5 Paris Restaurants Off the Beaten Path
Paris is packed with great restaurants—some hard to find. Food critic John Mariani dishes out hidden-gem dining experiences that Parisians tend not to reveal.
For a two- and three-star fine-dining experience in Paris, it’s easy enough to turn to Le Cinq at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris and the century-old Michelin Guide. For well-established, classic bistros like La Coupole and Au Pied de Cochon, just follow the line of tourists. But Paris is packed with wonderful restaurants off the beaten path where Parisians love to eat and which they won’t always reveal to visitors. We will. Here are some of the best.
Les Tablettes, 33 1/56 28 16 16
16 Avenue Bugeaud
Why go: Jean-Louis Nomicos, formerly of Laserre and Alain Ducasse, brings his modern French cuisine to this new casually chic restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe, with a sleek, slender dining room decorated with gray basketweave wallcoverings and burnt-orange fabrics.
What to eat: Medallions of veal with pimentos, eggplant and pine nuts
Take note: The 80 Euro prix-fixe dinner includes three courses, dessert and two glasses of wine.
Gaya, 33 1/45 44 73 73
44 Rue du Bac
Why go: Gaya is master chef Pierre Gagnaire’s delightful seafood bistro, an alternative to his very expensive three-star namesake. Cosy, with about 20 seats, mirrored and shimmering with marine colors, Gaya is a Left Bank locals’ favourite, and well-priced for this quality of cuisine.
What to eat: Grilled brill perfumed with Sansho peppers, a little pâté of ginger and lemon, and a fondue of watercress
Take note: Gaya is just across the Seine’s Pont Royal bridge and perfect for lunch before or after a visit to the nearby Louvre.