Great chefs know great food. Christophe Saintagne, a protege of the great Alain Ducasse, is the executive chef of the city's ultra-exclusive Le Meurice, considered one of the best hotels in the world. Based on his expert recommendations, here are 5 of the hottest new restaurants in Paris:
Akrame (19 Rue Lauriston in the 16th) is a small, innovative two-Michelin-starred restaurant from chef Benallal Akrame. There are several set menus offered including the "coup de coeur" or favorites menu for 80 Euro (130 Euro with wine) or the full "gourmand" with six courses at 100 Euro (160 Euro with wine pairings).
This is a typical small, wonderful Parisian spot where a young chef is free to really express his capabilities.
Frenchie Togo (9 Rue du Nil in the 2nd) is an offshoot of the popular Frenchie restaurant next door and offers a more casual take on amazing French cuisine. Serious, trained chefs with worldwide experience, cooking more French / American comfort food.
Frenchie Togo is the take-out / sandwich / coffee shop offering faster service and more portable versions of the restaurant's classic dishes. It's a great place to have a sandwich while exploring the area's museums and monuments.
Restaurant David Toutain (29 Rue Surcouf in the 7th) showcases the brilliance of David Toutain nightly. When you name the restaurant after yourself, it shows a certain amount of ego. Chef David Toutain's cooking lives up to both his ego and reputation for creative cuisine.
Toutain went through the standard process to become a superchef, he trained under several of the best in France, then went off to head chef positions at restaurants and luxury hotels around the world, before returning to Paris and his roots.
Table (3 Rue de Prague in the 12th) is a restaurant from acclaimed food journalist and chef Bruno Verjus, where as Chef Saintagne says, "You eat just products. You don't eat cuisine, you don't eat the ego of the chef, only products." Eating in France is taken very seriously, yet many of the best chefs do try to make it fun.
This is an exciting place to eat as Verjus is trying something new, a totally different approach to cooking and to the dining experience. He also doesn't take himself too seriously and just wants his guests to have a great meal. The food is simple, artisinal and locally sourced, but unpretentious and delicious.
Le Dali, Chef Saintagne's own restaurant at Le Meurice, (228 Rue de Rivoli in the 1st) has to be included in any must-dine Paris list. The room, a creation of Alain Ducasse, is a tribute to the great artist Salvador Dali, who would spend one month a year at the hotel.
This is a beautiful, elegant space, featuring a changing menu offering amazing fresh products sourced from specialist providers.