Wait around long enough in Paris and you’ll stumble upon evidence of a new ephemeral culinary concept. This season it’s nomadic restaurants. They pop up here and there, not intended to last that long, run by adventurous young chefs, usually on the pricey side. Exciting, inventive menus can be found, the most popular cuisines being vegan, Peruvian and Mexican. Strike now before they fade away. The donut craze which infected Paris in 2021 seems to be on its last legs. People once stood in line for them; we’re ready to move on!
Lucire presents un petit menu of more solid standards which we have personally tasted and tested over the last few months while living here. They run the gambit from sidewalk cafés to traditional brasseries to the decidedly chi-chi.
10 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005, 33 1 43-26-52-12
This zesty and atypical Left Bank jewel features Sicilian cuisine from the expert hand of chef Francesco Bertuna. It’s a small room, a minimalist grey-walled post-industrial setting accented mostly by flavourful, lively specialties, dazzling miracles from a compact kitchen tucked away in the back. New twists on the classic spicy style of a Catania nonna that never cease to surprise and delight. Family-friendly, with a great wine list, moderate price, lunch. Reservations suggested.
Au Crus de Bourgogne 1932
3 rue Bachaumont, 75002, 33 1 42-33-48-24
A neighbourhood institution since 1932, this traditional brasserie has authenticity, style and charm. Plus a Chateaubriand worthy of its namesake. Expert wait staff, and a small private room seating eight, tucked behind classic frosted glass. In a place like this you can’t go wrong with the daily menu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
2 rue Descartes, 75005, 33 1 43-54-22-43
This brasserie located in a 15th-century house in the shadow of the Pantheon, facing the venerable church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, has outdoor tables, and vintage interior dining, with an outstanding, rustic and traditional menu, featuring super-warm hospitality. You can’t go wrong with the traditional onion soup (oignon gratinée) or a picturesque steak frites. Save room for the home-made tarte au citron “deux types”, a mousse-like upside-down delicacy.
62 rue Montorgueil, 75002, 33 1 42-33-94-73
A neighbourhood bistro whose outdoor tables wrap around the corner of rue Marie Stuart, with prime views of pedestrians passing by on the famous lane. A classic menu of croques, burgers, and typical bill of fare. We keep coming back for its bustling ambience, mix of locals and tourists, and career waiters interested in delivering quick, friendly service.
Restaurant Le Square Trousseau
1 rue Antoine Vollon, 75012, 33 1 43-43-06-00
A classic, luxurious Beaux-Arts interior and a fine kitchen. You could be supping in the Gilded Age, enjoying an outstanding daily or seasonal special under soft, glowing illumination. Located in the southeast corner of Paris, across from a green space in a residential quarter near Bastille. Outdoor seating, but the inside tables and ambient sounds are the real thing.
29 rue Vivienne, 75002, 33 1 40-20-04-62
Dating from 1918, this classic brasserie is always bustling. Gigantic seafood carousels and a splendid selection of fresh oysters, traditional grills, classic sides. We’re fidèle to this fantastic room with its exceptional wine list and always delectable entrées. Reservations a must.
Restaurant La Halle aux Grains
Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection
2 rue de Viarmes, 75001, 33 1 82-71-71-60
Your Lucire culinary spies anonymously reserved at this highly acclaimed restaurant for a stealthy dinner. Last season you couldn’t get in. The food was outstanding and the service expert. We overdid it with the dégustation menu, six courses of world-class delight at the extravagant price of around €100 per person. But one expects more from this standard of luxury price. The views from the tables barely exist. The furnishings are so cold and bland they could only have been chosen to throw light on the food. No tablecloths! To even get into the place you are first made to stand outside behind barriers, then put through a gauntlet of protocols and mais non, monsieur, we regret the table cannot be changed. Should you choose to cancel, €100 is charged on your overtaxed credit card. You might prefer a return to the Jules Verne restaurant at the Tour Eiffel, for its renowned cuisine, location, views and well deserved bragging rights.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor