Paris Michelin Three-Star Dining: Where to Go While in the City of Light
It’s no surprise that Paris, as a culinary capital, is home to some of the world’s best restaurants. As of 2015, Paris has 9 three-Michelin-star restaurants to its name.
Pierre Gagnaire’s eponymous Paris Michelin three-star restaurant is defined by the combination of modernity and sobriety that is Gagnaire’s token. Discreet service in the old-fashioned haute cuisine style is behind the veritable waterfall of dishes that emerge as true works of art. Each course is really a composition of several small plates, intended to be eaten in a specific order for maximum enjoyment.
6 rue Balzac, 8th arrondissement
Epicure au Bristol
The Bristol hotel is one of Paris’ “palace” luxury hotels, and the restaurant within is indeed fit for a palace. Chef Eric Frechon’s cuisine could be classified as neoclassical: with all the rigor and generosity of traditional French cuisine and a precision that is perhaps unequaled, Frechon knows how to live up to the three Michelin stars. The Epicure has recently undergone a metamorphosis, and the dining room, designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, now matches the classical aspect of the food, with an 18th century style that is truly palatial in its decadence.
112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arrondissement
Within the Bois de Boulogne lies the sumptuous Napoleon III pavilion that is home to the Pré Catelan, an haute cuisine dining room run by Frédéric Anton. The chef’s inventive cuisine is not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s also because it’s distinct from many other three-star establishments. Here, you’ll find balanced dishes where the true nature of the ingredient is allowed to shine. He makes use of textural aspects like veloutés and espumas to address an ingredient from all possible angles.
Route de Suresnes, Bois de Boulogne
Yannick Alléno has become Paris’ darling in recent years, and it’s no surprise. This Parisian chef through-and-through has attempted through his various restaurants to get to the root of Parisian terroir, and his three-star establishment is no different. Since 2014, Alléno has been dazzling diners in this majestic Napoleon III-era building with a refined, resolutely modern cuisine where the ingredient comes first and is, indeed, the star of the dish. Alléno is also a master of the French art of sauces, which could be seen as the icing on the cake here.
8, avenue Dutuit, 8th arrondissement
The true test of a great chef is in the details, and here, Guy Savoy is at the top of his game. With his technique mastered, Savoy is free to remain what he has always wanted to be — a restaurateur who offers the best in flavor and ambiance, a spirit he calls, “celebration, joy, poetry.” Authentic, inventive and remarkably simple, Savoy knows when to step back and let the ingredients do the talking.
11, quai de Conti, 8th arrondissement
Christian le Squer joins the ranks of Paris’ 3-starred chefs at Le Cinq, at the illustrious George V hotel. In the luxurious, recently refurbished dining room, le Squer exemplifies the current trend of traditional French cuisine with a contemporary touch.
31 Avenue George V, 7th arrondissement
Subtle and creative with a strong emphasis on seafood, l’Ambroisie delivers a unique experience worthy of the nominal association with the food of the gods of Olympus. Chefs Bernard and Mathieu Pacaud — a father and son team — offer traditional dishes gracefully and tastefully revisited in a 12-table dining room within a former 17th century home in one of the most beautiful areas of Paris. Refinement both on and off the menu.
9, place des Vosges, 4th arrondissement
Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée
Last year, Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée‘s two stars surprised most critics, who assumed that he would earn three right out of the gate, but Ducasse was reportedly quite satisfied with two. We can only guess that he is even more pleased that his natural menu has now earned the celebrity chef three stars in 2016.
25, Avenue Montaigne, 8th arrondissement
A contemporary look at Paris Michelin three-star dining is waiting for you at Pascal Barbot’s L’Astrance, where avant-garde cuisine meets a modern dining room with only 25 sought-after seats. Barbot has no pre-established menu, rather he invents a menu daily based on the ingredients that are available to him and his own mood. Wine and drink pairings are just as modern, as some venture far from French terroir to Japan for sake. It’s no surprise, given the Asian fusion touch bestowed upon many of these plates.
4, rue Beethoven, 16th arrondissement
Alain Passard is known throughout Paris for his decidedly untraditional deviation from the meat-heavy dishes of French haute cuisine; here, vegetables take the lead. Passard takes an artistic approach to this purified, simple cuisine that explores the depths and possibilities of fruits and vegetables, many of which come from the chef’s own kitchen gardens in western France. Discreet, nuanced and detailed, the cuisine of this talented chef is only surpassed by the humbleness of the man behind it.
84, rue de Varenne, 7th arrondissement