Tue 29 Jun 2010
The 8th Arrondissement offers the largest grouping of celebrity chefs in one district.
(*) Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée
25, ave Montaigne. 01 53 67 65 00.
Thurs–Fri, lunch; Mon–Fri, dinner.
Ducasse is one of the reigning kings of French gastronomy. Though you likely won’t find him in the kitchen here (or anywhere), the modern cooking that made him famous is on full display. Wildly expensive.
(*) Les Ambassadeurs
10, place de la Concorde, in the Hôtel de Crillon. 01 44 71 16 16.
Tues–Fri, lunch; Tues–Sat, dinner.
Dine in gilded splendor at the Crillon, where the kitchen is currently being run by 28-year-old Christopher Hache, who is ably filling the big shoes of his predecessors. Sumptuous food and decor, sumptuous prices.
(V) Aubrac Corner
37, rue Marbeuf. 01 45 61 45 35.
Mon–Fri, 7:45 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
High-quality fast food is not a contradiction at this sandwich shop, which serves salads, a few hot dishes and a great burger—no surprise, as it’s run by the beef specialists at the Maison de l’Aubrac.
41, ave Montaigne. 01 40 70 14 91.
Daily, 8 a.m.–2 a.m.
Like all the Costes brothers’ establishments, this one is more about fashion than food. But if you’re shopping on the avenue Montaigne, then that’s probably what you’re looking for.
73, blvd de Courcelles. 01 46 22 20 20.
A sandwich shop with soups and salads and a gourmet store, too—somewhat pricey, but, alas, it is Alain Ducasse. What more could a girl shopping on the right bank want for lunch? Also open for breakfast at 7.
(L) Caviar Kaspia
17, place de la Madeleine. 01 42 65 33 52.
If you must have caviar, this is the place. It is in a beautiful setting.
(L, T) Café Salle Pleyel
252, rue du Faubourg-St.-Honoré. 01 53 75 28 44.
Mon–Fri, lunch; dinner on concert evenings only.
No need to wait for your favorite soprano to come through town; you can visit the Café Salle Pleyel anytime, where guest chefs, invited by executive chef Hélène Samuel, come to perform. Reserve for lunch or a preconcert dinner in the modern, airy space.
(T) Charbon Rouge
25, rue Marbeuf. 01 40 70 09 99.
Daily, noon–11:30 p.m.
It’s all about meat at this stylish newcomer, which features high-quality aged steaks cooked on a grill—a rarity in Paris—with a choice of sauces and great frites. Read a full review here.
(*) Le Cinq
31, ave Georges V, in the Four Seasons. 01 49 52 70 00.
Now with a new chef, Le Cinq will undoubtedly remain one of the very best haute cuisine haunts in the city. The room and service are both spectacular—really beyond anything you’ll ever see anywhere else in the world.
(C) La Fermette Marbeuf 1900
5, rue Marbeuf. 01 53 23 08 00.
An enjoyable, if a tad bit tripisty, classic French eatery. Not cheap but not over-the-top expensive, either. There’s a gorgeous glass-domed ceiling in the main dining room and very professional service.
41, ave Gabriel. 01 42 25 00 39.
The chef has worked with Robuchon and Constant—prix fixe is 75 euros.
(C) La Maison d’Alsace
39, ave des Champs Elysées. 01 53 93 97 00.
Twenty-four-hour true Alsatian brasserie, complete with sauerkraut and German wine.
(S) Marius and Janette
4, ave George V. 01 47 23 41 88.
Great oysters and seafood here, many say the best in the city.
15, ave Matignon. 01 56 43 40 90.
A trendy New York–style eatery by Jean Georges, who is known as one of New York’s best French chefs, and designed by Christian Liaigre. It is quite a nice modern restaurant that you will enjoy unless you are from New York—it reminds us too much of our hometown.
(*) Pierre Gagnaire
6, rue Balzac. 01 58 36 12 50.
Sun–Fri, dinner; Mon–Fri, lunch.
Pierre Gagnaire, a master of modern French cooking, is one of the reigning kings of Paris gastronomy. Don’t try to understand it all, just give yourself over to the experience. (Then give over your wallet.)
(T, V) Publicis Drugstore
133, ave des Champs-Elysées. 01 44 43 79 00.
Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–2 a.m.; Sat–Sun, 10 a.m.–2 a.m.
Grab lunch at the épicerie in this sprawling complex that includes a wineshop, brasserie, drugstore and movie theatre. It’s a megastore done on the chic, and mostly on the cheap, too.
(*) Restaurant Plaza Athénée
25, ave Montaigne. 01 53 67 65 00.
We have never been to this particular Alain Ducasse restaurant, but we mention it because we went to his previous restaurant in Paris a few years ago, and it was truly one of the most impressive meals we’ve ever eaten. We can’t imagine that this is not just as good. Three Michelin stars (bring fistfuls of cash).
9, place de la Madeleine. 01 42 65 22 90.
Daily, lunch and dinner.
Nouvelle cuisine pioneer Alain Senderens doesn’t have any Michelin stars, but that’s only because he doesn’t want them. For a taste of what he can do at gentler prices, try Le Passage, the more casual annex to the eponymous restaurant.
15, rue Lamennais. 01 44 95 15 01.
Mon–Fri, lunch and dinner.
Taillevent faces the unenviable challenge of achieving contemporary relevance while maintaining its stature as one of the classic tables of Paris. Is it the most exciting restaurant in town? No, but it remains a bastion of elegance and fine service.
13, rue Montalivet. 01 42 65 18 18.
Good chic Italian.