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Letter from Paris: Virtus

Virtus. Photo Alexander Lobrano


Deliciously Sincere Contemporary French Cooking

By Alexander Lobrano

Heading for dinner at Virtus on a rainy Saturday night, I couldn’t help but thinking about how this address in the 12th Arrondissement has always been sort of a cradle for the gastronomic ambitions of foreign chefs in Paris. The first time I went here, I discovered the wonderful cooking of the young Swedish born Petter Nilsson. After he returned to Sweden, there was a brief moment when Italian chef Luigi Nastri took over this kitchen.


Oysters at Virtus. Photo Alexander Lobrano


He was followed by the excellent Sardinian native Simone Tondo, who’s now cooking some superb Italian food at Racines in the Passage des Panoramas. So I hoped the new foreign-born duo who recently moved their restaurant to these premises would live up to the storied past of a restaurant once known as La Gazzetta and now called Virtus … continue reading



Alexander Lobrano grew up in Connecticut, and lived in Boston, New York and London before moving to Paris, his home today, in 1986. He has written about food and travel for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. He is the author of Hungry for Paris: The Ultimate Guide to the City’s 109 Best Restaurants (Random House), which was published in a second edition in 2014, and is a Contributing Editor at Saveur Magazine. His latest book, Hungry for France, was published by Rizzoli in April 2014. Visit his website, www.alexanderlobrano.com (Photo by Steven Rothfeld)

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