Capitaine

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.

Le Rigmarole

This small plates restaurant not far from République boasts a Japanese-accented assortment of dishes from French-American chef Robert Compagnon. Handmade pastas and yakitori are must-try items on the tasting menu. Ask for seat at the bar to see the binchotan grill at work. The team here easily caters to more (or less!) adventurous diners, with offerings like chicken sashimi and offal skewers. Co-owner Jessica Yang is the Taiwanese-American pastry chef behind the delectable desserts – save room.

Le Saint-Sébastien

This contemporary French restaurant in the 11th arrondissement is known for its handmade charcuterie, vegetable-driven (but not vegetarian) cooking, and desserts with a savory spin. The 400-reference-strong wine list and impeccable (Anglophone) service make this neighborhood restaurant one worth crossing the city for. Now helmed by chef Christopher Edwards, the menu in summer 2021 is featuring plenty of peak-season produce, line-caught fish, and an incredible selection of white wine and craft beer for sipping on the sidewalk terrace.

Massale

The 11th arrondissement may be flooded with phenomenal restaurants, but the seasonal menu at Massale stands out with far meatier market-driven options than most other spots leaning into the plant-based trend. Fish and seafood nevertheless abound here, and the wine list features specialties from France’s Jura and beyond.

Le Servan

Tatiana Levha, formerly at L’Arpège and L’Astrance, and her sister Katia opened this light, airy bistro with a central bar & hand painted ceiling. The short list of offerings changes each day, but expect seasonally driven cuisine inflected with international touches like tandoori spiced beurre blanc atop asparagus or harissa to spice up the line caught hake. Dessert left room for improvement, but otherwise Le Servan had reasonably priced, expertly executed dishes and friendly service in a beautiful space.

Les Enfants du Marché

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.

Abri

We have never been disappointed by the excellent modern bistronomy at Abri, but the only way that we have been able to go in the last year has been when someone else had a reservation they couldn’t use. No, they will not answer their phone. No, there is no secret strategy. Even if you go in person and ask for a reservation, any reservation, at lunch or dinner for any number of people at any time in the future, the answer will be no. So take it off your list, it’s not a functional restaurant if you can’t ever go.