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Chefs' Favorite Hot Spots

Chef Enrique Olvera at La Nicolasa, a grocery next to Nicos, one of his favorite places in Mexico City.

Photo: Gregory Allen

Paris: Thierry Marx

The avant-garde chef leads the way to his hometown’s insider foodie haunts.

After 10 years of cooking his high-minded cuisine at the Château Cordeillan-Bages, near Bordeaux, Marx returns to the City of Light this summer to open Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx (251 Rue St.-Honoré, First Arr.; 33-1/70-98-78-88), in the new Mandarin Oriental, Paris (the hotel group seems to be collecting capital-C chefs lately, having recently installed Heston Blumenthal and Daniel Boulud in London and Carme Ruscalleda in Barcelona). Now that Marx is back home, he plans to make up for lost time at two of his favorite bistros, Bistrot Paul Bert (dinner for two $100) and Le Petit Verdot (75 Rue du Cherche-Midi, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/42-22-38-27; dinner for two $200). “I go to Paul Bert for the thirty-five-euro prix fixe menu,” says Marx, surely thinking of fried eggs with truffles and a proper steak frites. “Le Petit Verdot,” he says, “feels like an authentic countryside dining room—wood tables; exposed ceiling beams. It has a peaceful quality I crave.” Plus: melt-in-your-mouth escargot and foie gras. For fine dining, Marx goes to Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire (dinner for two $860). “I have huge respect for Pierre for his surprising juxtaposition of ingredients and his attention to detail,” he says. But sometimes a chef with a two-Michelin-starred restaurant on his résumé just wants a big bowl of spaghetti, and for that Marx recommends the house-made pasta at Le Monteverdi (5-7 Rue Guisarde, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/42-34-55-90; dinner for two $80), owned by Claudio Monteverdi (yes: he’s a direct descendant of the Italian composer).


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