Le Fooding’s Top Paris Restos
There is something about the phrase Le Fooding that says everything about the current state of French cuisine. Le Fooding started 15 years ago and this fall they put out their 15th anniversary edition of their much-awaited yearly guide to the best restaurants in France 2016 with much attention paid, naturally, to its capital.
The Le Fooding movement has been the anti-Michelin star movement. It started at the same time as people were turning around in their dining chairs, across the world and saying, “Wait a minute, hushed formal restaurants that are temples to food are getting just a bit too precious for me.” In 2015-16 people want great food that’s not ridiculously expensive that is both innovative and created close to its source. Le Fooding was and is still all about creativity, revering rebellious chefs who are the avant guard heroes and heroines of modern French food. Each year their big thick magazine/guide is produced which reveals Le Fooding’s Top Paris Restos.
The chefs that earn placement in their app, in their magazine and on their website are pushing the envelope and breaking the rules. This year Le Fooding created a little magazine within a magazine which they named their “porn-folio”. 28 ground-breaking dishes by 28 chefs from 2000-2015.
Winning the best table of the year this year is Dersou, a small restaurant in the 11th with an Asian touch that does a tasting menu pairing small bites by chef Taku Sekine with cocktails instead of wine. Amaury Guyot’s restaurant is the first to offer this concept in Paris, and it feels only natural as their first outpost was Sherry Butt, a cocktail bar with oysters in the Marais that is still going strong.
The best bistro of 2016 is the newly reopened Le Bon St. Pourçain, an old time bistro that was much loved by the residents of the 6th arr (including us when we lived there) which has now been taken over by some serious foodies including Swedish chef Svante Forstorp, with design by Phillippe Starck. While its much more minimalist and modern in feel than it was previously, the charm has not been lost.
A few highlights on the list of 28 dishes all of which I’d love to try are, Le Pot-au-Feu de Cochon found at L’Avant Gout in the 13th by Chef Christophe Beaufront. I love a homey pot-au-feau (French beef stew) but if its made with pork my husband will go wild, he’s a pork fiend, the kind who gets all kind of weird bacon presents for Christmas and birthdays. The Riz au Lait at L’Ami Jean I’ve had and while it’s the simplest of dishes somehow it manages to be better than any other rice pudding I’ve ever had….by far. The Tiramisu au Kiri by Chef Masayu Hashimoto at Momoka in the terribly trendy So-Pi (South of Pigalle) neighborhood sounds unbelievable made with green tea. The question being…can it possibly be as good as the miracle that is real Tiramisu?
Since I’m a push-over for anything Japanese plus French/Japanese fusion is something I continue to adore so I’m willing to risk it. The pulled pork sandwich from Frenchie-to-Go marks the most innovative food on their list from 2013. Your grandpa in South Carolina won’t be too impressed…or will he? They’ve taken pork, cooked it for a long time, seasoned it just right and then added beets to the coleslaw on top – add the perfect bun and some greens and twist my arm, yes a French chef can make a southern classic a tad bit more fabulous.
Plan on being in Paris for the Holidays? Here are Le Fooding’s last minute restaurant recommendations for your holiday meal.
Le Clarence (photograph on homepage slideshow of the newly opened Le Clarence in the Dillon Hotel, with opulent classic furnishings in red & green to put you in the Christmas-y mood, photo via http://nosbonnestables.canalblog.com/)
If your idea of French food extends beyond that classic bistro, get a hold of the newest Le Fooding guide for 2016.
See all the Winners, et bonne fete & bon appetite!