On the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, is Alain Ducasse’s new Le Jules Verne (Ave. Gustave-Eiffel, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/45-55-61-44; dinner for two $390). Everything about the restaurant is thrilling, from the minimalist Patrick Jouin design to classic dishes such as fricassee of Bresse chicken.
The city has had its share of splashy openings lately, but the real winner is Hartmanns (31 Fichtestrasse; 49-30/6120-1003; dinner for two $120), in Kreuzberg. Chef Stefan Hartmann adds a Mediterranean twist to New German flavors (think seared foie gras with beetroot and caramelized apples).
Italian pizza aficionados rejoiced when star pie maker Gabriele Bonci helped open Bir & Fud (23 Via Benedetta; 39-06/589-4016; dinner for two $55), a no-frills trattoria in the Trastevere district. The menu showcases Bonci’s signature crusts, made with natural leavening.
A welcome antidote to the usual glitzy oligarchs’ hangouts, the intimate Chekhov (4 Petropavlovskaya Ul.; 7-812/234-4511; dinner for two $80) faithfully re-creates the cooking of a 19th-century Russian country estate. Dark antique furniture sets the scene for such dacha staples as crunchy pickles and dainty piroshki (savory pastries).