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Arnaud Nicolas

At the impossibly young age of 24, Arnaud Nicolas achieved one of the highest honors in gastronomy – the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) – for his talent in charcuterie. Fourteen years later, he opened an ambitious shop and restaurant near the Eiffel Tower with the explicit goal of returning charcuterie to a place of honor on the French table. In the same way that prize-winning artisans have reshaped traditional baguette-making and pâtisserie, Nicolas wants to reintroduce charcuterie to palates that have become used to mediocre industrialized examples. So is it really that different? Yes.

David Toutain

David Toutain, who brought acclaim to Agapé Substance before jumping ship back in December 2012, returned to the Paris scene with this signature restaurant in 2013. His meticulous and conceptual cooking highlights seasonal produce, with vegetables often playing the starring role. This is by no means a vegetarian restaurant, but Toutain's ability to bring out the beauty in oft-ignored roots reminds us of his former boss Alain Passard.

Chez L’Ami Jean

Chez l'Ami Jean is a convivial bistro just steps from the Eiffel Tower. Known for its copious, Basque-inspired fare and brash, boisterous ambiance, this restaurant offers both à la carte options and a 78-euro "carte blanche" menu, created each day by Chef Stéphane Jégo. Whichever you choose, try (and yes, it'll be a feat) to save room for the house special rice pudding. Served in a generous bowl with nougatine and caramel, it's become such a fan favorite Jégo can't take it off the menu.