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Paris

Restaurants in Paris

Our star ratings:
exceptional, earned by few
excellent, well worth a visit
very good, give it a try
satisfactory dining
NR not rated

Alphabetical order Sorted by arrondissement
L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon 7th
La Bamboche 7th
Cap Vernet 8th
Chez d'Eux 7th
Chez Michel 10th
Le Clos des Gourmets 7th
Le Clocher Pereire 17th
De La Garde 15th
La Dinee 15th
Le Dome Bastille 4th
Drouant 2nd
Les Elysees 8th
L’Epi Dupin 6th
Les Fables de La Fontaine 7th
Fogon 6th
Gaya-Rive Gauche 7th
L'Heure Gourmande 6th
Hiramatsu 4th
Jamin 16th
Jules Verne 7th
La Luna 8th
Ledoyen 8th
Leon de Bruxelles 6th
Momako 9th
Natachef 16th
Passiflore 10th
Pierre Gagnaire 8th
Prunier 16th
Restaurant Chen 15th
Taillevent 8th
Taira 17th
Thiou 7th
Le Violon d'Ingres 7th
Drouant 2nd
Hiramatsu 4th
Le Dome Bastille 4th
L’Epi Dupin 6th
Fogon 6th
L'Heure Gourmande 6th
Leon de Bruxelles 6th
L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon 7th
La Bamboche 7th
Chez d'Eux 7th
Le Clos des Gourmets 7th
Les Fables de La Fontaine 7th
Gaya-Rive Gauche 7th
Jules Verne 7th
Thiou 7th
Le Violon d'Ingres 7th
Cap Vernet 8th
Les Elysees 8th
Ledoyen 8th
La Luna 8th
Pierre Gagnaire 8th
Taillevent 8th
Momako 9th
Chez Michel 10th
Passiflore 10th
La Dinee 15th
De La Garde 15th
Restaurant Chen 15th
Jamin 16th
Natachef 16th
Prunier 16th
Le Clocher Pereire 17th
Taira 17th

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Leon de Bruxelles, 131, blvd.St. Germain, Tel: 01-43-26-45-95.

The mussel lover will find an inexpensive home away from home at Leon de Bruxelles, a chain of restaurants, but unlike any chain you've see before. The food is good quality, the prices very reasonable, the atmosphere fun. You'll find mussels cooked in umpteen styles - Provencal, white wine, Chef's surprise, to name a few. Wine is served, but there's a great selection of Belgian beers. Try them. If you're in St. Germain-des-Pres, a block down from the church and the Cafe des Deux Magots, is our favorite Leon.

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Cap Vernet, 82 avenue Marceau, Tel: 01-47-20-20-40

If you're staying in the 8th and are a sea-food lover, there's another charming addition to the restaurant scene. Lively, catering mainly to Parisians, you'll find excellent food at an exceptionally modest price.

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Chez d'Eux, 2 avenue Lowenthal, Tel: 01-47-05-52-55

From the region of silentpine forests, the Landes, comes exceptional Southwest cuisine in the 7th arrondissement. A lively restaurant, with reasonable prices.

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Chez Michel, 10, rue de Belzunce, Tel: 01-44-53-06-20.

Pudlo's Guide named Thierry Breton chef of the year in 1997. His bistro is Chez Michel in the 10th arrondissement. There, you will find food of excellent quality and a small selection of good, resonably priced wines. We particularly enjoyed his lasagna with goat cheese and artichokes.

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La Dinee, 85, rue Leblanc, Tel: 01-45-54-20-49, Fax: 40-60-74-88

This restaurant is on the edge of the 15th, a long cab ride or quick Metro hop, depending on where you're staying- well worth the journey. The young chef, just 30, has a deft,light hand, uses the freshest products from the market and successfully marries a variety of flavors, achieved with herbs and vegetables. His tartar of langoustine was the best we'd ever eaten, his venison during game season melted in the mouth, his raie (skatefish) with soy, lardons and sage was sauteed in a meat stock - and his daurade with sauteed cabbage were two of the finest fish preparations we'd had. His mille-feuille of chocolate is outrageous. Open on Sunday evening.

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Drouant, 18, rue Gaillon, Tel: 01-42-65-15-16, Fax: 01-49-24-02-15

Drouant, granted its second star by the folks at Michelin, is deserving of its honors. One of Paris' most beautiful restaurants, its 1930's decor bears the imprint of the great designer-furniture maker, Ruhlmann in the magnificent staircase, mosaics and glass friezes. Now, the cuisine under chef Louis Grondard has become equal to the setting. Superb service and an excellent wine list (ask the sommelier for suggestions and you will not be disappointed) contribute to a memorable dining experience. Every dish we sampled from appetizer to dessert was outstanding, but two bear special note. If you're devoted to fish, ask for the preparation "a l'argille." The fish is wrapped in a clay from Limoges, the same utilized in the manufacture of fine porcelain, then cooked. The flavor is astonishing. Likewise, the "foie de veau" for liver lovers. Served like a steak, its 4 mmm's. You've never had it better. The chocolate dessert, a sampling of four different preparations of chocolate (glace, souffle etc) will leave you breathless.

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Les Elysees at the Hotel Vernet, 25, rue Vernet, Tel: 01-47-23-43-10

Les Elysees achieved two-stars in the Michelin and we applaud it as well deserved.. This beautiful Art Nouveau dining room is the setting for culinary magic, with a Mediteranean touch. The exquisite use of products from the South of France, olives, peppers, vegetables and fruits, as well as the fish of the region makes for a splendid meal. Desserts are memorable and the wine list superb. Ask the wonderful sommelier for recommendations of wines of the region, for an added treat. Alain Moser directs the dining room with mastery and can be counted on for recommendations for dining and service that makes for a splendid lunch or dinner.

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Gaya-Rive Gauche, 44, rue du Bac, Tel: 01-45-44-73-73

Gaya-Rive Gauche is an attractive Left Bank restaurant, drawing an international crowd. The last time we dined there, Catherine Deneuve was at a nearby table. The fish is impeccably prepared, whether tartar, millefeuille of tuna, or fabulous grilled St. Peter, when available.

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L'Heure Gourmande, 22, Passage Dauphine, Tel: 01-46-34-00-40

When you're on the Left Bank and you wish to stop for lunch or tea, you could not find a more attractive pause than at L'Heure Gourmande. It's location alone is worth the visit, a charming hideaway off the Rue Dauphine in the 6th arrondissement. Delicious salads and omelettes are well-priced, tea and desserts are first-rate. You can stop in without a reservation, but at lunch you may have to wait for a table.

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Jamin, 32 rue de Longchamp, Tel 01-45-53-00-07, Fax: 01-45-53-00-15

Benoit Guichard was lieutenant to Joel Robuchon, the great master of French cuisine during the past decade. Thus, we visited Jamin, in the beautifully renovated site of Robuchon's original restaurant, certain that we would find a solid dining experience. What we did not know, but soon found out, was that Guichard is a master in his own right, possessed of astonishing creativity and originality. It made for one of the finest dinners we had partaken of in Paris in years! The staff is young and highly professional and Madame Guichard oversees the room, with charm and elegance. The wine list will improve with time but has many good choices at reasonable prices. And, oh, that food. Make your reservations well in advance as it is well on its way to the top of the charts.

Update from a Contributing Editor:

An elegant, well-appointed room with excellent noise barriers accompanies a large unobtrusive yet eminently efficient and attentive staff; and one is greeted by Chef Guichard's wife. A small amuse bouche is followed by another of crab meat en gelée covered with cream of cold avocado, which was superb. My first course was snails wrapped in spinach and perfectly cooked frog's legs. My guest had superb lobster ravioli served with lobster meat. The entrees were as beautifully presented. A chicken "Poulette de Bresse" served with a mound of mourilles was perfectly executed. I chose a pigeon (succulent and medium - one that doesn't fly) served with chard, asparagus and carrots. We passed up the cheeses for a large tray of desserts and homemade sorbets. Almost all the choices had banana in some form, but a mille feuille of grapefruit was outstanding. This restaurant continues to stand out as one of the fine dining experiences. A very good and varied wine list accompanied the menu. A relatively inexpensive Graves added to the flavors. An initial glass of champagne with framboise initiated the evening.

(reviewed by L.A.)

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Ledoyen, carre Champs-Elysees, Tel: 01-47-42-23-23, Fax: 01-47-42-55-01

Ledoyen received its third Michelin star in 2002, a grand accomplishment and well-deserved. This splendid, elegantly appointed nineteenth century gem, set in a park off the Champs-Elysees in the heart of Paris, is the perfect place for a special occasion. The cuisine is superb, the wine list fabulous and service is friendly and helpful, despite the formality of the setting. So make your reservation (well in advance), get dressed and go on over. Be advised though, that the restaurant, like any three star restaurant, is very expensive, not for the budget conscious traveler.

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Pierre Gagnaire, at the Hotel Balzac, 6, Rue Balzac, Tel: 01-44-35-18-25, Fax: 01-44-35-18-37

At the high end, Pierre Gagnaire, three-starred by the Michelin Guide for his restaurant in St. Etienne and forced to close there for financial reasons, re-opened in Paris at in the Hotel Balzac. M. Gagnaire informs us that he has been full every night since his opening. The prices are high and so is the quality and service. He is a great chef and has a unique way with spices from all over the world. While the dinner was satisfying, with superb fish and venison courses and excellent desserts, the ambience left something to be desired.

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Prunier, 16, avenue Victor Hugo, Tel: 01-44-17-35-85

Prunier is an Art-Deco beauty, recently reclaimed by Jean-Claude Vrinat of Taillevent fame. This gentelman of great taste will settle for nothing less than excellence in service, food and ambience. The seafood is stunning and the few meat dishes for your non-fish dining companion, exceptional. Likewise the selection of wines. We prefer dining downstairs, a bistro atmosphere in the original twenties atmosphere. The upstairs diningroom, same menu, is romantic, elegant and more formal. Let your mood dictate the choice.

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Restaurant Chen, 15, rue du Theatre, Tel: 01-45-79-34-34

For exceptional Chinese food, try Chen. Named foreign restaurant of the year for 1998 in Pudlowski, our dining experience confirmed that the honor was well-deserved. Steamed dumplings, crevettes and a Peking Duck to which we gave 4 mmm's, our highest rating. It doesn't come cheap, but when you've had your fill of French food, or can't wait to see how Chinese at its best is prepared in Paris, this is the place to go.

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Taira, 10, rue des Acacias, Tel. and Fax: 01-47-66-74-14

Taira is a gem of a fish restaurant located in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. The chef-proprietaire is a Japanese gentleman of great culinary artistry, combining the accents of his homeland in a subtleuse of herbs, spices and lovely presentations, with French cuisine. We tried Tataki, Nem, Rouget and Turbot. The Turbot was the best we had ever tasted. Well worth the price.

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Le Violon d'Ingres, 135 rue Saint-Dominque, Tel: 01-45-55-15-05, Fax: 01-45-55-48-42

The Crillon's loss is our gain. Christian Constant, chef at Les Ambassadeurs (two stars in the Michelin) for many years has crossed the river, opening a charming restaurant in "seventh heaven" on the Left Bank. There, we sampled his marvelous cuisine with a preparation of mouth-watering oysters, cooked in subtle spices which served to bring out the taste of the sea; a "boudin blanc", sausage stuffed with sandre, a river-fish, merely superb. We followed these appetizers with a bar (sea bass) "croustillant" and a rack of lamb. The main courses were perfectly prepared, beautifully presented and do not get any better. We drank a 1988 Chateau Virelade, a Grave froma small chateau reasonably priced at fifty dollars and a great complement to the meal. The chocolate tart with a creme anglais held up its "end" with the rest of the meal. Prediction? Two stars in the Michelin before too long. Reserve now.

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La Luna, 69, rue du Rocher, 8th arrondissement, Tel: 01-42-93-77-61

Add this to your list of outstanding Paris fish restaurants. A bit difficult to find, even though it is in the 8th between Parc Monceau and Gare St-Lazare, it's worth your efforts. Their fish is fresh and fresher. If you're lucky, you'll start with an amuse-bouche of Palourdes (baby clams), then on to appetizers such as Salade of Joue de Raie (cheeks of Skatefish) with sherry vinegar or the tartare of Salmon, Tuna and Daurade. For main courses consider the Daurade in a Croute de Sel (cooked in a crust of salt which is broken open to reveal the moist fish with all its succulent flavor) or a St. Pierre Route d'Indies (lightly curried). Drink the Vouvray Petillant (slightly fizzy). Finish with a Dessert of Gratin of Figs, Chocolate with Pistachio or a terrific Crème Brulee. The mashed potatoes (pomme puree) are fabulous. Ambience is simple, but attractive and the service friendly.

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Le Clos des Gourmet, 16, Avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement, Tel: 01-45-51-75-61

This delightful bistro is rapidly establishing itself as a serious contender for first-class dining. We're upgrading it to two stars. You'll find yourself oohing and aahing about the new slant on old dishes. Modestly priced, with an excellent price-quality ratio. How about a monkfish ossobucco for the health-conscious diner, or duckcarpaccio with pine nuts and parmesan? A small wine list with some reasonably priced bottleswill round out an excellent meal.

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Taillevent, 15, rue Lamennais, 8th arrondissement, Tel: 01-44-95-15-01 Fax: 01-42-25-95-18

You cannot find a finer, more reliable dining experience anywhere in France than at this venerable establishment, the summit of French dining. If the Michelin decided to offer a rare 4th star, Taillevent would surely be the first to possess one. As a matter of fact, we've decided to establish that classification in our newsletter - and Taillevent is its first recipient. Jean-Claude Vrinat, whose name is synonymous with class, welcomes you into this 1853 mansion, as if into his home. Service is superb, thoughtful and not fussy. Begin with a flute of champagne, Taillevent's own and as you would anticipate, outstanding. Jean-Marie Ancher, Vrinat's right-hand man, and hugely knowledgable about food and wine oversees the dining room with a joie de vivre which is communicated through the room. Your questions will be answered, you will be helped with the selection of wines from a world-famous cellar (including reasonably priced, carefully selected ones),and from a menu which provides a wide-ranging selection. You must make reservations well in advance (try four to six weeks or ask the concierge at your hotel to try on your behalf). Remember that diners come from all over the world seeking the Taillevent experience. Lunch is a little more open, but you must still reserve in advance. So here it is, Taillevent - 4 stars.

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Jules Verne, 2nd level of Eiffel Tower, private elevator, Tel: 01-45-55-61-44 Fax: 01-47-05-29-41

(mainly for the spectacular setting and view)

After a very secure entrance and elevator to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, one enters a dark restaurant with a spectacular 360º view of Paris at night. The choices on the menu were fine and a pleasant amuse bouche of foie gras atop chopped sweet berries was served. The scallop ravioli topped a striped vegetable terrine. I had grilled squid, the center of which was stuffed with mushrooms. These were covered with a large slice of sauteed foie gras. Both were attractively presented and very good. The entrees of turbot and John Dory were not impressive. A cheese tray offered a good variety and a tasty selection. Desserts offered a chocolate tart and figs with fig ice cream. The wine list is extensive and expensive. The service was poor and surly, not befitting a restaurant such as this. An overall rating of "good".

(reviewed by L.A.)

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Natachef, 9, rue Duban, 16th Arrondissement, Tel/Fax: (33) 01 42 88 10 15

The restaurant is supervised by Nathalie who held cooking classes in Paris for years. This small, well-appointed neighborhood restaurant has a young chef, Bruno Doucet, whose trained at Jamin, Garnier and Prunier. His food is very interesting and full of flavor. With a glass of champagne, we had an olive tapenade covered with fresh marinated anchovy. A salad of warm calamari with tomatoes was imaginative and excellent. A salad with eggplant, peppers, and chèvre was very good. A fresh vegetable lasagna has wonderful noodles and a small amount of cheese. The cabillaud fish was excellent and well-cooked. Homemade cake au citron accompanied by the house citron yogurt and sorbet was very fine. This is an excellent place for low-fat food. The wine list was small, balanced, and well-priced. The service was attentive.

(reviewed by L.A.)

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Passiflore, 33 rue de Longchamp, 16th Arrondissement, Paris 75016, Tel: 01-47-04-96-81

Closed Saturday lunchtime and Sunday.

A warm reception, excellent service, attractive decor and, above all, exceptional cuisine awaits you at Roland Durand's Passiflore. M. Durand has put years of experience in the the kitchens of the grand hotels of Asia to good use, infusing a modern French cuisine, in a "tasteful" way, with spices and herbs from the other side of the world. He also hews to French tried and true when season and product combine to commend such an approach. That, too, is done with real creative flair.

Start with the house champagne, by the glass or bottle--it is an outstanding selection, and fairly priced. The wine list includes those at reasonable prices as well as the more expensive ones grand crus. We drank a '95 Cornas with great pleasure.

To begin, we were served an amuse bouche of beet soup of extraordinary flavors, long in the mouth, like a fine wine. Truffle season brought a veloute of truffle for the table, while one truffle-lover went on to order a pot au feu with truffle wrapped in oxtail on a bed of cabbage. Raviolini of langoustine in mulligatawny and thai spices brought a touch of India to the table, bar(sea bass) de ligne was moist and flavorful, served on a bed of light pesto with crunchy vegetables, a crisp caneton (duck family) floated on a puree of coings. If meat is your dish, the grilled lamb preparation will be most satisfying. For dessert, we tried the molten chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream (dark chocolate), and were not disappointed. There were interesting fruit desserts as well, each touched with this master chef's adept handling of the aforementioned spices. Expect to spend the going rate for a Michelin one-star restaurant; more if you shoot for the moon on your champagne or wine. A visit to Passiflore is sure to be rewarded with a top dining experience.

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Hiramatsu, 7, quai de Bourbon, 4th Arrondissement , Paris 75004 (Ile St. Louis) Tel: 01-56-81-08-80; Fax: 01-56-81-08-81;

e-mail: paris@hiramatsu.co.jp. Closed Sunday & Monday. Only 18 covers, so reserve well in advance.

This restaurant has been acclaimed as the revelation of the year (2002) by Le Pudlo, a most reliable gastronomic review (only available in French). Our dining experience, before Pudlo's announcement, fully corresponds. The restaurant, situated on the Ile St. Louis, on the ground floor of a residential building, is tasteful, its few tables well-spaced (it seats only 18 as indicated above) . Chef Hajime Nakagawa brings his Japanese style and French experience to a cuisine that, in fact, deserves more than the single star accorded by the Michelin in 2002. With a splendid cuisine, first-rate service and an outstanding wine list, in two or three years, it may well achieve its second star. Make no mistake about it, this is a French restaurant, not a Franco-Nippon fusion. The classic French dishes, whether warm oysters, scallops, lobster, foie gras, sea bass or lamb are renewed by a delicacy of design, preparation and sauce that speak originality and taste. Desserts similarly command your attention.

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Thiou, 49, quai d'Orsay, 7th Arrondissement , 75007 Paris, Tel: 01-45-51-58-58; Fax: 01-47-05-69-09

Closed Saturday at lunch and Sunday.

Thiou, named for the woman chef-owner of this beautiful, tastefully decorated Thai restaurant, is a terrific addition to the places to dine when one wishes a change from French cuisine. The decor is soft, warm and romantic, appealing to an attractive crowd, and the cuisine is more than equal to the setting. We sampled several dishes and each was superbly prepared. You can begin with an assortment of appetizers which will include a delicious nem, a calamari salad wrapped in a leaf and chicken satay with a peanut sauce. Or if you like it spicier, begin with a soupe de crevette a la citronelle. Soft shell crab was on the menu and proved irresistible, as was the signature dish of crevettes (shrimp) sauteed with crisped basil leaves. How irresistible? We ordered seconds of each for the table. Ginger ice cream and a crepe with dried fruits and prune ice cream with armagnac were a delightful finish. Beer complements the meal very well indeed.

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L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon, 5 rue Montalambert, 7th Arrondissement, Paris 75007; Tel: 33-1-42-22-56-56

One of France’s greatest chefs, Joel Robuchon retired in 1996 from his three-star haut luxe restaurant to a busy life of television appearances, articles, and books. The master chef has returned to a startling venue. We proclaim it the world’s first three-star “diner” and during the year of its existence, we have become habitués, dining there on the first and last nights of our visits to Paris. Why first and last night? you may ask. Reservations are only accepted at the first seating (ll:30AM for lunch and 6:30 PM for dinner). A bit tired and jet-lagged on the first night, an early dinner is right on the mark. And on our last night, early dinner and home to pack for the next day’s flight, seems just right. What a way to enter Paris—and what a way to exit!

Located next door to the Pont Royal Hotel on the Left bank, off Rue du Bac, the elegant “diner” (some have likened it to a sushi bar) offers counter-seating to 37 eager eaters. The food is uniformly exemplary, bearing the stamp of Robuchon’s creativity—delicious, beautifully prepared and served in either tasting portions or full dishes. We have tried nearly every dish on the menu, on one or another visit—and it is difficult to pick a favorite. The steak tartare is the best we’ve ever eaten and comes with delectable frites. The pigeon is mouth-watering, langoustine preparation excellent. Many dishes are accompanied by the superb and justifiably famous Robuchon pomme puree (ask for a side, you won’t regret it). The waiters and waitresses, dressed in downtown black, are both knowledgeable and friendly. Antoine Hernandez, the sommelier who has served Maitre Joel loyally since the first days at Jamin, offers wise counsel on wine by the bottle or excellent and off-beat wines by the glass. If you don’t have a reservation, be prepared to wait for an hour and a half in the hotel bar or on line out of doors (in good weather). One of the unexpected bonuses of the counter service is that we inevitably chatted with those seated to the left and right of us, making most interesting acquaintances, “foodies” all.

Highly recommended!

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De La Garde, 83 Avenue de Segur, 15th Arrondissement, Paris 75015, Tel:/Fax 33-1-40-65-99-10

From the first taste of the amuse bouches: mouth-watering puff pastries and the lightly breaded mussels sautéed with parsley and garlic, we knew that we were in for a special dining experience. Yohann Marraccini is a member of that incredible Arpege alumni cadre who have made their mark on Paris dining (L’Astrance, La Chamarree, L’Astor) and he shows the deftness, imagination, boldness and creativity that the great Passard represented. Move on to the appetizers: croquant of tourteau (crab) in a remoulade of green apples (caviar and herbs) and a ravioli of foie gras with chopped praline between thinly layered beets touched with balsamic vinegar; a fish course-- St. Jacques (scallops) with watercress and carrots; and for main courses: a brandade with anchovy and pommes puree: and pigeon with a galette of potato and Cantal cheese. Our desserts consisted of pear and ginger tart and crème brulee ice cream. The dishes ranged from excellent to outstanding. We drank half a bottle of delicious 2002 Chablis (a great vintage) and an equally fine half bottle of 1998 Cote du Rhone. The menus are 35 euros per person with supplements for some dishes. We’ll be back again, and don’t be surprised to see that third star after a few more visits. Highly recommended.

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Le Dome Bastille, 2 rue de la Bastille, 4th Arrondissement, Paris 75004, Tel: (33) 01 48 04 88 44, Fax: (33) 01 48 04 00 59

When leaving the opera, one only has a short walk half way around the Place Bastille to find this lovely fish restaurant, one of two small satellites of the Dome fish restaurant in Montparnasse.

One enters a two-level unpretentious space where the days’ specials are written on a chalkboard. While waiting for a table, a very affable maitre d’ offers up olivata with anchovies while we ordered a bottle of côte du Rhone.

Dinner upstairs started with a salad of fresh shrimp with parmesan. I chose one of the house specials of grilled octopus. Both were seasoned perfectly.

Grilled turbot and rouget were chosen as main courses. The tarte fine aux pommes was, as the main course, nicely presented. All ingredients were fresh and tasty.

This bistro is a must if you are in the area. One does not need to spend a great deal of money on a good meal in Paris.

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Le Bamboche, 15, rue de Babylone, 7th arrondissement, Tel: 01-45-49-14-40; Fax: 01-45-49-14-44;

We’re delighted to report that this restaurant, long a favorite with residents of the seventh arrondissement and informed visitors to Paris, while under new management, is creating a cuisine that is inventive, bold in its use of products and, most important, delicious. We had approached the new incarnation of Le Bamboche with caution but happily discovered that Serge Arce (who served as a chef in Paris, London and Brazil), along with partner Phillip Fabert are turning out mouth-watering dishes in this tastefully appointed and relaxed restaurant. On a recent visit, the outstanding house champagne by the glass was from Drappier and bore Charles de Gaulle’s image on the bottle. It was de Gaulle’s house champagne as well. One of us ordered the prix-fixe menu, enjoying a starter of Tartare of tomato, accompanying a thick leaf of salmon marinated with green tea, followed by a “Hamburger” of pomme de terre (a galette of potatoes), on a bed of leg of chicken confit with feve. The pomme de terre was a bit too salty, detracting from an otherwise tasty dish. Another in our party ordered a la carte, beginning with Caviar sorbet, smoked trout and baby spinach leaves and moving on to a perfectly prepared Dorade royale (Gilt-head bream), on a bed of slow simmered fennel and delicate Dublin Bay prawn sauce. The latter dish was among the finest fish preparations we’ve ever sampled. We accompanied the meal with a very pleasant, reasonably priced half-bottle of Mercurey 2003. Dessert brought further delight with a conjugation of chocolate (cake) and pistachio (ice cream) a la ancienne. This ranks up there with Taillevent’s chocolate cake with pistachio sauce. A reservation is a must for Le Bamboche.The buzz is sure to build.

Update: December 2006.

We were saddened when Claude Colliot sold this small, comfortable restaurant around the corner from Bon Marche. W had enjoyed a number of dinners there, including a memorable New Year’s Eve with friends. But we’re happy to report that the new chef-owners Serge Arce and Phillipe Fabert have brought experience and creativity to the dining experience at Le Bamboche. Their cuisine has shows inventiveness and good taste and the ambience is welcoming. We recently started with a appetizer of Caviar sorbet, smoked trout and baby spinach leaves—a winner. A second appetizer consisted of a tartare of tomato with a slice of salmon marinated in green tea—quite interesting. The Hamburger of potato, chicken confite and broad beans was mouth watering and the Dorade royale was beautifully served, with a marmalade of fennel and a Dublin Bay prawn sauce. Profiteroles with white peach sorbet and warm chocolate sauce hit the sweet tooth spot. The wine list is excellent with a good selection at moderate prices. We’ve given Le Bamboche two stars after two visits and a few more visits with consistent experiences could bring a third.

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L’Epi Dupin, 11, rue Dupin, 6th arrondissement, Tel: 01-42-22-64-56; Fax: 01-42-22-30-42;

When it comes to price-quality rapport, this bustling restaurant is hard to beat. The menu changes every night, posted on a blackboard, and is prix-fixe. Chef Francois Pasteau knows his way around the ovens and his cuisine is always interesting, never over-the-top, and guarantees a delicious dinner. A recent meal found three of us dining on a Pastilla of Escargots, Langoustines, Supreme Pintade (fowl), a Filet of Dorade, Foie de Veau (calve’s liver), followed by desserts of a Fraicheur of Rhubarb and a Roast Peach. We accompanied the meal with a half bottle of white Croze Hermitage and a half bottle of a pleasant Red Bordeaux. L’Epi Dupin is a tough reservation to come by, so call well in advance.

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Les Fables de La Fontaine, 131, rue St. Dominique, 7th arrondissement, Tel: 01-44-18-37-55;

If fish, beautifully and imaginatively prepared and moderately priced is your “cup of tea”, then this very small restaurant, established by Michelin starred chef Christian Constant, and maintained by a terrific young chef, Sebastian Grave should be your destination. A recent tasting menu started with a remarkably flavorful combination of Chipirons (calamari) and cepes (mushroom). This was followed by an equally delicious Veloute of Tomato with Feta Cheese and Pink Shrimp. Three yums. It was mushroom season and the perfectly prepared grilled Dorade that followed, sat on a bed of Girolles. Wine is available by the glass, pichet or bottle. We opted for a smooth Viognier as our white, and a Guigal Cote du Rhone as the red. The red wine was served too cold, the only off note in a harmonious dining experience. One of us had a delicious Tiramasu for dessert, while the others sampled a tasty cream of Mascarpone. There are new selections on the blackboard menu every night. Fish lovers take heed—run, do not walk to Les fables. But be sure to reserve your table as the restaurant is, as noted above, very small.

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Fogon, 45 Quai des Grands_Augustine, 6th arrondissement, Tel: 33-1-43-54-31-33;

Conveniently located on the Left Bank along the Seine, this bustly Iberian restaurant serves tapas and paella and does a first class job. Chef Alberto Herraiz is rated among the best Spanish chefs in Paris. We ordered the Menu at 44 euros per person and started with Assorted Tapas. These included seared tuna, watermelon with pesto, a terrific salad that included poached egg, lettuce, beans and bottarga, fig and ham, sardines and tomato. Our Paella was prepared with chicken, rabbit and vegetables. For dessert We sampled a Crème Catalan and Chocolate Mousse a la Fogon. The Crème Catalan was prepared with a lemon base and a side of thinly sliced pineapple and was outrageously good. The Mousse was mouthwatering as well. Wines can be ordered by the bottle, by the glass or house-made Sangria. Ask to taste if you’re ordering by the glass. The first was unloveable, the second (a 2003 red Page la Jars) a great accompaniment to the Paella. Service is excellent and helpful. Be sure to reserve.

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Momako, 5, rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 9th arrondissement;

Pudlo’s foreign restaurant of 2008 lived up to its billing. An unpretentious storefront, it is tiny, 8 tables. This Japanese restaurant specialises in cooked preparations and offers prix-fixe menus at 28 and 49 euros, and one at 68 euros with Foie Gras and Langoustines. We started with a tasty and varied Vegetable salad, A three-star Herring dish, Salmon cooked through (we prefer rare) but tasty with chive and onion soy sauce. The meal continued with a moistly prepared Daurade, Tuna cru with avocado and radish, a Poulet with chives (the chef is very big on chives) and half a Langoustine. One of us tried a glass of the white Mentous Salon and a red St. Amour while the other chose a Kirin beer. Desserts were a Green Tea Tiramasu, Caramel custard, Green Tea cake, Pound cake and Sake citrus sorbet. The meal is first-rate, but if you’re looking for Sushi and Sashimi, Momako is not you cup of Green Tea.

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Le Clocher Pereire, 42, Boulevard Pereire, 17th arrondissement, Tel:33-1-44-40-04-15;

Highly recommended in Pudlo 2008, we enjoyed an excellent meal which began with an Amuse Bouche of Mushroom Veloute (3 yums); a Risotto of the day with Boudin Noir; an excellent Carpaccio of Artichoke with Foie Gras, an Oeuf en Cocote emulsion, again with Foie Gras. With these first courses, we sampled a half-bottle of 2007 Sancerre that proved exceptional (Domaine Cherrier et Fils). With the next course, we sampled a Bel Canto 2005, a wine from the Pays de Vendee, above the Bordeaux region. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Gamay, It had nice fruit, was ready to drink, and had an interesting vegetal finish. The Pork Loin and Rib were prepared with Rosemary. An accompanying Peeled tomato enclosed Boudin Noir. Pomme puree was the side dish. Black Cod with Champagne sauce, oriental style served with Chinese cabbage was the other main course. The dishes were uniformly superb. Chef Jolibois’s great pedigree includes Taillevent with Michel del Burgo. Desserts were Chocolate molleux (Guanaja) and Tarte Fine au Figue with Fig Ice Cream and Nuts.

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