Traditional. Parisian. Perfection.
Sometimes a city has so many places it’s hard to just pinpoint a few places to visit. Recently I ate my way through the French capital, and three particular spots really stood out to me. An excellent range of Parisian cuisine, fine dining and local produce, below are my Top 3 Places that I highly recommend you eat in when you’re in Paris next!
CATCH UP ON MY HOLIDAY DIARY AND GUIDE TO PARIS
1. Villa Verdi, near Eiffel Tower
Villa Verdi is a family-run restaurant, near the west side of the Eiffel Tower, that was on my list of places to dine in. We were greeted by the owner, a jolly Italian gentleman where he seated us at table in a cosy corner. The menu has a variety of dishes to choose from including traditional Italian pizza and pasta, as well as meat, fish and salads.
I opted for the Carpaccio di Bresoala Con Rucola e Parmiggiano, one of my favourite restaurant dishes, followed by the Thon au Sésame (Sesame Tuna), a special of the day. The former was delicious, and huge too; a generous plate of flavoursome, thin slices of beef, topped with large slivers of Parmesan, rocket and lamb’s lettuce plus a lemon wedge for that citrus kick. Delicious! I adore carpaccio, and this light yet flavourful started ticked all the right boxes.
I was super excited for the tuna steak as tuna is my all-time favourite fish (and beats meat too!). It arrived large, with an all-over sesame crust, seared and rare, on a bed of salad leaves and carrot ribbons dressed with a vinaigrette. Just how I like it! There was such a beautiful flavour from this meaty fish, one of the main reasons I love it. It was absolutely divine, and I savoured every bite. Plus trying to stick to a one-carb-a-day restriction, this was perfect.
We finished our meal by sharing the Profiterole all’italiana, a trio of crème Anglais-filled choux pastry, that were drenched in homemade chocolate sauce and chantilly – absolutely heavenly.
How typical that the best meal I had…wasn’t actually French cuisine! The service was excellent, with the owner, his son and grandson al working harmoniously together. The restaurant had a lovely homely atmosphere, with many family groups as well as friends and date nights among us.
Visit Villa Verdi, 42 Avenue de Suffren, 75015 Paris, France // Call +33 1 47 34 62 22
2. Maison Ladurée, Champs-Elysées
For breakfast in Paris, it really had to be in the famous Maison Ladurée, and I really wanted to go there…so we did! We headed in about 10.30am, and were given a table in their Ground Floor glass house without a hitch. Their menu features a selection of eggs, brioche and sandwiches, as well as their famous pastries and cakes, teas and coffees.
We decided on the Le Petit Déjeuner Champs-Elysées option, a lovely shareable breakfast selection. This includes bread, jams and honey, mini pastries, eggs (omelette, scrambled or fried), fruit salad, juice (orange or grapefruit) and a hot drink (tea, coffee or hot chocolate) – we opted the first of each of the choices. Set out on cute delph in the Ladurée colours, the breakfast was as delicious as I thought it’d be.
Their pastries were so buttery and as flavoursome as I remembered, and just like the bread, were perfectly complimented by the jams and honey. Speaking of, the jams were delightful, and I’ve even a newfound love for apricot jam. Well, as long as it’s as sweet and smooth as Ladurée! The fruit salad was very fresh with mango, apple, melon, pineapple and grapes. And though the omelette was plain, it was perfectly cooked and seasoned.
Renowned for their macarons, naturally I got a box of delicious flavours, in the limited edition Marie-Antoinette design – they also make for excellent trinket boxes! Our server was pleasant and friendly, as was the rest of the staff.
The interior of Maison Ladurée is truly something to admire, with ornate and traditional Parisian decor, floral arrangements and luxurious furnishings. At the back of the Ground Floor Patisserie shop is their premium cocktail bar, Ladurée Paris Le Bar, which I instantly loved, and on the upstairs First Floor are even more dining and private spaces looking out onto Champs-Elysées. It has to be said that you must visit the ladies’ toilets as they’re easily the most luxurious I’ve ever seen – Instagals will know! I really adored visiting Maison Ladurée in Paris, and cannot wait to go back again!
Visit Maison Ladurée, 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France // Call +33 1 40 75 08 75
3. Restaurant l’Avenue, Avenue Montaigne
A famous spot in Paris, we had a delightful lunch in this fine dining restaurant. Located in the middle of Avenue Montaigne, Restaurant l’Avenue is tucked in between the designer boutiques like Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent and Céline, so you know it’s going to be a bit pricey. Known for their celebrity diners like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Bella Hadid and more, we got a table in the indoor terrace by the window without a reservation.
Lorna and I shared the New Style Yellow Tail and Shrimp Dim Sum dishes, with a glass of chilled rosé. Before our light lunch arrived, we were given complimentary bread, olive oil & balsamic, alongside olives and toasted whole almonds – a lovely start to any meal.
The New Style Yellow Tail was a light dish of smoked thinly sliced yellow tail, a fish I’ve not had too often, which was dressed in an airy creamy sauce and slices of jalepeño peppers atop. The flavours were so sumptuous, with a generous kick from the jalepeños.
The Shrimp Dim Sum came as a foursome, topped with crispy shallots and spring onions, which I was really looking forward to tasting. Stuffed with shrimp mince, subtle spice and herbs, these steamed dumplings were packed with flavour, and were well complimented by the soy and sweet tomato dips. Both dishes were devoured!
The service was good, our server was a sweetheart, friendly and interacted well with all guests, plus I really admired how stylish she was. With its celebrity status, I enjoyed how non-pretentious Restaurant l’Avenue is despite it being fine dining. With ample seating indoors and outdoors, their upstairs dining area is also very chic, however I do feel that their bar area could do with an update.
Visit Restaurant l’Avenue, 41 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France // Call +33 1 40 70 14 91
Images © Nirina Plunkett