Le Rigmarole opened in October 2017 and has delighted me more than any other restaurant this year. The menu is an improbable collection of dishes inspired by French-American chef Robert Compagnon’s clear obsession with Japan and his skill with yakitori, but in addition to skewers you’ll also find meatballs with paratha flatbread (9€), handmade pastas (9€), and charred vegetable sides (6€). When Compagnon asked us to name our least favorite dish, it was a struggle to find much to criticize among the fifteen dishes we had devoured. The chargrilled chicken hearts were profoundly delicious. The fanciulle pasta with pigeon and liver ragout was funky and fantastic. Tempura fried butternut squash was so delicate it seemed to dissolve before I could swallow. And an off-menu order of grilled chicken neck made us blush with gratitude for all the work that went into retrieving (and not wasting) the edible meat. Adventurous eaters who are willing to try anything might be presented with a grilled aorta, but less daring diners will also find plenty to enjoy here. Co-owner Jessica Yang, a Taiwanese-American pastry chef who was previously at Rebelle and Per Se (NYC) and Guy Savoy (Paris), delivers a stunning finish with desserts like chocolate fondant with praline and buckwheat ice cream. On top of everything else, the warm welcome and well-appointed wine list provided by Crislaine Medina are setting this place apart from the sometimes surly competition. Le Rigmarole is honest, inexpensive and delicious. It’s casual and a bit chaotic, and it’s very soon going to be packed.
Tomy & Co. currently holds the #1 ranking in our list of favorite Modern & Creative Restaurants in Paris. I loved chef Tomy Gousset’s cooking when he was at Pirouette, but this signature restaurant has just blown me away. The room is comfortable and a little plain, which is to say it fits nicely in the 7th arrondissement, but Gousset’s cuisine is thrillingly modern. He is a master of using herbs, acidity and texture to elevate sometimes humble ingredients like beef tongue or tête de veau. His compositions are intricate and colorful, making them a dream for Instagrammers, but flavor and balance are not sacrificed to beauty. Those who like to try different wines will love their list with a rotating cast of 20 selections by the glass. Service is on point and supports, rather than detracts from the brilliance of the kitchen. The menu changes regularly enough to warrant repeat visits, and I for one can’t wait to go back.