16 Rue Gaillon
Paris, the most gastronomic country's capital city on the world. Discover 9 unavoidable restaurants, as we mention in our guide Paris of 1000 cult movies, series, musics, comics and novels locations.
The Goncourt and Renaudot literary prize jury members have a lifetime table. They have been meeting here since 1914, the first Tuesday of every lonth, always around the same table, the name of each member engraved on the back of the chairs and on the silverware. Founded in 1880, the very select Parisian restaurant was run by Antoine Westermann since 2006; a descendant of the Drouant family and an Alsatian just like them. The three-star chef sold the restaurant in 2018 and it is now Emile Cotte, chef at the 110 de Taillevent, who now officiates in the kitchens preparing a menu created around seasonal products. A page has been turned; a mouthwatering new chapter has started.
Desacralizing French gastronomy via a cuisine prepared with the guests looking on, this is the concept behind the Ateliers Joël Robuchon, the most starred chef in the world. The second to be opened for discovery in the capital is located on the mezzanine of the Drugstore Publicis. You take your seat on a stool, facing a counter behind which the brigade of cooks performs or you take a table and savour the dishes imagined by the maestro and prepared with brio by Mélanie Serre, executive chef of the restaurant since 2015.
Kong at the summit of a building, it’s only been seen in the movies. That is until 2003 with the opening, by Laurent Taïeb, of this restaurant on the fifth floor of the Kenzo building, across from Pont Neuf, immense bay windows offering a breathtaking view over the roofs of the capital and of the Seine. As for the decoration, Philippe Stark – with his emblematic Louis Ghost chair, customized with portraits of geishas – and at the ovens, Vincent Ressel for a Paris-Tokyo style cuisine. Go for the King Plate, the signature dish.
Gildings, sculptures, moldings, chandeliers and frescos entirely cover the walls of Le Train Bleu, giving this restaurant, open in 1901 in the heart of the Gare de Lyon rail station, the looks of a museum. Twenty-seven French artists, of whom some were Prix de Rome laureates, worked on this décor that resembles nothing else, also including 41 paintings done on marouflaged canvas. Renovated in the summer of 2014, the establishment shines also due to the dishes: roasted monkfish, sauce vierge with confit lemons and pequillos, a collection of tomatoes and anchovies from Collioure in a mille-feuille, or why not a Foyot veal chop, Camus artichokes, veal juices thickened with duck foie gras. Incontestably the best station master.
The ceiling, covered in frescos, is that of a former19th century bakery. In a 1900s style revamped by the decorator Gérard Cholot, Chez Julien, right across from the Ile Saint-Louis, is the “chic bistro” in the Marais. Relaxing atmosphere, lilac colored walls, mottled mirrors, it’s in this Belle Epoque setting that the chef Helmi Derbal reinterprets with delight certain classics. His chateaubriand in a pastry shell with pepper sauce also deserves to be registered as a historical monument.
Establishment founded in 1925 and dedicated to “everything that comes from the sea”, Prunier remains an exceptional seafood table with Eric Coisel at the helm. This luxury classed brasserie in Art Deco style also produces its own caviar in Montpon-Ménestérol, in the southwest. Among other must-tries, don’t forget to make room for the “Christian Dior” egg.
Wooden counter covered in tin, stucco moldings, old photos, mosaics and mirrors, the Square Trousseau is not lacking in charm. Mickaël and Laurence Jarno, in charge of this golden-age style brasserie serves a traditional cuisine revisited with the addition of a lovely wine selection.
A style inspired by Vienna with French service and cuisine. Taken over in the spring of 2016 by a new team, Lo Flore en L’île took advantage of the changeover to create a new menu, more along modern trends. Copious brunch, ice creams and sorbets from chez Berthillon, and agreeable stop a short walk from Notre-Dame.
La Renaissance Bistrot was born in 1904. And nothing has changed since, that is almost nothing, since 1920. With its huge marble and wood counter, the stained glass and period ceramics, and the menu revolving around several classics, this place constitutes a well appreciated stop.