Enrico Bernardo, youngest-ever winner of the World's Best Sommelier award, runs this restaurant where, for once, food plays second fiddle to wine. You are presented with nothing more than a wine list. Each of 15 wines by the glass is matched with a surprise dish, or the chef can build a meal around the bottle of your choice. Best for a first visit is one of the blind tasting menus for €75, €100 or (why not?) €1,000. The impeccably prepared food shows a strong Italian influence.
You have to have courage to take on an icon like the Eiffel Tower, but superchef and entrepreneur Alain Ducasse has done just that in taking over the Jules Verne, perched in its spectacular eyrie above the city. He has transformed the cuisine and brought in his favourite designer, Patrick Jouin. Meanwhile, Ducasse protégé Pascal Féraud updates French classics, combining all the grand ingredients you'd expect with light, modern textures and sauces. Try dishes like lamb with artichokes, turbot with champagne zabaglione, and a fabulous ruby grapefruit soufflé. Reserve well ahead, and come for lunch if you want to make the most of the views.
This long-running Basque address is an ongoing hit thanks to chef Stéphane Jégo. Excellent bread from baker Jean-Luc Poujauran is a perfect nibble when slathered with a tangy, herby fromage blanc - as are starters of sautéed baby squid on a bed of ratatouille. Tender veal shank comes de-boned with a lovely side of baby onions and broad beans with tiny cubes of ham, and house-salted cod is soaked, sautéed and doused with an elegant vinaigrette. There's a great wine list, and some lovely Brana eau de vie should you decide to linger. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.
Young Senegalese-French chef Rougui Dia directs the kitchen of this famed caviar house. You'll find Russian specialities such as blinis, salmon and caviar (at €39 an ounce) from the Petrossian boutique downstairs, but Dia has added preparations and spices from all over the world. You might start with a divine risotto made with carnaroli rice, codfish caviar and crisp parmesan. In similar Med-meets-Russia vein are main courses of lamb 'cooked for eleven hours' on a raisin-filled blini, and roast sea bream with a terrific lemon-vodka sauce. At dinner wines start at €40.
This well-loved address is frequented by trendy locals, shoppers hunting down a particular type of cheese and tourists who've managed to make it this far from the Eiffel Tower. Le Café du Marché really is a hub of neighbourhood activity. Its pichets of decent house plonk always go down a treat, and mention must be made of the food - such as the huge house salad featuring lashings of foie gras and parma ham.
The full-on view of the Eiffel Tower at night would be reason enough to come to this glass-and-iron restaurant on the top floor of the Musée du Quai Branly, but new chef Jean-François Oyon's food also demands that you sit up and take notice. Those without bottomless pockets should note that there is a reasonable prix fixe at lunch. Another option is to head to the newly opened terrace lounge bar, which offers a range of swish cocktails (€13) and posh nibbles to consume on one of its delightfully plush sofas. You'll feel like you've strolled into a postcard.
You’ll be hard-pushed to find thicker, creamier ice cream than at Martine Lambert’s parlour on Rue Cler, where Normandy lait cru (unpasteurised milk) and crème fraîche are used in most of her recipes. Her sorbets are top-notch too: since she opened her first boutique in Deauville in 1975, Lambert has selected the best fruits from around the world to ensure that her flavours are as intense and fruity as possible. Even the nougat, preserved oranges and caramel are made on site to ensure the best quality. If you’re planning a dinner party, check out her ‘Créations’ range, which includes macaroons filled with sorbet and an extravagant ‘Omelette Norvegienne’ (meringue filled with sorbet on a layer of buttery biscuit) to share.
Assuming you can swallow an exceptionally high bill - it's €42 for a potato starter, for example - chances are you'll have a spectacular time at chef Alain Passard's Left Bank establishment. His attempt to plane down and simplify the haute experience - the chrome-armed chairs look like something from the former DDR - seems a misstep; but then something edible comes to the table, such as tiny smoked potatoes served with a horseradish mousseline. A main course of sautéed free-range chicken with a roasted shallot, an onion, potato mousseline and pan juices is the apotheosis of comfort food. Desserts are elegant.
It's not for an exotic setting or sophisticated service that you'll come to Wakaba. In true Japanese style, everything here is pared down to the essentials, allowing the remarkable food to speak for itself.As with many Japanese restaurants, you're best off coming for lunch – at €45 and €80 respectively, the dinner set menus verge on the unreasonable. Yet no matter what time of day you stop by, you're sure to be treated to a smorgasbord of subtle flavours and mysterious ingredients. Aside from the usual über-fresh sushi and sashimi, the €45 menu comprises a series of small dishes that raise as many questions as there are courses: What on earth is this vegetable? Why does this dengaku-miso aubergine taste of chocolate? How had we we never tried oysters seasoned with citrus vinegar before? Only one way to get answers – head back to Wakaba, one of the best Japanese restaurants we've been to in a while.