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La Place restaurant in Paris is a haven of pleasure and tranquility not two minutes' stroll from the Arc de Triomphe. This chic restaurant looks more like Manhattan than the City of Light with sleek blinds, black leather seating, and a palette that veers towards the taupe end of the spectrum. But the dining room opens onto one of the prettiest, most private dining terraces in the capital, with market umbrellas and twinkling candles at night. If the decor is a bit exotic, the menu of superb chef Didier Pioline places you right at the heart of modern French cuisine. Fine seasonal ingredients of exemplary freshness are the only ones used in Pioline's inventive, playful dishes, like truffled egg mousseline with slices of Iberian ham and parmesan, saddle of lamb with North African spices with dried fruit polenta. Service is impeccable.