As we contemplate the last crumbs of this year’s holiday feasts, we can’t help but think of our favorite meals from 2010—from Iñaki Aizpitarte’s inspired Basque creations at Le Chateaubriand to the menagerie of flavors at Daniel Rose’s (finally!) reopened Spring.
Before you toast 2011, raise a glass to 2010 and savor this tasting menu of our top picks from a year of Foodie Fave columns, by none other than GG2P’s resident gourmand, Barbra Austin.
17, rue Notre Dame des Victoires, in the 2nd Arrondissement.
01 42 60 31 90. Mon–Fri, lunch and dinner.
Saturne, which opened this fall, takes the term wine bar to a new level. Chef Sven Chartier’s hyperseasonal menu (37–59 euros for four to six courses) is one of the most sublime in town. And with natural wines from the former sommelier of Racines, Saturne is the first real natural-wine bar in a modern, vaguely Scandinavian setting.
129, ave Parmentier, in the 11th.
01 43 57 45 95. Tues–Sat, 7:30–11:00 p.m.
You’ll love or hate this controversial spot; critics love it, as do I. The incredibly inventive Basque chef Iñaki Aizpitarte presents singularly modern food that will surprise and delight you. Voted one of the best restaurants in the world by the UK’s Restaurant Magazine and by Food & Wine, Le Chateaubriand is worshipped by many. Oh, and the waiters are cute, too!
6, rue Bailleul, in the 1st.
01 45 96 05 72.
Dinner, Tues–Sat; lunch, Wed–Sat.
Spring was probably the most anticipated opening of the year. American chef Daniel Rose, the darling of the Parisian foodie scene, finally opened his second restaurant over the summer. The new incarnation replaces his former digs in the 9th with a larger 16th-century room in the 1st. Though the new space is still small, the kitchen is the centerpiece, and the 64 euro menu changes daily according to the whim of Rose (and the fluctuations of seasonal ingredients). Thoughtfully sourced products and reasonable wines from small producers make the reincarnated Spring a triumph.
32, rue St.-Marc, in the 2nd.
01 42 96 65 04. Lunch, Tues–Fri; dinner, Tues–Sat.
Oldie-but-goodie Aux Lyonnais has been open since 1890 but has received a lot of attention after being taken over by Alain Ducasse. A business-suit kind of place during the day, by night Aux Lyonnais attracts an international crowd enjoying the affordable 34 euro prix fixe meal. This is French comfort food at its finest, with the classic bistro vibe that you can’t find anywhere in the world but France.
Le Chapeau Melon
92, rue Rébeval, in the 19th.
Wed–Sun, dinner only. Reservations a must.
01 42 02 68 60.
A wine bar by day, Le Chapeau Melon is the ultimate bobo-bistro come nightfall, when it serves just 15 souls its signature French menu with Japanese and Basque influences. As with most of our picks here, this bistro offers a four-course no-choice prix fixe meal, and at Chapeau Melon it will run you only 31.50 euros. Venture out to the 19th for this inventive cuisine, served up in a homey-artsy and definitely Belleville setting.
Editor’s note: For a gourmet walking tour, check out our DIY downloadable tours.
Tags: 11th Arrondissement, 19th Arrondissement, 1st Arrondissement, 2nd Arrondissement, Alain Ducasse, Barbra Austin, Daniel Rose, Doni Belau, food, France, Iñaki Aizpitarte, lunch, Paris, restaurants, Sven Chartier, travel, wine bars, women