Fortunately for the craze set, at current in Paris to see the spring/summer 2016 collections, more restaurants make their debut during la rentrée (early Fall) than any other time of year in the City of Light. And many of the best new tables this season — including an old standby, with an updated menu — cater to healthier appetites with lighter fare.
Here, a look at some of the city’s finest new lean cuisine.
Some of the most interesting places to dine continue to pop up in the 10th Arrondissement — including A Mere, a contemporary bistro helmed by a young Brazililan chef, Mauricio Zillo. Trained in the art of cooking many different global cuisines, having worked in kitchens from Lyon and Dubai to San Sebastian and Milan, Zillo serves original but shrewdly composed dishes like green tomatoes with raw yellow pollock, black currants and faisselle, a slightly sour fresh cheese. Inventive main courses — like lamb sweetbreads with roasted cauliflower, beets, rhubarb and muscat grapes — are hearty but fresh. And Zillo’s mimolette cheese ice cream garnished with seasonal fruit is a very French end to any meal here. 49 rue de l’Échiquier, 10th Arrondissement, amere.fr.
At long last, Paris’s recent hamburger obsession gives way to a new local love affair: Italian cooking. And the most talked about new transalpine table is Dilia, up in the 20th Arrondissement, where the rents are still reasonable enough for talented young chefs like Michele Farnesi, from Italy, to set up shop. His modern take on hometown classics, like mussels with cabbage, surprise and delight. And dishes like rigatoni with pigeon gizzards, mint and Pecorino, and a silky sabayon-like egg cream spiked with lime zest marry, with little effort, untraditional tastes and textures. 1 rue d’Eupatoria, 20th Arrondissement, 33-9-53-56-24-14.
Today, along the tourist-filled sidewalk of the Champs Elysees, the famous cafe-restaurant Fouquet’s will begin serving a new menu of modern French dishes. Created by the three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire, whose namesake restaurant is located on a nearby side street, and executed by chef Jean-Yves Leuranguer, the new dishes are light and playful, and include a terrine of crab and razor-shell clams with grated cauliflower and cucumber-seaweed aspic; and a witty riff on deviled eggs, with sliced avocado, tuna belly, lime zest and tomato marscapone. 99 avenue des Champs-Elysees, Eighth Arrondissement, lucienbarriere.com.
Le Grand Restaurant
And hidden on a quiet street in the middle of the Elysee Palace, not far from Hermès and Dior, sits Le Grand Restaurant, the new home of chef Jean-François Piège. Designed by the Los Angeles-based, Iceland-born designer Gulla Jónsdóttir, the interiors are as compelling as the food. Past a marble-faced open kitchen, the intimate dining room sits under a dazzling glass ceiling that looks like it might have been designed by a Czech cubist artist in the ’30s. As expressed by dishes like langoustines wrapped in fine veils of buckwheat — and sauced in a luscious jus made with their own shells — Piège’s gastronomic signature is a puckish sensuality that is by turns charmingly timid and assertively playful. His nearly fat-free cooking is as much of a hit with the city’s beau monde by night as it is with the power brokers by day. 7 rue d’Aguesseau, Eighth Arrondissement, jeanfrancoispiege-legrandrestaurant.com.