Named after the iconic film starring Steve McQueen, chef Christophe Saintagne’s hit bistro Papillon is located on a quiet street steps from the Arc de Triomphe. Inside, the industrial décor by designer-poet Pierre Tachon, features an oversized Carrara marble chef’s table. “My concept is cooking as simply as possible to bring out the very best,” he says. And if you can’t snag a reservation, check out deli Garde Manger next door run by Laura Porteilli (madame Saintagne); at night it becomes a chic wine-bar.
LUXOS Recommends: Deconstructed chocolate cake with spiced cream.
A taste of the sea at Salt
The bucolic Square Maurice Gardette, with its giant sequoia, is like an oasis in the desert of the 11th arrondissement. On the south side of the square, Sheffield-born Englishman Daniel Morgan recently opened SALT, his contemporary bistro showcasing fresh line-caught fish and seafood inspired by his culinary travels to Japan, Sweden, Denmark and India.
LUXOS Recommends: Secret-recipe taramasalata with kalamata lemons, olive oil and home-baked bread.
Voted Bistro of the Year by Lebey guides, Mensae (table, in Latin) is located in hip and happening Belleville. Created by Thibault Sombardier (Michelin star chef at Antoine) as a casual neo-bistro, executive chef Kevin d’Andrea’s dishes are a mix of traditional and modern. And as well as a handpicked choice of wines there’s Gallia Paris beer (since 1890), on tap at the bar.
LUXOS Recommends: Juicy chunks of herb-marinated grey and red mullet.
Related: The Rise of Paris' Young Chefs
On a tiny cobbled side street near the Centre Pompidou, chef Denis Groison’s Le Mazenay bistro is named in homage to the Burgundy village where he was born and where his father and grandfather are patissiers and boulangers. Denis’s dishes are tributes to his region, family, the Ecole Ferrandi, and his time in Asia, including the Raffles Singapore.
LUXOS Recommends: Don’t miss the Bourbon vanilla millefeuille dessert.
Alexandre Giesbert and Julien Ross’ fourth spot following the Roco Pizzeria, Rococo Néo-Kebab and Roca bistro, the fare here is traditional Italian with a modern spin using products from across Italy. Celebrity mixologist Nico de Soto concocts quirky cocktails like Green Alligator. And staff are dressed in Jean-Paul Gaultier style stripy sailor t-shirts.
Champeaux interior dining
A brasserie with attitude created by Alain Ducasse and helmed by chef Bruno Brangea, Champeaux is located under the glass canopy of the newly-transformed Les Halles. Light, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and slick use of raw materials, it’s an exciting contemporary space with an outdoor terrace as well as a state-of-the-art airport style billboard with foodie updates.
LUXOS Recommends: Roast chicken and sweet and savoury soufflé.
Opened in November 2015 as an ‘alliance’ between chef Toshitaka at Omiya kitchen, (ex-Agapé and Arpège) and Shaun Merry (ex-Agapé), the restaurant, tucked on a tiny Left-Bank street near the River Seine, has a casual-chic atmosphere with contemporary interiors by architect Caroline Tissier.
LUXOS Recommends: Duck foie gras with vegetables and duck consommé by Mr Rigault.
Opened by globe-trotting chef Simon Horwitz (ex-Gagnaire, Thoumieux, Septime...) the neo-bistro, Elmer is a tribute to British author David McKee’s patchwork elephant. The beautifully-presented fare on Peru-inspired tableware, and the homemade bread washed down with natural wines, are worth the detour.
LUXOS Recommends: Free-range Pornic pigeon, spit-roasted with smoked celery root and green cabbage.
Le Petit Pergolèse
An institution for 26 years, Albert Corre’s bistro has become an art gallery showcasing the chef’s eclectic collection of contemporary and pop art by the likes of Warhol and David La Chapelle. A master of market cuisine, he’s known how to reinvent his cuisine and décor time and time again, keeping his menu fresh and contemporary.
LUXOS Recommends: The signature pâte-en-croute or lobster salad with house made truffle vinaigrette.