three great places - Paris

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The Paris of days past, with its traditional, snooty cafés and brasseries, has given way to a plethora of new and creative establishments, surprising visitors with innovation and creativity and shaking up the status quo in the City of Light. These ‘three great places’ are a 5km stroll from each other, located just north of the Seine.



One of Paris’s most iconoclastic new tables recently opened in the classy 16th arrondissement, the eponymously named Akrame. Chef Akrame Benallal – originally from Oran, Algeria – cut his teeth in the kitchens of Ferran Adria and Pierre Gagnaire, and has, in just a few months, forged one of the most interesting modern cuisines in the city. The spontaneous menu, based entirely on seasonal produce, is composed of four or six dishes and accompanied by well-chosen wines by Philippe Nusswitz, the former star sommelier of the Château d’Isenbourg in the Alsace region. Dishes might include sirloin steak with puréed sweet potatoes and a dash of burnt peanut or sous vide poached egg set atop a purée of avocado covered in strips of haddock and dusted with a crunchy corn chip powder. Sound strange? It’s completely delicious, innovative, and one of the top tables of this year.



Located just down the road from the old Paris stock exchange is perhaps the most interesting Lebanese restaurant in the City of Light. The dining room, run by the elegant and omnipresent Liza, was created by artist and designer Hubert Fattal, and the kitchens are run by chef Hassan Issa who hails from Southern Lebanon. Classics such as extra-large mixed mezzes and grilled meat share table space with more inventive signature dishes such as deep-fried sea bream with tomato concassé and spinach rolls with grenadine. Meals are finished off perfectly with desserts such as strawberry soup with preserved lemon zest, or the house saffron gâteau, sfouf Liza, with cream, preserved pumpkin, and pistachio sauce.



Located in a far corner of the eighth arrondissement, not normally known for its fine dining restaurants, this handsome little table with its classic zinc bar, chandeliers, and parquet wood flooring is full of light and offers cooking from one of the city’s best new female chefs. Mexican Beatriz Gonzalez, the former second-in-command of the Michelin-starred La Grande Cascade, and Yannick Tranchant, their former head pastry chef, are drawing rave reviews from the local foodie press for dishes such as monkfish with gnocchi and girolles mushrooms and Brittany crab with ‘solid’ and ‘liquid’ gazpacho. Some claim their lemon meringue pie is the best around.


Paris, France
Distance: 4,980 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day

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