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We were in love with Fripon when we tested it in the fall of 2022, naming it one of our favorite restaurants in Paris. Chef Pauline Séné (a former Top Chef contestant) was putting out bright seasonal vegetables with fishy accents like smoked tarama and bottarga plus some of the best beef tartare that we’ve ever tasted.

And then she flew the coop. Séné turned up at Arboré, a restaurant in the Hôtel & Spa Royal Madeleine, a restaurant that was almost as disappointing as Fripon was when returned to test it after Séné’s departure.

Dining at Arboré felt like we were eating in the brightly lit breakfast room of a large hotel, because we were. Service was amateur, the wine list was both boring and expensive. At Fripon, Séné’s innovations were balanced and delicious. Here, they were absurd and irritating – like strands of sprouts added to a bowl of chocolate mousse.

The breakup of Séné and Fripon has yielded two forgettable restaurants.


29 Rue de l’Arcade, 75008
Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner
Reservations online or at +33 1 88 32 74 27


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