The Most Stylish Places To Eat In Paris
The Loulou terrace. Photograph by Mr Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Loulou
MR PORTER’s Style Council recommends the finest eateries in the French capital – whether you’re after haute cuisine or a quick bite.
Since the 19th century (and, depending on who you ask, long before), Paris has been widely considered the Western world’s hub of cooking as an art form. It was here, in the early 20th century, that Mr Auguste Escoffier codified the traditional culinary traditions of his nation to invent the modern concept of haute cuisine. Today, it is the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe (and the third most in the world, behind Kyoto and Tokyo). But beyond that, Paris is a city where food – from the everyday to the exceptional – is taken incredibly seriously. In short, when it comes to eating out, the bar in Paris is set very high. Having said that, with such a wealth of options to choose from, booking a table for dinner can sometimes be overwhelming. Also, though standards are generally good, it’s easy to pay over the odds for pretty average fair in the more touristy areas. So, where should you go? As the MR PORTER team prepare to head over to the French capital for the final leg of the European AW17 menswear shows, we thought we’d refresh ourselves on some of the city’s most stylish eateries, via recommendations from the Style Council. And, while we’re doing that, it would be a little churlish to not share the same with you, non?
FOR FINE DINING
L: endive at Septime. Photograph by Mr Benjamin Schmuck. R: Septime dining room. Photograph by Mr François Flohic. Both courtesy of Septime
There are now 100 Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. Only one, however, is tipped by Chromeo’s Mr David Macklovitch to be as fresh and toe-tappingly cool as his band’s nudge-and-wink electropop. We’re talking about Septime. One of a trio of restaurants in the Charonne neighbourhood run by young chef Mr Bertrand Grébaut, Septime offers a modern take on classic French bistro cooking with a decidedly fresh and unfussy feel (especially in comparison to some of the place’s haute cuisine compatriots). It’s currently number 50 in the World’s Best Restaurants ranking but, were that list also to account for cool points, we think it would be much higher. It can be a little tricky to get a table in the evenings, as bookings are only taken up to three weeks in advance, but if that’s not possible you can always pop in for lunch, or even brunch (Mr Grébaut does a particularly good line in poached egg dishes). Failing that, you might want to try Septime’s sister restaurants Clamato (for oysters and fresh seafood) and Septime La Cave (a wine bar that also serves delicious small plates).
Visit Septime on the Style Council here
FOR AN ARTSY DINNER
Loulou dining room. Photograph by Mr Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Loulou
We at MR PORTER are huge fans of Loulou, the new restaurant in Paris’s Musée des Arts Decoratifs, so much so that, last summer, we caught up with the team behind it for a story in The Journal. Since then, the infatuation has shown no signs of wearing off, largely thanks to its “power brasserie” menu of French-i-fied Italian food, but also because of Mr Joseph Dirand’s elegant interiors, its wealth of Mr Eero Saarinen-designed “Tulip” chairs and its incredible location: the Louvre. The received wisdom is that a museum restaurant, especially one in such a tourist-packed spot, cannot be good. And the received wisdom, we are happy to say, is wrong. Book now and wind down here after your wander through the museum’s current exhibition, on the Spirit of the Bauhaus, which is open until 26 February.
Visit Loulou on the Style Council here
FOR KICKING BACK
L: Ralph’s burger. R: the dining room at Ralph’s. Photographs by Mr AE Thion, courtesy of Ralph’s
Yes, Paris is a place where one can enjoy the heights of gastronomic sophistication. But sometimes, lets be honest, you just want a burger. Especially if, unused to the local cuisine, you find yourself a little bit overwhelmed by all the creamy sauces and potent reductions and foie gras and confit duck legs after a few days in the French Capital. Ralph’s, an American eatery in the Saint Germain, not only serves up excellent sandwiches of the meat-patty variety, it comes endorsed by stylish great men, namely Mr Ralph Lauren, the Ralph in question (Ralph’s is attached to a Ralph Lauren store) as well as Mr James Sleaford, Style Council member and the fashion director of French GQ. Though Ralph’s is a particularly fun hangout in summer, thanks to its attractive garden area, replete with old-timey wrought iron furniture, Mr Sleaford’s favourite, Ralph’s burger (with added jalapeños) will most definitely taste as good in the wood-panelled interior.
Visit Ralph’s on the Style Council here