1, rue d’Eupatoria, in the 20th Arrondissement. 09 53 56 24 14.
Open for dinner, Monday–Friday.
Roseval was named the best Paris restaurant of 2013 by Le Fooding. I always take these awards with a grain of salt, but needless to say, it has been on my list of Paris restaurants to visit for a while, but between time in the United States and life, I didn’t get there until recently. The reservations were made weeks in advance, and once the day arrived, along came a small stomach virus for me. I debated canceling, but only for a brief moment. I’m sure it will pass, I thought. No more delays. So I ventured to the 20th Arrondissement—where there’s been a slow influx of cutting-edge chefs setting up shop to avoid the high rents in the center of town and to try something different.
Mussels in lemongrass broth.
Roseval is set on a quiet corner, just off the bustling rue de Ménilmontant and across from the beautiful Notre Dame de la Croix Church. The restaurant is tiny, with just a handful of tables wedged together beneath exposed brick and wooden beans. The service was friendly, including dish delivery and explanation by the young, handsome English chef Michael Greenwold, who created the restaurant with Simone Tondo. While young in years, both have done time in notable Paris restaurants like Rino and le Chateaubriand.
Duck with sautéed mushrooms, homemade cheese and seaweed.
The menu was a no-choice four-course tasting menu that began with a bang. Mussels were arranged with chewy croutons in a sweet onion and lemongrass broth that I was sure would cure anything that ailed me. We flagged down a waiter halfway through the dish to ensure we had enough bread to soak up the amazing citrus sauce. A crisp, lean white fish arrived next on a bright green bed of parsley purée that again had us fighting over bread to enjoy every last taste on the plate.
We moved into the meat category with a rare duck served with a mix of sautéed mushrooms, homemade cheese and flakes of seaweed. It had all the flavors I like in a dish with umami, sweet and salty notes.
Pears in celeriac sauce with ice cream.
Dessert came in two rounds, first with a decadent caramel panna cotta topped with stewed apples and walnuts. I would have been happy stopping there, but then we received a somewhat confusing dish of figs and pears in an odd savory celeriac sauce with pear ice cream. While the ice cream was delicious, the rest left us befuddled at the combination but nonetheless content with an overall outstanding meal that placed me right back on my feet.
In a nutshell: Roseval is a buzzing restaurant in the 20th Arrondissement from two young chefs working their way through the Paris restaurant scene. Expect unique combinations and flavors on the no-choice tasting menu served in a tiny, open room.
Price check: Four-course tasting menu, 35–49 euros.
If Roseval sounds good, you might also like la Gazzetta. Read the review.
29, rue de Cotte, in the 12th Arrondissement.
01 43 47 47 05. Open Tues–Sat, noon–3 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11 p.m.