Letter from Paris


By Alexander Lobrano Reinventing a restaurant as famous as La Tour d’Argent was always going to be fraught with problems. Why? Well, if some clients might welcome the changes, perhaps even muttering under their breath, ‘Thank goodness, it’s about time!,’ others would denounce even the most reverent tinkering with the

Chef Giovanni Passerini. Credit Restaurant Passerini

By Alexander Lobrano Restaurant Passerini, which occupies a spare but handsomely renovated former cafe in the 12th Arrondissement of Paris near the Marche d’Aligre, one of my very favorite Paris markets, is not only the best new Italian restaurant in Paris but Europe. Now that’s a tall statement, Alec, you

L’Assiette @ Stephane Riss

By Alexander Lobrano Chef David Rathgeber’s restaurant L’Assiette is not only the best bistro in Montparnasse, but one of the best bistros in Paris. Why? I’ll let the chef himself explain why it’s so good. “I don’t like la cuisine d’assemblage (the modern mode for plates of food that are

Les Arlots. Photo by Alexander Lobrano.

By Aexander Lobrano So there are two things you need to know right away about Les Arlots, an excellent new bistro near the Gare du Nord in Paris. The first is that this tiny place is going to become very popular, so if you want to go, please pause now, pick-up the


By Alexander Lobrano Inspite of its dopey name, Kult, the stylish but easygoing restaurant in the just-opened hotel Le Saint, is a welcome new option for good casual dining in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Surprisingly, the restaurant offer in this storied Left Bank neighborhood, the most loved district of Paris for upmarket visitors

Photo copyright Pierre Monetta.

  By Alexander Lobrano Papillon, chef Christophe Saintagne’s new bistro in the 17th Arrondissement, brings a bracing shot of hipster energy to a very bourgeois part of Paris. From its cobalt-blue facade to its friendly suspender-wearing waiters and market-driven Nordic inflected modern bistro menu, this relaxed, happy place with a

La Rotonde. Photo credit Alexander Lobrano.

By Alexander Lobrano Like most Paris brasseries, La Rotonde was founded long before people started going to restaurants for revelations. No, in those days, people went to restaurants to eat, and they pretty much knew what the menu would look like even before they stepped through the door. When it


  By Alexander Lobrano On the eve of a new year, please receive this post as an expression of my gratitude for the huge privilege of good health, lots of travel to slack my insatiable curiosity and discover so many wonderful new chefs, kitchens, and foods, and also the pleasure

Mensae's Compression de Pomme. Credit Alexander Lobrano.

By Alexander Lobrano When I asked chef Kevin d’Andréa why he and business partner and fellow chef Thibault Sombardier had chosen the Belleville district of Paris as the location for their excellent new bistro Mensae, he said, “The neighborhood is really happening right now.” And for better or worse, it is.

Creme caramel at La Bourse et la Vie. Credit Alexander Lobrano.

Story & photos by Alexander Lobrano This past summer I wrote a happy piece for the Wall Street Journal about the quickening bistro revival in Paris. Since then the trend has gained even more momentum and also attracted the attention of other food writers, which is a wonderful thing, because it attests to the