25 Restaurant Dishes Worth the Trip to Paris
Although there are many dishes that deserve a mention – these are the ones that you’ll actually have a chance of finding on a menu consistently.
From Michelin-starred palaces to wine bars – these are my favorite 25 restaurant dishes in Paris.
Frenchie Wine Bar:
1. Foie Gras Royale:
When you’ve lived in France as long as I have, it is easy to think you’ve eaten foie gras in all its shapes and forms – but Frenchie’s Chef-Owner Gregory Marchand took it to a “whole ‘nother ” level when he created an egg custard foie gras “royal” topped with rabbit jus jelly & toasted hazelnuts. If my pioneer great-grandmother were still with us, even she’d have loved this. It is sexy, refined, rustic and filled with soul. When you scrape up the last bits, think of her saying, “Darlin’… we put the hurt on that didn’t we?”
2. Chocolate, Fleur de Sel & Kalamata Olive Oil Pots:
I have to admit I fell in love with salt and chocolate way back (all of 4 years ago) when Greg first served me that chocolate tart topped with fleur de sel and salted butter caramel. Remember Greg? Then he comes along and tops that – with little pots of chocolate mousse topped with his own black Kalamata olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. A restaurateur friend of mine told me, “Wendy, it was incredible. I licked the pots clean!” You know who you are.
L’Avant Comptoir Wine Bar:
3. Artichoke & Ham Waffle:
Yves Camdeborde’s insanely popular L’Avant Comptoir hors d’oeuvres bar is always an adventure. No matter what you order, you’re tasting ideas from his travels as a judge of Master Chef filming all over France. He’s insatiable, endlessly scouting fun tapas idea for the zinc bar – and sometimes it comes down to a brilliant dish rising from necessity… out of bread, out of butter, etc. Welcome to one of the most unexpected but tasty dishes simply named “artichoke, waffle, ham.” Handmade buckwheat waffle, Brittany artichoke cream & our buddy Eric Ospital’s 19-month old cured ham – drizzled with a first-pressed dirty olive oil and chives. It’s messy, but like my grandfather used to say, “If we didn’t make a mess, we didn’t have fun!”
4. Piment Jelly & Blood Sausage Macaron:
Anthony Bourdain still dreams of this little nugget – a blood sausage macaron with pimento jelly…and so will you if you’re hard core.
5. Seared Foie Gras & Red Pepper Skewer:
This seared foie gras-roasted red pepper skewer drizzled with aged Balsamic vinegar will melt in your mouth and is deeply, deeply, sexy. If you don’t pick up a slice of Thierry Breton’s bread to sop up the sauce in the bottom of the plate… for shame.
6. Lobster Tail & Spicy Peanut Sauce:
L’Astrance’s young and extremely talented chef, Pascal Barbot, went from one Michelin star to three in just under seven years. He’s one of my favorite chefs if not people in the world…and the world is exactly what you’ll taste when you sit down to his table. Since he’s traveled far and wide throughout the world and Asia – you’ll taste edible flowers, miso butter, daikon, ginger and the like to accentuate the freshest ingredients possible. This lobster tail on a spicy peanut sauce is extraordinary – the first time I had this I thought it was a spicy fresh tomato roasted nut ragu. With coriander flowers and cucumber as accents – the flavor and texture is delicate, acidic and powerful in one bite.
Mary Celeste Cocktail Bar:
7. Lobster & Cheddar Brioche:
Mary Celeste’s nautical themed cocktail & wine bar has a helluva chef in the kitchen – Chinese-Romanian Chef Haan Palcu-Chang. Look out small sharing plates (not!) the braised sweet & salty braised pork tacos are killer – but this lobster cheddar brioche had me texting every chef in town. Hello, this is IT.
8. Chicken, Pork & Cognac Terrine:
Bruno Doucet’s chicken, pork & Cognac terrine is absolutely terrific. It is served family-style, no plates. Slather it on the country bread and eat it fast. The terrine is on the table for a few minutes with a crock of cornichons before going to your neighbors. Spoiled rotten, Bruno wraps up some for me so I can take it to go, for an amazing baguette the next day for lunch to die for.
Restaurant Guy Savoy:
9. Foie Gras, Horseradish & Potato Chip Jus:
You thought I was going to swoon over the artichoke truffle soup with a cepe brioche slathered in truffle butter? Of course I’m swooning, but when Guy Savoy called me into the kitchen to see what I thought of the foie gras, horseradish and potato chip jus – I said I thought I needed a chair to sit down and another portion.
10. Fried Oysters:
Spring’s fried oysters are “rolled in flour, then dunked in a beaten egg seasoned with salt & pepper, a squirt of olive oil and then rolled in panko.. and then fried at 180° until lightly brown.” Seriously, these fried oysters ROCK.
11. Ricotta & Anchovy:
Septime Cave’s ricotta and anchovy filets may sound funky – trust me, I avoided it for awhile, until I was shamed into trying it. Good heavens. Who knew? Salty and creamy could be so good?
12. Fish Soup:
Chez Michel’s Chef-Owner Thierry Breton is from Brittany – which means everything on his menu is fresh from the sea and delicious. But this standout fish soup – made with a 12-hour shellfish stock and poured hot out of a ceramic pitcher over his own country bread and topped with Parmesan, is as comfort food as it gets. It should be a main course, not an entree, but who is complaining!?
Le 6 Paul Bert:
13. Any Raw Fish Dish by Chef Louis Philippe:
Montreal Chef Louis Philippe is so talented with raw fish – that even if there is a fish you swear you’d never eat… trust him with it! Condiment pairings for cru mackerel, bonito, herring, etc. can be beetroot, fennel, orange, dill, sea salt, olive oil & fromage frais. I crave his cooking at least five times a week such as the lotte/monkfish beignets & the hot and cold smoked herring gnocchi. Jezuz.
Chez L’Ami Jean:
14. Pan-Seared & Oven Roasted Veal Shank:
My buddy Stephane Jego doesn’t know it, but he is a Southern boy – give that man a veal shank, butter and ladle and you will never regret going up a pant size.
15. Rice Pudding & Pralines:
Riz au Lait with caramelized pralines served in a huge bowl with a wooden spoon standing straight up in the middle – talk about going up a pant size.
16. Grilled Truffle Lobster:
3 Michelin-star L’Arpege, Chef Passard is known for his vegetable garden and its tasty yield, but this lobster with truffle butter bits and smoked fleur de sel potatoes just might have you rethinking vegetarian-vegan.
Verjus Wine Bar:
17. Boneless Fried Chicken:
Braden Perkins’ wine bar near the Palais Royale is hidden under the arches, but the buttermilk boneless fried chicken pieces should be more than enough to lure you in. Laura’s wine choices won’t steer you wrong either, but go for my buddy Charles Hours’ Cuvee Marie – a white dry Jurancon, it’ll cut the fat and make you hungry for more. Don’t miss the braised spiced pork belly either!
Ecailler du Bistro:
18. Cru Shrimp & Japanese Vinegar and 19. Raw Oysters
Gwen Cadoret’s seafood bistro is respected among the food industry folks who know that her oysters come from her father, a 4th generation oyster farmer and that they are the freshest in town is true. She’s got Belons, Marennes-Olerons, Utah Beach and the like… but I also adore, adore the live raw shrimp in Japanese vinegar!
Bistrot Paul Bert:
20. Eggs, Truffles & Mushrooms:
Bistrot Paul Bert’s egg plates are legendary and they should be. Depending upon the time of year – they are topped with black truffles or morel mushrooms – just incredible.
21. Sarawak Pepper Filet:
Everyone will tell you that the steak-frites are the reason to go to the Bistrot Paul Bert. Not exactly. Everything is delicious but if you’re in the mood for beef and fries… what everyone is actually raving about is the pan-seared filet mignon in Sarawak peppercorns and Cognac, cream & butter. Yes ma’am.
Dans Les Landes:
22. Fried Smoked Duck Polenta Sticks
Julien Deboue is from the Landes region near Bordeaux, known for the white asparagus and hearty dishes. His deep-fried smoked duck breast polenta sticks with are just insanely good. Try to eat just one. I dare you.
Frenchie To Go:
23. Reuben Sandwich:
Frenchie To Go’s famous “Reuben” got its start at the wine bar, but these days you can take it with you (hint: best plane food, ever!) Buttered grilled Pain des Amis bread, house-cured pastrami and Keen’s Cheddar make for jealous seatmates on the way back to NYC.
24. Tuna Potato Chips:
Paris’ latest rooftop sky bar and restaurant’s Chef Benoit Dumas has a HUGE hit on his hands with these hand cut potato chips, topped with seared blue tuna, spicy mayo & crispy leeks. Slap yo’ momma good.
25. Pork Belly
South Korean French Chef Pierre Sang knows how to drive this Southern gal wild with his crispy pork
Skin, Belly, Skin, Belly… You get the point. Chef, see you next week!