If one overlooks the complexities of making a reservation ('Sorry sir, we don’t take reservations for next week, please try calling two or three days before you would like a table'), then the interminable wait for the cloak room, you'll eventually gain access to the star-studded interior of the restaurant at Hôtel Costes. The décor is exuberant and the architecture full of nooks and crannies, reminiscent of both a crimson brothel from the Second Empire and a Napoleonic country bivouac, with tables pushed very close together and glamorous waitresses everywhere.
The international cuisine mixes French, Italian and Asian influences to produce gems like spicy avocado and tuna tartare, thai basil chicken spring rolls, grilled aubergine burrata, creamy prawn risotto, veal steak with chanterelle mushrooms and 'weeping tiger' beef, which are all very accomplished. All produce is rigorously selected and each dish is carefully executed; but excellent quality comes at a price. You won't pay less than €100 euros and may be treated to some haughty table service.
One way of enjoying Costes without having to take out a mortgage on the house is to wait for a fine day, reserve a spot on the patio and enjoy the view with a €28 club sandwich for a slightly more affordable slice of Parisian high life.
This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.