Fall is always a good time in the Paris restaurant world. With so many customers gone in August, chefs traditionally use that low-impact period to get their sea legs strong and await “la rentrée,” when France is (for once!) 100% energetic, the press back on reviewing duty, and diners ready to bid adieu to bikini season.
Among three of the biggest debuts of the season, there’s a little second act happening—new offshoots that complement the oeuvre of their much-lauded siblings. All three of these projects are backed by beloved chefs who are branching out in a new vernacular. See the combined offering as a little flight, skimming across the spectrum from low to medium to high.
With restaurant Le 116, chef Ryuji Teshima—already our secret dream boyfriend due to his impeccable Restaurant Pages—gives the 16th arrondissement the closest thing to an izakaya that the starched-collar neighborhood could really support. The natural wine bar serves rustic plates of Binchotan charcoal-grilled octopus, catch of the day or wagyu beef, fried chicken salad, and big, steamy steak fries. It’s right next door to the original, should you feel like sliding over to book a night at the big kids’ table.
La Bourse ou La Vie
Spring’s Daniel Rose has done side projects before—there was the wine shop with snacks down the street from the restaurant, and briefly more of an informal bar on the restaurant’s cellar level—but each time he returned to his mothership. This time, with La Bourse ou La Vie, a historic address he’s slicked up tastefully, he’s wandered into a whole other metaphor: classic bistro cooking. With his talented chef wife Marie-Aude Mery running this kitchen, the fare is deeply traditional—artichoke vinaigrette with mi-cuit foie gras; roast chicken and frites; a fancy beef pot au feu: and dessert stalwarts like crème caramel (12 rue Vivienne, 75002, 01-42-600883).
Mathieu Pacaud learned his trade at the stove of his father Bernard’s stunning three-star L’Ambroisie on the Place des Vosges. Last year, he stepped out with Hexagone, a chicer spot for business casual lunching than the 16th arrondissement neighborhood was used to. (The name refers to La France herself, to whom’s produce and techniques the 34-year-old pays homage with dishes like sole in vin jeune cream sauce and smoked potato.)
Pacaud’s always planned to open a lusher fine dining restaurant as part of the same building on Avenue Kléber, and with Histoires (pictured), that day has finally arrived. Gilles et Boissier’s graphic black-and-white wall coverings and menu design has carried over from Hexagone, but here it’s softened up with moss and pale orchid tones, and discreet little alcoves. The kitchen takes a more wizardly approach with the menu, employing low-temperature cooking, dehydration, and poetic plating—giving new spin to combinations like turbot with carrots, sole and black truffles, or citrus-infused crayfish.