The French capital is a favorite foodie destination, hailed by locals and tourists alike as a mecca for gourmet dining and iconic culinary offerings (escargot; the golden-brown crust of a créme brûlée). Fortunately, there is never any lack of new restaurants to try. This year, a number of excellent new establishments joined the ever-growing pantheon of revered restaurants and restaurateurs in the City of Light. This selection focuses on contemporary, chef-driven eateries, including second—. and third—addresses from well-established masters, as well as brand-new concepts from brand-new talents. One of our favorite debuts comes from a highly respected chef with his first eponymous restaurant. What all of these recent additions have in common is a fresh perspective on one of the world’s most enduring and established cuisines. Best of all? Paris’s best new restaurants have yet to print in the guidebooks: so consider yourself in on the city’s best-kept secrets, and on top of the reservation list.
Bertrand Grébaut is one of the city’s best-loved chefs. He opened his flagship restaurant, Septime in 2011, and today is at the head of three excellent establishments, including this, his latest. Located next-door to Septime and dedicated to fish and seafood, Clamato has a distinct advantage over its more high-profile neighbor: it’s open on weekends, and takes no reservations.
Opened by the young Levha sisters—one running the kitchen, the other the dining room—this fresh new bistro does a well-executed fusion menu, combining traditional French techniques and ingredients with elements from the sisters’ Philippino heritage. Inside, however, the space is all classic-Parisian: petit-tiled floors, marble accents, and white crown molding.
Le Clown Bar
This bistro has an unforgettable interior: a tiled clown parade frieze from the 1920s. New owners Sven Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne have Japanese chef Sota Atsumi in the kitchen, turning out a small plates-menu of contemporary French cuisine with a hint of Asian flair. The big terrace outside is just as enjoyable for your morning coffee as it is for a nightcap.
A crew of passionate foodies are at the helm of this soul-food spot on the Canal St. Martin. Using quality ingredients sourced directly from small producers, the young chef Amélie Darvas prepares a fresh, precise, and creative menu each day from her bustling, open kitchen. The name Haï Kaï refers to the simple and precise Japanese poetry form.