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Pompette

Pompette is a small plates restaurant boasting a natural wine list from Australian sommelière Jess Hodges. Chef Jordan Robinson’s modest menu is mostly pescatarian with international and North American influences ranging from curry-spiked cockles to fried chicken with white barbecue sauce. Reservations are a must, whether for one of the 28 indoor seats or the dozen on the terrace.

Empire Celeste

The best way to understand the underground appeal of Latin Quarter Cantonese restaurant Empire Celeste is by comparing it to another well-known Parisian Chinese restaurant, Davé on rue Richelieu. Davé, which offers run-of-the-mill Chinese cuisine in a cramped, kitchy red interior, is notoriously popular with the fashion set. Its walls are festooned with images of the eponymous proprietor arm-in-arm with Yves Saint-Laurent, Mick Jagger, Kim Kardashian, etc. Empire Celeste, run by three generations of the Wang family since the restaurant’s founding in 1953, is the Davé of another peculiar subculture: the natural wine crowd.

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.

La Poule au Pot

La Poule au Pot is a looker. It's wonderful to walk in and witness the vintage wallpaper, the globe lighting, and the silver-plated serving chariot wheeling between Pepto-Bismol colored tables. It is at once a little elegant and also a touch cheesy. One can almost picture the 80s pop stars who used to slouch into these red banquettes, the mirrored pillars reflecting their manliner and sprayed hair. Today's Poule au Pot, having been recently rebooted by star chef Jean-François Piège, reflects something different - a desire for traditional cuisine bourgeouise and also the willingness (by some) to pay for it.

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 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.