The overarching honesty and generosity of La Vierge’s concept places the restaurant alongside overachieving peers like Belleville’s Le Cadoret at the vanguard of a new generation of Paris bistrot that recognizes the value of virtue.
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.
Nestled on a drab Belleville backstreet beneath the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Le Cadoret’s blue awning shines out like a beacon. So does chef Léa Fleuriot’s delicate, thoughtful approach to country-bistrot classics. A sleeper hit since Fleuriot and her brother Louis opened it in 2017, Le Cadoret is a bistrot and café where an ostensibly straightforward offering - traditional recipes, inexpensive natural wines, craft beers - achieves the sublime thanks to rare combination of sincere and efficient service, serious value, and an ironclad commitment to ingredient quality.
Cheval d’Or is a tasteful and welcoming luxury small-plates restaurant offering a delicate synthesis of pan-Asian and Parisian cuisines, more middle ground than Middle Kingdom.
This sweet little restaurant is a sparkling addition to the already glutted east Paris gastronomic scene. It has everything I want in a neighborhood joint – a warm welcome, reasonable prices and, for the moment, relative ease of snagging a reservation.
Combining a historian’s appreciation of coffee culture and Paris architecture with a physicist’s approach to fluid dynamics, Georges Karam’s coffee geekery caters to a distinctly French sensibility.
I waited a long time before giving Robert a try. This restaurant from the team behind Martin (Loïc Martin & Edouard Bergeon) opened in February 2018, but early word-of-mouth reviews were very mixed. A common refrain was "it's expensive for what it is."
Fresh off Paris’ greatest resto reboot of recent years - transforming the defunct destination Restaurant Bones into the beloved seven-day mainstay Restaurant Jones - chef-restaurateur Florent Ciccoli doubled down on the Voltaire neighborhood in late 2017, opening Café du Coin with the aid of frequent collaborator Greg Back (L’Orillon, Les Pères Populaires).