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Alain Ducasse’s latest bistro sticks to safe, standard bistro classics, with unfortunately bland results.
The recent facelift of Les Halles has, many hope, introduced a sparkly new era for the formerly run-down neighbourhood, ushering in with it a whole wave of chic new restaurants and shops. One of the most talked-about openings so far is Champeaux, a bistro led by world-renowned Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse. As you go in, the place certainly makes a memorable first impression thanks to its immense windows, industrial-chic décor (all marble tables and black leather seating) and a large train station-like timetable announcing all the different soufflés, the restaurant’s speciality.
And yet for all its grandiose design features, the restaurant’s menu isn’t exactly exciting. Most items are pretty standard bistro classics, like eggs mimosa, onion soup, steak with peppercorn sauce, steak tartare and coquillettes au jambon (essentially sophisticated macaroni cheese with ham, Comté cheese and truffle). Mains average out at about €20 each, which for such fresh produce and excellent service is decent value, but the food is generally quite bland. Even the daily specials, like the veal blanquette (Mondays) and the pike quenelles in a béchamel and crayfish sauce (Fridays), aren’t all that outstanding. If you’re in a hurry and fancy a €12 croque monsieur, then Champeaux will probably satisfy your cravings, but there are far more inventive addresses proposing similarly priced (and far more exciting) menus in the area.
TRANSLATION: FLORA HUDSON
La Canopée, forum des Halles, porte Rambuteau
|Transport:||Metro: Les Halles|
|Price:||Main courses €16-34, glass of wine €6-10|
|Opening hours:||Sun-Wed 11.30am-12pm; Thu-Sat 11.30am-1am|