Avid Paris visitor and founder of 64 Wine in Glasthule, Gerard Maguire shares his hit list of brilliant places to eat in the gastro capital.
Paris has long been considered by many the culinary capital of the world. Chefs from every corner of the world flock there to learn the French style of cooking, and so the city has no shortage of excellent places to eat. However, the choice can be almost overwhelming, so Gerard Maguire of 64 Wine in Glasthule has shared his personal favourites with us. Now you just have to decide what to have…
Rue de Seine is a gorgeous street littered with small galleries, leading down to the quay and the river; this is one of the nicest parts of Paris in my opinion. Semilla is owned by Juan Sanchez and Drew Harré who have created a buzzy contemporary restaurant in a bright, airy room. The dishes change daily and the wine list excites. Service is always friendly and efficient. It’s a great place for a long lunch. You’ll need to book. 54 rue de Seine, 75006, Paris.
You’ll find this spot in the distinctly unfashionable and slightly shabby Les Halles. Pirouette is run by Tomy Gousset who trained at Le Meurice. This is the place to come for Michelin-influenced food without the palaver. The food is casually served but lovingly created and offers good value, without being cheap.
Offal is a star on the menu and the wine list is really interesting, populated with left of centre wines. Biodynamic and natural wines feature, selected for quality rather than their badge. Inside, the place is cosy with wooden floors and a glass floor-to-ceiling wall that lets in oceans of light and indulges the voyeur in us all. 5 rue Mondétour, 75001, Paris.
Splash out dinner
Now, we step up our culinary adventure a few notches. There is no menu at Le Chateaubriand, you are simply asked if you are allergic to anything. (If you are a vegan or a coeliac, I advise you go elsewhere.) The chef, Iñaki Aizpitarte, from the Basque region of France, is a culinary genius and you can expect to be thrilled and surprised with dish after dish.
Be brave here and abandon yourself to the food and wine matching. It is one of the few places that truly understands that science. You will get sherries, saki, natural wines and Champagne – cloudy and clear – but none will disappoint. 129 avenue Parmentier, 75011, Paris.
Palais Royal Restaurant
Paris is packed with options for eating outside. Most of the squares have lots of acceptable options. For me though, there are two squares that encapsulate the essence of Paris: Place des Vosges and Palais-Royale. Both are magnets of style and Parisian life, beautiful and historic. Place des Vosges sadly is only good for a coffee or a glass of wine (Ma Bourgogne is a must for people watching) with only the cloistered, three-star Michelin L’Ambroisie worth eating at – if you can afford it!
But Palais Royale has its own eponymous restaurant, where the interior is pure effortless chic, the food is one-Michelin-star good, the wine is fine and you could drink in the atmosphere all day long. What makes this unique spot special is the theatre in which you dine – surrounded by sun, shadows, wonderful architecture and the sounds of Paris. Bliss. 110 galerie de Valois, 75001, Paris.
TV chef Cyril Lignac has created this traditional gem just a short metro journey from the centre of Paris. All the touches are there: Belle époque room, tiled floors, bevelled glass partitions, zinc bar and linen tablecloths. Lignac trained under one of the greats, Alain Passard, and this is reflected in the quality of the food which is perfectly executed and expertly served. The wine list is safe but very good. It’s a snug and homely spot which is now recognised as one of the top bistros in Paris, so do book ahead. 1 rue Jules Valles, 75011, Paris.
Featured image: Pirouette
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