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Paris Restaurants On The Rise

Hello all,

In your opinion, what are some of the up and coming restaurants in Paris? Which ones do you think will receive their first star? Which do you think will go up a level i.e. 1 to 2?

Thanks!

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  1. Great Question RedSox (BTW I was there in Fenway [along with 1 million others] when Ted flipped the bird):
    So the Oscar pundits always say what will and what should be rewarded:
    Will get a star:
    David Toutain
    110 Taillevent
    Clamato
    Should:
    Spring
    Hugo Desnoyer
    Lazare
    Pirouette
    and holding ChefJune's proxy - Maceo

    3 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      Thanks John! That is awesome - Sox fan?

      The impetus behind my question is I am looking for Michelin level dining at pre-star prices. Do these fit the bill? Any other options?

      1. re: redsoxfan027

        I don't think Pirouette is a star candidate; it's very good and I like the place, but does it want to have a star ?

        1. re: redsoxfan027

          I'm not sure what "pre-star prices" might be. At Toutain the "menus" are 68 (117 paired with wines) and 98 (158 E with wines) and my last meal at 110 Taillevent was 102.40 E a couple (but if one picks a pricier bottle of wine it can be much much more) if that's any help. I list the amounts I pay per couple on John Talbott's Paris if you care to check out the others. http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

      2. I don't even know what the point of the OP is. It can't be about food. Many excellent restaurants are not even aiming for a star. Stars are what they are, but they are not, and have not been, a universal goal.

        17 Replies
        1. re: Parigi

          And many restaurants deserve at least a star and never get it, while stars are awarded to boring pretentious places for whatever reason. I don't get the point either.

          1. re: Ptipois

            BRAVO! Very well said, both of you.

          2. re: Parigi

            & some restaurants give back or refuse a star.

            1. re: Parigi

              Really? You don't think a restaurant striving to make it to its first star or 1 star to 2 wouldn't be putting out its best dishes every night for fear/anticipation an inspector might dine there that night? I find that a bit hard to believe. Also - don't restaurants with stars typically impose a price increase on their menu? Wouldn't it make sense to seek out and dine at these establishments prior to a price hike? My logic says yes.

              1. re: redsoxfan027

                A chef striving to make it to its first Michelin star would be sacrificing some of his natural talent and personal creativity to fit into the mould, in such a way that it is sometimes not easy to figure out what stuff such chefs, however promising, are really made of.
                Which is why I much prefer a chef following his own inspiration and being true to himself than a chef without stars striving to get one. I don't think Bertrand Grébaut saw the first one coming, and whether he had one or not did not alter his style. The Michelin race can be something of a Faustian contract for gifted, creative chefs who take that sort of classification more seriously than it deserves.

                1. re: redsoxfan027

                  "wouldn't be putting out its best dishes every night for fear/anticipation an inspector might dine there that night?"
                  Except that we all know who they are; they're the mousey guys in grey suits who check out the bathrooms and order full meals.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    Actuallly Michelin inspectors do interact with the chefs and restaurant owners, they give them feedback, come back and give more feedback, etc. - and most of the time the result has nothing to do with the feedback they gave.
                    Some do that year after year. That caused a chef I know to kick out of his restaurant one of these inspectors who had played the same trick on him for several years in a row.

                    I'm not systematically anti-Michelin. Only of the mind that to be reliable, the system should be more coherent than it is now. Even a few flaws fatally lead one to question the entire system, for even when it seems to function properly it is invalidated by the times when it does not.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      "Even a few flaws fatally lead one to question the entire system"
                      I do think publishing a review of a restaurant not yet opened, no matter how good the chef was at the last place, is more than just a flaw though.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        < "Even a few flaws fatally lead one to question the entire system, for even when it seems to function properly it is invalidated by the times when it does not." >

                        I was thinking of Chowhound when I read this, because two of the worst restaurant recommendations I ever followed were when I went against my instincts and followed the loud, persistent advice of two alpha 'hounds.

                        But rather than say it's all bad I just try to learn the tastes behind the voices and trust the ones whose tastes seem to match mine.

                        Michelin has a lot of well-documented flaws, but they also do a lot right. The trick is figuring out when to trust them and when not to, and today with the wide range of other info sources it really isn't that hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

                        The ratings system that bugs me most is the Pellegrino ratings, which are seemingly universally quoted and accepted as Gospel --- dunno how many times I've read that Noma or now El Cellar de Can Roca is "the best restaurant in the world" based on Pellegrino, yet even Michelin 3* Spanish chefs say those rankings are a fraud, manipulated by tourist agencies giving free trips and meals and by allegations of vote swapping.

                        1. re: willyum

                          I have been preaching for some 15 years on these assorted food forums the absolute necessity of calibrating your taste in food, wine, service and ambiance with those you choose as gurus.

                          So, one...more...time...know thyself and read between your guru's lines.

                          I love with a passion my fellow hounds while loathing some of their favorite tables. Why isn't that reasonable?

                          1. re: mangeur

                            Hey Mangeur, I figured you for a wise man after reading your Rhone posts.

                            We'll be in your area in two weeks, with dinners at French Laundry, Atelier Crenn and Manresa.

                            You are lucky to live in an area with so many good restaurants. We have only one where I live so I have to travel far and wide to access the really good stuff.

                            1. re: willyum

                              Welcome and enjoy! And bring a scarf. Our heat wave may be over by then. I'd hate for you to buy a "I heart San Francisco" sweatshirt just because you were cold!

                          2. re: willyum

                            I think Michelin does a much better job (than Pellegrino) of helping the restaurant community as a whole. It may be flawed but I still think they are doing a magnificent job. I think the amount of time and effort they put in pre internet was phenomenal.

                            The one big flaw that I find is that the same restaurants keep getting attention; but this happens everywhere including here on chowhound where many restaurants are lauded constantly while others are barely mentioned at all.

                            1. re: willyum

                              "Michelin has a lot of well-documented flaws, but they also do a lot right. The trick is figuring out when to trust them and when not to, and today with the wide range of other info sources it really isn't that hard to separate the wheat from the chaff."

                              In other terms, that simply means that ultimately MIchelin is unreliable. Quod erat demonstrandum.
                              Yes the San Pellegrino 50Best, I know. They're questionable too. But they're exactly the same: political, unreliable for restaurant-goers, but considering the way they're organized they don't make less sense than Michelin. They're actually far better at understanding the moving food scene.

                              Besides, there are the "well-documented flaws" and there are also the undocumented flaws, and put together they do give a poor picture.

                        2. re: redsoxfan027

                          "You don't think a restaurant striving to make it to its first star or 1 star to 2 wouldn't be putting out its best dishes every night for fear/anticipation an inspector might dine there that night?"
                          That phenomenon may exist in other countries the chefs, excellent as they may be, are unsure of their international recognition and are therefore still awed and smitten with Michelin.
                          It is no longer the case in France.
                          And then even for a chef striving for a first star, or just one more star:
                          - he may try to cook better and more inventively, or
                          - he may sculpt the turnip into a swan, and concoct dessert with dry ice spewing out of it, in short, an Adams-Family style fussy gimmicks; or
                          - he may put in a marble restroom.
                          This is all from my experience.

                          One last real-life example: Last October, in a space of 25 hours, I ate 6 stars. They were very good, surrounded by the glum Michelin crowd, backed up by excellent service. However, my two dining companions and I all agreed that the best meal of the week was in a farm-inn (ferme-auberge) where we tracked mud into the dining room, then proceeded to polish off every dish so thoroughly that the plates did not need washing afterwards. Before leaving, we were invited to check out the aristocratic chicken coop. (Don't worry, the coop is not in marble; it's the chickens that are aristocratic, starting with the fabled Barbezieux; Bresse cannot even compare.)
                          The chef certainly does not give a hoot about the Michelin. He says so on his website. And his restaurant is booked up weeks in advance.

                          1. re: Parigi

                            P.S. Willyum, one thing you need to "calibrate" re the France board: Mangeur is a lady, and Vieilleanglaise is a dude. :)

                      2. Gotta agree with Parigi and Ptipois. Michelin stars can be quite misleading. There's a large universe of excellent earthbound restaurants that don't aim for the stars. They might not have the wine list, facilities, and staffing levels that would qualify them for Michelin star status (and prices) but, foodwise, are nevertheless memorable. For instance, the resto squat Clandestino on the rue Crozatier in the 12th, Pierre Sang on the rue Oberkampf in the 11th, Les Enfants Rouges on the rue de Beauce in the 3rd, Hugo Desnoyer in the 16th, Clamato in the 11th... all amazing food, amazing prices, and as appealling to Michelin inspectors as my mother's kitchen.

                        If the OP includes style and elegance in his criteria, Le Lulli in the 1st.

                        And agree with JT that David Toutain is very star-able.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Parnassien

                          I like this list. I'm getting hungry just reading it.

                          1. re: Parnassien

                            RedSox:
                            The point of all our comments is (I think) that we don't pay much attention to Michelin stars; I use the Red Guide outside of town more as a telephone book than a guide.

                          2. Thank you all for the responses. I guess the point of my question was to determine what the best up and coming restaurants were in Paris. I guess stars aren't everything...

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: redsoxfan027

                              Now that everyone has taken his best shot at you, I will add on your behalf that "smart money" used to advise seeking out just this category of restaurant, the thinking being that when a kitchen was striving for the next level, food and service would be at its best possible while prices would not yet reflect the Michelin elevation.

                              1. re: mangeur

                                ""smart money" used to advise seeking out just this category of restaurant"
                                Reference: William Echikson: Burgundy Stars: A Year in the Life of a Great French Restaurant.

                                1. re: mangeur

                                  Mangeur: That was exactly my thinking behind this question; the chef and his team would be really striving for perfection each and every night. It seems that a number of people on this board have a severe issue with "star hunting", which on the surface I suppose I can understand, many great restaurants neither have, nor desire a star. I am honestly baffled by the reception of this question - and still think that it is quite a valid one.

                                  1. re: redsoxfan027

                                    The price issue is also misleading. While it is true that the awarding of an increasing number of michelin stars causes the prices to rise accordingly, many restaurants do not need stars to be overpriced. And few are the starry places that do not have bargain, or near-bargain, lunch menus.

                                    Striving for perfection has nothing to do with stars. A chef strives for perfection when he loves his job and devotes himself to it, and I know quite a few of them, with or without stars. I also know a few who once literally kicked the Michelin guys out of their restaurants and never had any problem to get a full dining-room. With stars in the picture, rather than striving for perfection, you strive for pleasing the red guide, and the guide may add or remove a star for reasons not always related to food or to "striving for perfection". I think the distinction should be established.

                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                      I would think that all the of the above are valid perspectives. There are good chefs who want stars, there are good chefs who don't care for them and try not to get them, and there chefs who are ambivalent and if they come they come.

                                      That said it's not a bad proxy to use to think about where to target visits on limited trip. You could ask which restaurants are creating a buzz, which are the hot tables but those measures are as flawed as the question which is destined for a star. Those creating a buzz could be more media savvy with a big PR budget, the hot table may simply be fashionable serving the on trend dishes for the year.

                                      At least the apparent conservative nature of Michelin may screen out the fashion and hype. And if assessed critically then it's as valuable an assessment as any. I also find a high percentage of those that get their first stars do deserve them and are worth checking out - but not all as Michelin is as fallible as any other source.

                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                        " I also know a few who once literally kicked the Michelin guys out of their restaurants and never had any problem to get a full dining-room."

                                        Care to name a few.

                                        1. re: jock

                                          I can give one now that he's (unfortunately) retired: Philippe Delacourcelle from Le Pré Verre, first teased while he was at Le Clos Morillons, re-teased at Le Pré Verre. Others are still active so no names.

                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                            Has any restaurant refuse stars before they get printed (vs returning it afterwards), or formally refuse Michelin critics prior to their visit?

                                            Still, the fact that it remains extremely rare to refuse or give up these "unreliable" "flawed" and "misleading" stars represent the role it plays to the ones who have them.

                                            1. re: Kurtis

                                              >>. Can/has any restaurant refuse stars before they get printed (vs returning it afterwards), or formally refuse Michelin critics prior to their visit?

                                              In theory the reviewers are anonymous, so they wouldn't be turned away.

                                              I recall a British chef who had 2 stars and was very disappointed not to get 3 so he basically said "I don't want any part of Michelin, take these stars, I don't want them." I think Michelin just left him in the book though.

                                              Supposedly getting the first star means a 20-30% increase in business the first year, so yeah, it's a rare chef who actually has a shot at a star who would turn it down.

                                              1. re: willyum

                                                "I recall a British chef who had 2 stars and was very disappointed not to get 3 so he basically said "I don't want any part of Michelin, take these stars, I don't want them." I think Michelin just left him in the book though."

                                                The stars meant a lot to him then.

                                                1. re: Kurtis

                                                  To him, and not to many other excellent chefs. It is not a case of sour grapes as you intimate.
                                                  And many of us on the thread have had the experience of eating in starred places and also in superior non-star places that make no effort to install a marbel restroom. We are saying we prefer some of the non-starred places. We eat better there.

                                                  1. re: Parigi

                                                    "To him, and not to many other excellent chefs"

                                                    ...and majority of these excellent chefs, when they have attained stars regardless of their intentions, have not returned them in the past, and I would think they are well aware of what stars have come to represent presently; many of savvy and experienced diners on this board have expressed eating better in non-starred places and my experience is similar here and elsewhere.

                                                    So what does this mean? Does not returning the stars mean that the honest and food passionate starred chefs of France are indifferent to Michelin rating and don't care one way or the other? Or are they silent for the presumed financial benefit of the stars?

                                                    My hats off to chefs like Roellinger and Senderens. This article rings even more true almost a decade later.
                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/din...

                                                    1. re: Kurtis

                                                      "So what does this mean? Does not returning the stars mean that the honest and food passionate starred chefs of France are indifferent to Michelin rating and don't care one way or the other? Or are they silent for the presumed financial benefit of the stars?"

                                                      It simply means that some chefs are willing to play the game and some are not.

                                                      The financial advantages should rather be primarily seen as financial obligations. The more stars you get, the more you have to spend. And if for some reason you lose one star then you have to stand up on your head to keep balancing the budget. Some have never recovered from that.

                                                      Michelin star rating (which is different from the mere mention of the restaurant in the guide, let that be clear) is a double-edged sword, once you're in the system some things are expected from you that most of the time are not related to the quality of the food itself. Some chefs prefer not to submit to that.
                                                      Michelin, also, implies some sort of sanction related to style. Not every style of food pleases the Michelin. Michelin food is respectable food. It should not break any rules. There is a certain standardized style in France and worldwide for which Michelin is at least partly responsible. Of course you can always name exceptions like a gastropub or a table d'hôtes but it is a general trend: Michelin does not reward personality, it seeks common denominators.

                                              2. re: Kurtis

                                                "Has any restaurant refuse stars before they get printed"
                                                I think Senderens did before the book went out to the printer but that was on principal and honesty (whoops, he broke the code of silence).
                                                Correct me Pti if I'm wrong on the timing.
                                                John

                                                1. re: John Talbott

                                                  I don't remember in which exact conditions he "gave back" his three stars, but he was very clear about that and of course it was before the book was printed otherwise he would still have had the stars for one more year.

                                  2. I think what everyone is debating over is a technicality of the wording of the question.

                                    The OP is asking which restaurants offer the same level ingredients, preparations, uniqueness, experience of a great restaurant at affordable prices. Restaurants that are a good value to quality ratio.

                                    To the OP, I would recommend giving a price range and what kind of food you would like or examples of restaurants you are thinking about visiting.

                                    I would look into lunch at one starred restaurants. Some have 3 courses for about 30

                                    Here is a link to a similar question on quora.

                                    http://www.quora.com/Paris/What-are-t...

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: quddous

                                      OP is asking about stars, and stars means Michelin Stars.

                                      1. re: Maximilien

                                        "OP is asking about stars, and stars means Michelin Stars."
                                        But Qud has a point; what are (in financial terms) the under-valued places. - faggedaboud the Michelin and its silly stars.
                                        There are a hundred+ places that will never get Michelin stars that are worthy, and are reasonably-priced.
                                        Go to Parnassien's posts - they are sane, not one-restaurant focused and tell you what'sgoin'on.

                                        1. re: John Talbott

                                          I agree about the comment about Parnassien. The same could be said about you too, John. Thank you both for all the helpful information.

                                        2. re: Maximilien

                                          "The impetus behind my question is I am looking for Michelin level dining at pre-star prices."

                                          Redsox: Try looking up Abri and Frenchie.