Paris Restaurants: Rech


62, avenue des Ternes, in the 17th Arrondissement. 01 58 00 22 03.
Open Tues–Sat, noon–2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.–10 p.m.

One of the top things that come to mind when people think about Paris is food. Paris restaurants: we dream about them when planning our trip. The immeasurable offer can be daunting; and stressing about making decisions is not really what holidays are for. As you must know, in Paris there are all kinds of places to eat, but Michelin-awarded restaurants are a whole other league.

Very low-key from the outside, Rech sure knows how to surprise its clients once they’re in. Just like real elegance is supposed to be: sober, neat, with emphasis on quality; the setting instantly lets you know you’re in a seafood restaurant, a world-class one for that matter.

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At the head of the establishment is none other than the famous chef Alain Ducasse, one of the most awarded in the world, who has a hospitality and restaurant empire. If you want to know what this restaurant is about, learn from his own words: “At Rech, the cuisine adapts to what the sea has to offer. The menu evolves with the tides and our inspiration. In the strictest respect of seasonality, we honor this year high quality, rare or unique produce, some of which comes straight from the tanks to the plate. Six original and delicious oceanic rendezvous, recounted here.”

I have to say, there’s nothing false about this statement. From the moment I was seated, the service was impeccable: friendly and polite, elegant but without making you feel uncomfortable. The menu was simple in variety but not as simple in quality; it changes every Wednesday and depends on the chef’s inspiration. I went for lunch, when a menu with two options for each course is proposed. I chose the chilled courgette velouté, purple basil and ewe’s milk cheese as my entrée; the pan-seared small scale fishing hake, wild garlic, preserved shallot and black olives from Nice as my main dish; and, for dessert, a mouthwatering strawberry and rhubarb soup, crunchy shortbread. (I suggest you also taste the famous oysters, which are not included in the menu, but which you’ll see in the little stand in front of the restaurant.)

Each dish was better than the other. The portions might look tiny at first glance, but I promise you won’t leave hungry. Everything is mathematically measured, and the whole experience is carefully thought out.

No conventional bread and butter here while waiting for your food: a small selection of seasonal vegetables is brought to your table, with homemade focaccia and a delicious fish spread, and you also get three types of fresh-out-the-oven bread, and butter that you could eat with a spoon. Oh, and just when you thought it was all over, a smiling waiter comes to offer the house’s lemon marshmallows. Who said candy can’t be gourmet? A sweet final touch!

In a nutshell: top-quality fresh seasonal seafood, a Michelin-star restaurant with impeccable service, owned by one of the most famous chefs in France.
Price check: lunch menu, €42; dinner menu, €54; signature menu, €71; glass of wine, €8–12. You can also order à la carte, though menus are a better deal.
If you like the sound of Rech, you’ll also like L’Agapé. Read the review.
51, rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, in the 17th Arrondissement. 01 42 27 20 18.
Open Mon–Fri; lunch, noon–2:30 p.m.; dinner, 8 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

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