fava beans, and beautiful cod with piquillo peppers and potatoes.”

Where One Hot-Shot Chef Eats Frites
After he takes off his toque, chef Gregory Marchand—of the neo-bistro Frenchie, wine bar Frenchie Bar à Vins, and Frenchie to Go—hits these spots for breakfast, lunch, and spicy mescal cocktails.

Weekday Breakfast
“I’ll go to Holybelly in the 11th (19 rue Lucien Sampaix; 73-60-13-64), where the owner, Nicolas, and his lovely girlfriend, Sarah, are always so welcoming; the coffee is from local coffee roaster Belleville Brûlerie, and the food is great. Try the pancakes and fried eggs with crispy bacon and bourbon butter. There’s also a Monster Bash pinball machine in the back—my high score is 135 million.”

Lunch With the Kids
“On Sundays, Le Coq Rico (98 rue Lepic; 42-59-82-89) in Montmartre is the perfect place for a long lunch with my wife and kids. They specialize in roast chicken, but I usually just let the chef bring whatever’s best that day. As for what’s on the menu, try the poulet fermier de Challans, frites, and for dessert, the île flottante is unforgettable. There are often families at the other tables too, so the children can play together.”

Weeknight Apéro
Le Mary Celeste (1 rue Commines; 80-72-98-83) in the 3rd arrondissement has great cocktails; try the El Curado, made with Del Maguey mescal, pineapple, lime, chile, and smoked salt. For bar snacks, the deviled egg is terrific and they have a great selection of oysters. Be careful: You have to have a beard and ride a fixie to fit in with the crowd here.”

Night Out With Friends
“Chef Daniel Rose just moved into our building, so now I can finally get a reservation at Spring (6 rue Bailleul; 45-96-05-72). They serve seasonal dishes like fillet of venison with roasted pears, smoked beets, and black-trumpet mushrooms, but I don’t dare order here—I just let the chef send out what he wants and the sommelier choose the wine.”

Romantic Dinner
“After I proposed to my wife, Marie—and she said yes—we celebrated at L’Ambroisie (9 place des Vosges; 42-78-51-45). It’s an out-of-this-world three-Michelin-starred restaurant that has a number of 17th-century-inspired rooms. But no matter where you end up, you’ll feel like you’re hidden away in an old castle. And I’ll never forget the chocolate tart.”

Solo Supper
“When I’m on my own, I swing by Encore (43 rue Richer; 72-60-97-72) in the 9th. I sit at the bar with my friend Franck, the owner, and enjoy chef Masahide Ikuta’s seasonally inspired dishes, which are French with a Japanese influence. On any given night, you might get pork with roasted root vegetables or hay-smoked white tuna with red onion and blackberries.”

The Urbanist’s Paris: Where to Eat