Capitaine is a modern bistro tucked into a quiet Marais street just south of the Place des Vosges. The decor is pure (Brittany?) bistro, with bare wooden tables, moleskine banquettes, and assorted maritime kitsch. The menu appears at first glance to match this bistro vibe, but look closely: duck breast is dotted with prik pao sauce, raw oysters are garnished with shredded carrot, chile and peanuts, and fraise de veau (an intestinal membrane) carries the flavors of mapo tofu.
Les Enfants du Marché, a modern & creative restaurant located within the open-air Marché des Enfants Rouges market in the upper Marais, is a dining counter known for natural wine and avant-garde cuisine. While the seating on bar stools in the bustling market might suggest a more lowbrow offering, the surprising combinations on Japanese chef Masahide Ikuta’s unforgettable plates evoke a far more fine dining affair (an evocation reflected in the highbrow prices). It is one of our favorite Paris restaurants.
With its bright, bare-bones kitchen, crowded counter, communal table, and addictive salsas — all mercifully un-Frenchified — this upper Marais spot has officially changed the game, and people are lining up for tacos and agua fresca. Go through the unmarked door next to the stove and you’ll find a serious bar, staffed by Experimental Cocktail Club grads.