With a constellation of Michelin stars to his name, it would seem that chef Alain Ducasse has conquered the food world. But his new venture in the revamped Forum des Halles is a foray into uncharted territory. Ducasse’s first brasserie is uncharacteristically casual, with a streamlined design by Studio Ciguë. Industrial elements such as saddle-stitched leather banquettes, copper accents, and glass-blown lights are softened by views of the Nelson Mandela Gardens. Look for the oversize display board advertising a changing menu of classics, including veal blanquette and croque monsieur, as well as the baking schedule for each batch of soufflés—Champeaux’s signature dish.
Jean Paul Gaultier relocated his flagship to sleek new digs on Rue Saint Martin, but the fashion crowd still flocks to the 1923 arcade he left behind. The reason: Restaurateurs Julian Ross and Alexandre Giesbert opened an upscale trattoria in the space following an update by architects Olivier Delannoy and Francesca Errico. Floors speckled in gold leaf and blue velvet booths are offset by decaying stone-and-brick walls; wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, and drinks crafted by an Experimental Cocktail Club alum are delivered by staff outfitted in sailor-marinière T-shirts, a not-so-subtle nod to Gaultier’s trademark garment.
From its inception in 1983, this Provençal dining room has served as a second office of sorts for the political elite (former French presidents François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, and Nicolas Sarkozy were all regulars.) After a four-year absence, it’s finally reemerged with a new look and culinary direction led by chef Mathieu Pacaud, already known to draw Paris’s brightest stars at Histoires and L’Ambroisie. Dressed up by Studio Ko, the firm behind the upcoming YSL Museum in Marrakesh, the restaurant’s wicker fixtures and a statement pink-marble bar conjure the seaside patina of southern France. It’s the perfect environment in which to sample Pacaud’s seafood-focused dishes, such as poached oyster with cress sabayon and golden caviar, and whole-fish sole.
Hidden gardens are a Paris specialty, but the green space locals are currently obsessing over is tucked beneath Mauro Colagreco’s brasserie Grand Coeur in the Marais. An intimate lair named Le Jardin, the restaurant references the Argentine chef’s vegetable garden in the Côte d’Azur, the source of its organic produce. Under a wavy, slatted balustrade, designer Bruno de la Guerrande washed the interior with earthy materials, arugula-green walls, and sun-shaped lighting fixtures. Deciding what to order is easy: Every patron will have the rotating five-course tasting menu based on seasonal ingredients.
Hand it to restaurateur Gilles Malafosse and designer Joseph Dirand: They have a knack for bringing buzz-worthy restaurants to leading cultural institutions. After the successful launch of Palais de Tokyo’s Monsieur Bleu, in 2013, the duo teamed up again for the Italian-tinged Loulou in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Overlooking the Tuileries Gardens, a retro-mod style permeates the numerous salons outfitted with Eero Saarinen Tulip chairs and Philippe Anthonioz lighting fixtures. The attention to detail makes all the difference here, from the staff’s Alexis Mabille-designed uniforms to designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s hand-drawn sketches emblazoned on menus and tablecloths.
Maison du Danemark
A much-needed face-lift by Danish-Italian duo Gamfratesi has transformed this grande dame on the Champs-Élysées into one of the most forward-looking concepts in Paris. Under one roof, visitors will find two restaurants with contrasting personalities. Danish minimalism meets French flamboyance at the bright and airy Flora Danica, done up in shades of gray and emerald, with a wall of botanical drawings and green plants that match the freshness of chef Andreas Möller’s varied smørrebrød. At the fine-dining Copenhague, a dark palette and navy-hued Kvadrat textiles dovetail with dainty New Nordic dishes—squid with cauliflower and brown butter, veal risotto—presented on stark-white porcelain plates. The roommates pull off a surprising pairing perfectly.