From basic, simple bistro fare to bold, dynamic culinary creations, Paris has it all. After losing most of the last decade to the Spanish wizardry of el Bulli’s Ferian Adria and the like, French chefs, newly emboldened, have emerged ever stronger. The following is a listing of some of our favorites. Please note, we did not hit each of these this trip. With the euro at a near all time high, keep your American Express card handy, no pre-set spending limit is a must for some of the joints. A saving grace is the government’s recent (July 1) decrease in restaurant taxes from 19.6% to 5.5%.
Bistro Paul Bert (18, rue Paul-Bert): classic cooking for that ultimate insiders bistro experience.
Le Cinq (Four Seasons Hotel George V, 31, Ave. George V): Chef Phillipe Legendre has received multiple Michelin stars at this Parisian palace hotel.
Le Jules Verne (Eiffel Tower, South Pillar): Set 400 feet up on the entire second level, experience the Eiffel tower with your own private elevator. Alain Ducasse creates wonderment with a million-dollar view. My birthday treat this year!
Le Comptoir du Relais (9, Carrefour de l’Odeon): Yves Camdeborde’s slice of heaven.
Petrelle (34, rue Petrelle): Jean-Luc André’s restaurant, furnished with mismatched antiques, feels like the cluttered home of a Parisian artist. Come to see French fashion designers and film stars vying for his equally stylish bistro cooking.
Chez George (1, rue du Mail): La cuisine bourgeoise (comfort food).
Aux Lyonnais (32, rue St. Marc): Alain Ducasse reinvents and betters the gastronomic capital’s favorites at this Belle Epoque classic. Also visit his chandelier-studded namesake at the Hotel Plaza Athenée.
Taillevent (15, rue Lamennais): named after a 14th century chef to the king and the author of the first French cookbook, this restaurant is perfection. Go ahead and book now, if you get reservations then schedule your flight.
Le Grand Véfour (17, rue de Beaujolais): If Aristotle Onassis could woo Jackie Kennedy here, the sublime dishes and Louis XV decors will surely assist your romantic advances.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (5-7, rue de Montalembert): not just a “workshop”, a dining revolution.
Cristal Room Baccarat (11, place des Etats-Unis): Enhance your bling quotient and maybe spy a celebrity (we saw Tom and Katie). This place is wow.
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