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Other than New York, I probably get asked more for Paris restaurant recommendations than for any other city. I usually just send people to patriciawells.com and davidlebovitz.com, because I trust their judgment. They both live in Paris, and they both have steered me and many of my friends and family right many times. But when I go to Paris, I like to be armed with a few specific recommendations that I can act on. That's where a trusted pal comes in handy. My friend and sometime collaborator Kathryn Kellinger and her husband, Balthazar co-chef Lee Hansen, just returned from Paris and filed this report:

"The not-so-fancy restaurant of the moment in Paris is Le Comptoir. Both Gourmet and Food & Wine have recently written about it. It was great. Besides Le Comptoir, we loved Bistrot Paul Bert (18 Rue Paul Bert; phone, 33-01-43-72-24-01)—exciting and excellent food, one of our absolute favorite meals.

"We also enjoyed Le Baratin (3 Rue Jouye Rouve, way the hell out in the 20th Arrondissement; phone, 33-01-43-49-39-70). Organic wines by the glass, slow, simple food. A great place for lunch, in what might be the Parisian equivalent of going to Queens for a meal. We liked everything about this place.

"Chez Omar (47 Rue de Bretagne; phone, 33-01-42-72-36-26). Cous cous that shouldn't be missed—order the royale with all its adorning lamb."

And here's one more timely, finite source:
Last week's New York Times magazine had a fun piece by Christine Muhlke about
L'Ami Jean
, chef Stephane Jego's gastro-bistro (27 Rue Malar; phone, 33-01-47-05-86-89). Here's a quote: "Along with Parisian restaurants like Chez Michel (10 Rue Belzurze; phone, 33-01-44-53-06-20), L'Os a Moelle (3 Rue Vasco de Gama; phone, 33-01-45-57-27-27), L'Oursine (92 Rue de Broca; phone, 33-01-47-07-13-65), and L'Acajou (35 Bis Rue de la Fontaine; phone, 33-01-42-88-04-47), L'Ami Jean serves food that is adventurous while sticking close to home."

That sounds like exactly the kind of food I would want to eat if I were going to Paris.


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