Two must-see restaurants in Paris for a classic French regional experience

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Needless to say, Paris has too many brilliant restaurants to sample in a single lifetime, so choosing where to eat on a short visit to the city can be confusing. And since Paris is full of restaurants, one would forgive to think that it is the center of French culinary know-how when in reality Lyon, the third largest city in France, is the official gastronomic capital of the country. But if during your visit to Paris you haven’t planned a trip to other French cities, then try our recommendations below to taste the regional authenticity of Lyon and Bordeaux.

Aux Lyonnais, Alain Ducasse’s traditional cork

You don’t need to travel to the city of Lyon (about two hours by train from Paris) to taste the best prices in the gastronomic hub. Book a table at In Lyonnais, a quintessential French bistro, part of the empire of three-star French chef Alain Ducasse, who has been celebrating all the good things in Lyon since 1890.

Take a seat at one of the wooden bistro tables in an authentic setting for a hearty meal of simmered rabbit, pie and dumplings (cream of fish or meat sometimes mixed with poached breadcrumbs and shaped like a white pudding ), served with a selection of local wines – perfect for warming up on cold winter days.

With its original facade where we still read “Maison Lyonnaise”, walking through the restaurant is like entering a lively traditional house. Cork with floral trim and moldings and Metropolitan-style Art Deco-inspired pottery adorning the walls and ceilings.

First a charcoal and wood warehouse, then a wine storage place, the establishment was taken over in 1914 by the Fouet family, who opened a lounge on the street side to present their wines alongside traditional cuisine. After World War II it was taken over by new owner Daniel Violet, who transformed the casual restaurant into a ‘cork’, the name of a traditional restaurant serving Lyonnaise cuisine. In 2002, when three-star chef Alain Ducasse stepped in, he put Aux Lyonnais on the menu and is considered one of the city’s best regional cuisine restaurants.

Aux Lyonnais – 32 rue Saint-Marc, Paris 75002 (closed Saturday lunchtime, Sunday and Monday)

The Clarence, a Bordeaux world some wine

Located inside a 19e-100-year-old townhouse a few steps from the Champs Elysées, The Clarence offers one of the most atmospheric and luxurious settings in the city.

Property of the Prince of Luxembourg, who also owns the Bordeaux wine châteaux of Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Quintus, united under the name of Domaine Clarence Dillon, Le Clarence is his way of bringing a little piece of his Bordeaux good -loved in Paris.

Bordeaux is one of the most important wine regions in France and here at Clarence a wide selection of wines from Domaine Clarence Dillon, but also from other estates, can be tasted with a sumptuous meal from award-winning chef Christophe Pelé two Michelin stars for its restaurant La Bigarrade (closed in 2012). And the restaurant manager and best sommelier Antoine Petrus (Meilleur Ouvrier de France, previously at El Bulli de Ferran Adria) is there to help guests choose from the extensive wine list.

Spread over several floors connected by a sumptuous marble staircase, guests can enjoy an aperitif in one of the oversized sofas in one of the lavish dens adorned with various art and crowned by crystal chandeliers. In the main dining room, the sumptuous woodwork, tapestries, antique furniture and sumptuous carpets with flower patterns take guests back to the Age of Enlightenment.

In the kitchen, the chef and his team concoct all kinds of carefully structured and perfectly executed French gastronomic dishes that change every day according to the products and the seasons. Expect a tasting menu of dishes that oscillate between succulent white turbot fish and full-bodied sweetbread accompanied by tender langoustines, as well as many truffles, especially in season. Make sure you leave enough room for the chef’s special chocolate soufflé topped with thin slices of truffle – you won’t regret it.

Le Clarence – 31 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Paris 75008 the-clarence.paris (Open Tuesday to Saturday)


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