Best of 2017

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In the month of January I like to reflect on the places I have been and the chefs and meals that have touched me over the last 12 months. It's a fun exercise, to remind me of all the talent and bounty I have had the good fortune to experience over the past year. And looking down the list, I see my choices reflect some broad trends in food that are in full swing in both Paris and internationally, notably a conscious return to simplicity, a faithfulness to a concept of terroir and a primary emphasis on sourcing ingredients, and an unrelenting interest in natural and biodynamic wines. 

So this is my list of top picks of 2017 – not restaurants that necessarily opened in 2017 but ones in which I enjoyed exceptional meals, where I felt the true character of the chef was really evident in every meal. (In no particular order....)

Sauvage (Paris 6) – an unassuming wine bar whose creative chef has a fundamental instinct for balance and acidity. I was charmed by every dish that I ordered, and amazed about the quality of dishes given the minuscule size of the kitchen.

60 rue du Cherche-Midi |   Paris 7 |   Tel: +33 6 88 88 48 23 |   Métro: Sèvres-Babylone, Rennes or Vaneau

Yoshinori (Paris 6) – A Japanese chef working with impeccable ingredients, and simple yet creative ideas in every dish. 

18 rue Grégoire de Tours   |   Paris 6   |   +33 09 84 19 76 05   |   Métro: Odéon and Mabillon

Passerini (Paris 12) – For modern Italian fare in an elegant surrounding, you can't do better than Passerini. This is truly satisfying cucina povera in the hands of a master.

65 rue Traversière   |   Paris 12   |   +33 1 43 42 27 56   |   Métro: Ledru Rollin

Kitchen Ter(re) - my love for the talents of Chef William Ledueil is no secret, and his third restaurant in the capital is further proof that this man is exceptional. 

25 Boulevard Saint Germain   |   Paris 5   |   +33 1 42 39 47 48   |   Métro: Maubert-Mutualité

Yam’tcha – Adeline Grattard continues to wow her faithful followers with elegant French cuisine, injected with some Asian-influenced creativity. 

121 rue Saint Honoré   |   Paris 1   |   Tel: +33 1 40 26 08 07   |   Métro: Louvre-Rivoli

Quinsou – Understated, elegant cuisine from Chef Antonin Bonnet who really knows his produce. His food is earthy, and the ingredients are sourced with care, a favorite find of 2017. 

 22 rue de l’Abbé Grégoire   |   Paris 6   |   +33 1 42 22 66 09   |   Métro: Rennes ou Saint-Placide

Saturne – I had not managed to return to Saturne for many years after initially reviewing them in their early days. But my first visit back there in 2017 led to a flurry of subsequent bookings, I couldn't get enough of Sven Chartier's vibrant, original fare that left me inspired after every meal.

17 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires   |   Paris 2   |   Tel: +33 1 42 60 31 90   |   Métro: Bourse

Fulgurances – Two of last year's resident chefs at this novel restaurant that lends its kitchen to upcoming talent, were highlights of my culinary year: Céline Pham and Sebastian Myers. I look forward to tracking their next moves and to see what new talent Fulgurances has to share with us in 2018.

10 rue Alexandre Dumas   |   Paris 11   |   Tel: +33 1 43 48 14 59   |   Métro: Rue des Boulets

Table d'Aki – A firm favorite and one that I have come to rely on for exceptional ingredients and precise cooking techniques every time. Chef Akihiro Horikoshi never disappoints. 

49 rue Vaneau   |   Paris 7   |   Tel: +33 1 45 44 43 48   |   Métro: Vaneau or Saint-François-Xavier

For the full reviews on each of these restaurants, and for more Paris recommendations, get The Food Lover's Guide to Paris iPhone App.