The 50 best restaurants in Paris: Parisian chic

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Jean-Luc André

These restaurants offer that certain je ne sais quoi – a spectacular view, exceptional interior design, the cachet of a famous name in the kitchen or simply the merit of being the place to see and be seen this year. Whatever the case, if you choose one of these for a special night out, the food is also guaranteed to be stunning.

The chic Parisian restaurants

Akrame

Akrame has been one of the hottest Paris addresses since it opened its doors in early 2011, and talented young chef Akrame Bellalal confirmed his potential when the Michelin Guide took the unusual step of awarding the restaurant a star in its first year. So expectations are high. Bellalal worked with both Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnaire, and the buzz only increases when you discover how difficult it is to get a reservation, followed by a reminder call from the maitre d’ on your mobile at 9.30 the morning of the booking to reconfirm. Just a couple of minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, Akrame certainly looks the part...

  1. 19 rue Lauriston, 16e
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La Tour d'Argent

This Paris institution is regaining its lustre following the death of aged owner Claude Terrail in 2006. In the kitchen, Breton-born Stéphane Haissant has brought a welcome creative touch to the menu, bringing in unique dishes such as a giant langoustine dabbed with kumquat purée and surrounded by lightly scented coffee foam. But he also shows restraint, as in duck (the house speciality) with cherry sauce and a broad bean flan. Following in his father's footsteps, Terrail's soft-spoken son André now does the rounds...

  1. 15 quai de la Tournelle, 5e
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La Table du Lancaster

A stone’s throw from the Champs Elysées but a world away from the crowds, La Table du Lancaster is hidden away in the luxurious Hôtel Lancaster, as discreet as it is enchanting.This one Michelin-starred venture was run for many years by Michel Troisgrois (who has three stars at the Maison Troisgros in Roanne), but since November 2012 has passed to the executive chef, Julien Rocheteau. The décor is timeless, immune to the capital’s trends, and it’s always a pleasure to come back here. The elegant sobriety of the room, from the comfortable armchairs to the refined flower arrangements, encourages you to relax and concentrate on the beautifully arranged and perfectly executed food.We came at lunch to take advantage of the ‘Bon Plan de la Table’ set menu (€56 for amuse bouche, starter, main course, pudding, coffee and sweets, with a glass of wine or a half litre of water), expecting to pass a few hours in luxury. Beneath the benevolent gaze of the geishas painted on the walls and the attentive waiters, the dishes arrived with no false notes, nor a great deal of inspiration. The clearly described dishes (fried egg and creamed cauliflower, lamb’s shoulder confit cannelloni and chickpeas) turned up beautifully cooked and full of clear flavours, but lacked pizzazz. To experience the full talent of the chef, you need to go à la carte, and be prepared to spend the money (especially if you want to hit the wine list). The dishes are arranged into categories like ‘piquant’, ‘vivacious’, ‘s

  1. 7 rue de Berri, 8e
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Pétrelle

Jean-Luc André is as inspired a decorator as he is a cook, and the quirky charm of his fresco clad dining room has made it popular with fashion designers and film stars. But behind the style there's some serious substance. André seeks out the best ingredients from local producers, and the quality shines through. Everything is à la carte and changes with the seasons: dishes might include marinated sardines with tomato relish, rosemary-scented rabbit with roasted vegetables, deep purple poached figs and a rather luxurious tournedos Rossini, consistently and perfectly pink...

  1. 34 rue Pétrelle, 9e
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Pizza Chic

An address which could only exist on the left bank, nestled into the busy streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés where 'chic' is a religion in itself. But this contemporary, polished pizzeria (wood panelling, suspended lighting, design tiles and seating) isn't the least bit ostentatious, with comfortably spaced tables, white tablecloths and silver cutlery, and the pizzas are amongst the best in Paris. Rare ingredients directly imported from Italy (special mozzarella – a mix of traditional and buffalo – lard from Colonnata, spicy Calabrian sausages, Taggiasca olives, anchovies from Salerno)...

  1. 13 rue de Mézières, 6e
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Racines 2

Racine’s little brother is the rebellious one, with its tattooed young chef and Scandinavian-influenced décor from badboy designer Philippe Starck (we particularly like the antler lamps). In the open kitchen, the cooks only work with the best produce: Jambon Ibérico raised in the open air, dry aged beef full of concentrated flavours.The ingredient-led chalkboard menu is short and to the point. We started with a puff pastry feuilleté with snails, cream of shallots and fresh herbs: generous and flavourful, the sauce far more delicate than the traditional garlic butter. Also, a lovely and unusually well-presented vitello tonnato...

  1. 39 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 1er
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Restaurant du Palais-Royal

There can be few more magical places to dine on a summer evening than the terrace of this restaurant. Inside is memorable too: you sit in a red dining room alongside the commissars of arts and letters who work at the ministry of culture a few doors down. Risotto is a speciality and the Black, Black and Lobster is tremendous; rice simmered in rich squid ink is served al dente, topped with tender but fleshy pink lobster, sun-dried tomato and spring vegetables. Don't miss out on the baba au rhum...

  1. 110 galerie Valois, 1er
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