Omar Dhiab - I was mildly curious when Parn mentioned the new restaurant Omar Dhiab a few days after we arrived in Paris. And then k-man followed up by including it in plans for his November trip. Then when it appeared before us while walking down rue Hérold during one of our Paris walks, I thought the culinary muses must be guiding us there. So we booked lunch, and wow, it was good. Better than good for sure. Intriguing flavors bursting out of every dish. At first I thought the restaurant must have a middle eastern slant, but except for the introduction of a few mysterious spices and the nougatine at the end of the meal, it was brilliant modern french cuisine. The elegant salle was full which added a liveliness to the superb plates. Staff were friendly, but professional too. Beautiful marinated bonita, perfectly not-overcooked St. Pierre with a wine sauce in which lotte liver was added, a simple pear dessert. No question that we will be back again.
Palais Royal - The gardens of the Palais Royal are probably my favorite place to be in all of Paris, a fondness likely shared by many. But the idea of dining at the two-star Palais Royal Restaurant under chef Philip Chronopoulous never occured to me until last year when the chef at Pertinence mentioned it as one of his favorites. So there we were, sharing an extraordinary lunch in a casually elegant room overlooking the gardens at ground level. An interesting aspect of the various menus available at different price levels is their similarity in terms of structure, sauces and condiments. So if the 255€ lunch included langoustines or lobster, the same dish in the 130€ lunch was made with gambas. Or the more expensive veal-prune-onion-mustard plate was replaced with pork-prune-onion-mustard in the more affordable lunch. Of course the three-course lunch became more like six or seven dishes, all stunning. Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and certainly plan on returning.
Flocon - We met with friends at Flocon and had a fine meal. Nothing exceptional, but very nice. And the service was friendly and helpful (including running half a block after dinner to return my glasses left behind!) We thought the chef was particularly good with vegetables, reflected in a smoked trout and beet dish, as well as roasted celery on a purée of parsnips. While I wouldn’t cross town to dine here, if I were cruising down rue Mouffetard at lunchtime or Sunday brunch time, I would certainly stop by, although Flocon is small and you might need reservations on weekends. Sometimes this can be done just the night before or “le jour même”.
Les Arlots - Les Arlots in the 9th is the great neighborhood wine bar/bistrot where you’d like imagine meeting your friends on a Saturday night. It has a pared down list of many of the French classics: sausage and mash, entrecôte, duck breast confit, oeuf mayonnaise, carpaccio of tête de veau, tartare of some raw fish, a homey soup, chocolate mousse, riz au lait… You go for the fun vibe and the well-prepared basics. We had a memorable evening.
A.Lea - As soon as William opened the door to A.Léa we knew from his irresistible smile that we would have a great Sunday lunch. The location of A.Léa must be charmed because we previously trekked up here repeatedly to come to dinner or lunch at L’Arcane, and now it looks like we’ll be doing it again. I started with beautifully tender langoustines, followed by a bass filet served with Vendée beans. R started with a beet carpaccio studded with fresh smoked eel, and then moved on to a succulent quasi de veau.
Granite - Another home run for Granite. A very warm welcome on a rainy Halloween night. They remembered R didn’t drink alcohol. They remembered what I like to drink (I know, I know, they keep good notes). Dinner is five or seven courses. We chose five, among which, jerusalem artichoke in a vin jaune sauce, a slightly cooked filet of char; pigeon breast, thigh and liver; an ice cream, custard and whipped cream all done in different affinages of Conté cheese. The engaging staff made the evening very enjoyable.
Origines - This was our third lunch at Origines with chef Julien Boscus who used to be the chef at Les Climats. A couple of years ago his lunch menu provided a choice of a couple of dishes for each course, but last year the menu provided no choices. We weren’t crazy about what was available on the menu so we went with the slightly more expensive 4-course tasting menu. Each course was spectacular. But this year he wasn’t offering the 4-course tasting menu so we just stayed with the 3-course no-choice lunch menu. Two courses were great (a beet/smoked trout combination that was beautiful and delicious), but the main was just plain boring: a braised lamb that any good home cook could prepare on top of bulgur. We love what Boscus is capable of cooking up, but if things don’t change in the future we may cross this one off our list. However, if you come for dinner and get one of the tasting menus or order off the carte, your meal is bound to be extremely good.
FYI: https://omardhiab.com; https://palaisroyalrestaurant.com; https://www.restaurantflocon.com; https://www.facebook.com/lesarlots; https://www.alearestaurant.com; https://www.granite.paris; https://www.origines-restaurant.com