La Fourmi Ailée
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Decorated like a cabinet of curiosities, this whimsical restaurant serves fresh and original brasserie fare near Notre-Dame.
La Fourmi Ailée (or ‘The Winged Ant’) is based just next door to Notre-Dame, in a neighbourhood of lacklustre tourist traps generally avoided by Parisians. But this quirky restaurant and tearoom is the exception: furnished with lemon-yellow banquettes and dark marble tables, walls of old books, trinkets and even a ceiling fresco, La Fourmi Ailée has won over locals with its fairy-tale atmosphere. Lit by garlands and paper lamps, the space is especially enchanting in the evening. For lunch, the restaurant’s light-flooded mezzanine – actually a sunroom – is intimate and soothing.
Foodwise, expect a hearty selection of salads, quiches, pasta, marinated fish, meat and chicken. We enjoyed the succulent raw salmon gravlax (€16.50), served with sponge fingers and salad, in a marinade of olive oil, dill, juniper and bergamot, as well as the Tournon Saint-Pierre salad (€15.50), which surprised us with its excellent ripe goat cheese, galette and fig marinade infused with tea and pink peppercorn. For dessert, we went with the lightest option, a sweet red berry soup. Sipping it, we were already planning an excursion to La Fourmi Ailée’s sister restaurant at Montmartre, L’Été en Pente Douce.
8 rue du Fouarre
|Transport:||Metro: Cluny-La Sorbonne|
|Price:||Around €25 per person|
|Opening hours:||Every day from noon to midnight|