Paris’s new bistronomy movement

Paris’s new bistronomy movement

Get to the bottom of one of France’s greatest foodie trends

 

The bistronomy movement, a cultural revolution of the gastronomic kind, has taken France by a storm. But where did this delicious, affordable, cutting-edge culinary art come from?

 

Born in the 1990s, bistronomy is all about enjoying quality, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and exceptional cooking in a welcoming, atmospheric environment. A major influence in today’s gastronomic evolution, over the years, like so many hybrid words, the term has come to encompass lots of ideas. All the best chefs are trying their hand at it, from Yves Camdeborde at La Régalade (laregalade.paris) to Guy Savoy with his eponymous baby bistros (guysavoy.com) – these culinary heavyweights have added a sprinkling of casual restaurants to their Michelin-starred portfolios.

 

Place du Panthéon, a square located in the Latin Quarter, reads like a who’s who of iconic Parisian eateries. For classic Parisian fare with a side of famously frosty French service, head to Brasserie Lipp (brasserie-lipp.com) on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. If you’re feeling lucky, join the queue (they don’t take bookings) at Le Comptoir du Relais (hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/savourez-les-restaurants), in the Hôtel Relais Saint Germain, for the much-lauded brasserie menu featuring comfort food like calamari stuffed with provençal vegetables and orzo.

 

In the perma-cool Marais district, Grand Cœur (grandcoeur.paris) is a modern brasserie with an enticing menu of French-ified world cuisine. Standout dishes include Sardines à la Plancha with house-made terrine, veal tongue salad and rock fish soup. The Left Bank’s much-loved Bistro Le Bon Saint Pourçain (facebook.com/pages/Le-Bon-Saint Pourcain/128756287203413) between the river and the Jardin du Luxembourg, may only have two or three options on the daily-changing menu, but they’re always the right ones. Catherine Deneuve is a fan.

 

Don’t be put off by the fact that Restaurant Albion (restaurantalbion.fr), located midway between the ninth and tenth districts, is helmed by an English chef and a Kiwi sommelier. While it may not seem like the best formula for a Parisian bistro, it happens to be a winning one. Unpretentious and delicious.

 

There’s bistronomy and then there’s neo-bistronomy (bistronomy that is slightly more advanced and comes with a heftier price tag). Iñaki Aizpitarte, the dishevelled, punk music-devoted Basque chef is one of the leaders of this movement, with his restaurant Le Chateaubriand (lechateaubriand.net) making it to number 93 on 2017’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Here, shrewd diners can sample inventive, vegetable-centric dishes for a fraction of the price of the city’s stuffier restaurants.

 

Tucked away in an off-the-radar corner of the second arrondissement, the Rue du Nil is a tiny street, home to foodie favourite Frenchie (frenchie-restaurant.com). With star chef Gregory Marchand at its helm, acquiring a table at this neo-bistro is a little like winning the lottery. But if you’re luck’s run dry, then Frenchie Bar à Vins, a reservation-less wine bar across the street, affords a tiny taste of the much-hyped menu.

 


Source: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East

 

Additional resources

Things to see