A second effort from the folks behind Pirouette, here with a chef who trained in Japan and his arsenal of anywhere-East-of-here flavors. The two-course 20€ lunch menu on the day of our visit included gnocchi with gingered sea bass, plus steak with caramelized shallots and tempura shimeji mushrooms. The three-course 45€ menu (available lunch & dinner) is a roster of French standards with exotic inflections, like my dish of perfectly cooked turbot accented with nori and encircled by delicate nests of interwoven fennel and shallot strands. If there’s anything to shrug about, it’s the interior. Design choices that worked well in the shadowy space of Pirouette appear here, in the shadow of the centuries-old Palais Royal, as painfully new. In any case, Zébulon’s arrival is great news for anyone hoping to eat well before or after a visit to the Louvre, and a welcome addition to the increasingly interesting (Verjus, Juveniles, Heimat) Palais Royal quarter. Continue reading
Laurent Fréchet from Pirouette – a restaurant that has become a quiet favorite of ours – is planning to open a new outpost in the 1st. Construction has just begun in the old Pierre au Palais Royal space at 10 rue de Richelieu, so it will probably be several months before the new restaurant L’Hurluberlu is open.
As chef, they’ve hired a former cook from Le Meurice, according to Atabula, and there are no plans to close Pirouette.
Read the full story from Atabula
Learn more on our guide page for Pirouette
Each month we collect the reviews that interest us most, add excerpts to the pages collected in Our Guide to Paris Restaurants (and shops) and present you with a summary. We update it continuously throughout the month, with the newer reviews appearing at the top. For serious restaurant geeks only.
New & Newish Openings
- Le Servan (75011) – Even the unbearable noise and service screw-ups couldn’t keep Thierry Richard from remarking on the ability of chef Tatiana Levha. “Dans l’assiette, le talent est là, et à haute dose. On joue sur la subtilité des accords traités sur le fil. Asperges blanches, crème tandoori et sauge frite, sur des cuissons impeccables, des confrontations finaudes, une belle présentation, du floral en fil conducteur et de la délicatesse à tous les étages. Nul doute que la jeune chef ira loin.” David Lebovitz, on the other hand, had an all-around “terrific lunch for €23″ that was such good prix/quality ratio that he “can’t imagine getting a meal like I had in, say…New York, London, or San Francisco.” John Talbott returned and found it “just as good as a month ago, or better.” For additional reviews, read our page on Le Servan.
- Gyoza Bar 2 (75003) – The Japanese dumpling bar has a chic second location in the Haut Marais that Paris Bouge declared “tout comme dans l’autre restaurant… Cuisiné par des mains expertes sur un plan de travail tout en ouverture, ce petit chausson rapide en bouche, cuit à la vapeur et grillé d’un côté, se trempe dans une sauce soja-agrume parfaitement relevée.” What is different at this location, however, is flavored angel food cake roll-ups from Pâtisserie Ciel for dessert. For more information, read our page for Gyoza Bar 2.
- Les Déserteurs (75011) – “This is great food from great people at great prices,” according to John Talbott on a recent revisit. Read additional reviews on our page for Les Déserteurs.
- Restaurant A.T. (75005) – John Talbott returned to the recently opened Japanese restaurant for “another blow out experience.”
- Will (75012) – John Talbott returned and found his second visit to be “every bit as refreshing as before.” A trio of flavorful carpaccios “each had a burst of flavor from lemongrass, cilantro or Thai spices… All were so refreshing and perfect for summer.” Read additional reviews on our page for Will.
- Bob’s Bake Shop (75018) – Time Out liked the “très jolie boulangerie” for their good coffee and Anglo-Saxon pastries but eventually, pastry patriotism won out as “evidemment, rien ici n’est comparable à ce que l’on trouve dans l’immense majorité des boulangeries hexagonales.” For more reviews, read our page for Bob’s Bake Shop.
Not New, but Noteworthy
- Le Cornichon (75014) – Thierry Richard called it a bistro where they really cook citing “une cuisine qui, si elle ne néglige pas le sourcing et la qualité des produits, n’en a pas oublié pour autant comment filer une sauce ou serrer un jus. Une cuisine qui sait combiner les saveurs, les textures et les cuissons sans oublier de se faire plaisir.” For more reviews, see our page for Le Cornichon.
- 32 million people travel through Gare de Lyon each year and face SNCF station sandwiches. A Tabula aims to improve upon that and has selected their favorite spots for nearby good eats on the go including: Le Train Bleu, À La Biche Au Bois, Millie’s Cookies, Will, Boulangerie Versavel, Puerto Cacao, Potager du Monde, and Les Provinces.
- Lazare (75009) – Aaron Ayscough called the train station restaurant a “luxury convenience” citing the ability to get an omelette breakfast at 5pm. Also of note, “the difficulty of attaining a reservation is now proportionate to the quality of the food and service and ambience on offer, which is to say it’s no biggie.” For additional reviews, including our own scathing one, see our page for Lazare.
- Gaya (75007) – Pierre Gagnaire’s name might be world famous while Nicolas Fontaine’s name barely extends beyond the walls of Gaya, but Franck Pinay-Rabaroust said “Tant mieux… il délivre une partition culinaire plaisante, riche en goût et en émotion. Moins complexe que celle réalisée dans la maison mère de la rue de Balzac, la cuisine de Gaya propose néanmoins ce même peps à la « Gagnaire » qui fait que chaque plat peut surprendre mais sans dérouter. Ici, la cuisine y est plus sécurisante, sans sortie de route possible.” Find additional reviews on our page for Gaya.
- Caillebotte (75009) – Alexander Lobrano‘s first meals at the bistro “never measured up to the excellence of Le Pantruche” but he still called it “artful modern French bistro cooking in the heart of Paris” and recommended it for the first-rate people watching “especially at the bar, where locals can show up…without a reservation, a very clever idea that anchors the restaurant firmly in the quartier… this dining room says so much about how affluent Parisians like to eat today and the crowd offers a perfect tableau of the neighborhood. One way or another, it’s nice to have another first-rate and fairly priced local.” Read more reviews on our page for Caillebotte.
- Blueberry (75006) – Bruno Verjus popped into this creative sushi restaurant and walked away calling it a “belle address pour les petites et grandes faims, un refuge de haute qualité pour nos appétits” and recommends “les californian roll” in particular for its “belle allure, se confectionnent avec pureté et sincérité au fil des commandes, et se dévorent sans faim.”
- Pirouette (75001) – John Talbott boldly claimed that “Loiseau and Ledeuil have nothing on Tomy Gousset; what innovation!” after a visit to Pirouette which “is another place with both astonishing food and wonderful service, decor and welcome; not to mention great prices.” Find more reviews on our page for Pirouette.
- Ito (75009) – Aaron Ayscough called the Japanese izakaya a “ponzu scheme” for its “innocuous wine list, poor décor, or timid, business-plan cuisine, what marred the meal at Ito was a particularly bad case of the poor communication endemic to the service-client relationship in France. Ito’s menu, for instance, is a model of confusion.” Read additional reviews on our page for Ito.
- Ze Kitchen Galerie (75006) – Another trip to Ze Kitchen Galerie had John Talbott raving once again that the East-West fusion restaurant is “ever-changing, ever-new, ever-refreshing.” For more reviews, find our page on Ze Kitchen Galerie.
- Clamato (75011) – John Talbott returned to Clamato, again, and found it “just keeps getting better with each visit.” Find more reviews on our page for Clamato.
In the Shops
- Le Cave (75011) The wine cave from Inaki Aizpitarte focused on rare foreign imports doesn’t offer much beyond what you can find at “any hip Paris restaurant with a young, curious somm who is nonetheless handcuffed by the limited amount of good non-French natural wines that make it into France” according to Aaron Ayscough but it’s become his favorite Aizpitarte establishment for the quality of both the service from Beatrice and the fairly inexpensive take-out. For additional reviews, check out page for Le Cave.
To read about past months’ food and wine buzz, check our Word of Mouth archives.
Chef Tomy Gousset passed through the kitchens of Le Meurice and Daniel Bouloud (NYC) before opening this stunning new restaurant in the underserved district just north of Les Halles. Serious technique is brought to bear on beautiful veggies and offal alike. The consistently delicious dishes, the polished room and the very good wine list all add up to something that’s much greater than the bargain prices should allow. There’s a prix fixe at lunch for only 15€, and diners can go à la carte at lunch or dinner for 36€. Recommended.
An absolute favorite