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Summer Dining in Paris

Where to Eat When Chefs Flee the Heat

L'Ambassade d'Auvergne

With the great number of events drawing people to Paris this summer, many restaurants are staying open to cater to Parisians and tourists alike.

Among the restaurants open in August are modern institutions such as La Cagouille right in the new Montparnasse, one of the rare places to eat fish (raised or wild) in the summer. Some of the classics also remain open, such as Le Petit Lutetia with its rustic andouillette and L'Ambassade d'Auvergne with its fortifying tomme cheese and garlic potato purée. Also notable is Market, a very New York restaurant with air conditioning and a bustling interior, as well as the sober and elegant Alcazar.


The Flo Group keeps its collection of traditional Parisian brasseries open in the summer months: La Coupole, Brasserie Balzar, Brasserie Flo, Terminus Nord, Bofinger, Les Grandes Marches, Julien, Le Boeuf sur le Toit and Le Vaudeville. While their traditional menus are available, these spots have added summer fruit and vegetable dishes such as gazpacho, terrines, vegetable purées and fruit soups for dessert.

Gilles Epié's Citrus Étoile

Other restaurants have followed suit, providing lighter meals during the summer season. At Citrus Étoile, Gilles Epié presents a choice of three seasonal entrées: melon soup with ginger and ham, tabbouleh with grilled sardines or oxtail terrine in gelée. To follow, try an excellent salmon steak with two types of pepper and mushrooms, grilled sea bream with a provençale gratin or stuffed rabbit haunch with roasted figs. It would be difficult to not give into dessert of peach melba with raspberries and grilled almonds. Their dishes are simple and without fuss, and at 39 euros this menu is the deal of the summer.

The Plaza Athénée's
courtyard restaurant

At the same price, Atelier des Compères is a convivial wine lover’s bistro with outdoor dining. Le Petit Marguery has comparable prices, but offers only a prix-fixe menu of bistro dishes. For oysters year-long, there’s L'Européen, offering an oyster menu for 26 euros. At L'Ascot near the Champs-Elysées, the focus is on welcoming service and modest prices for their largely meat-based menu.

Designers and models dine at the La Cour Jardin, on the patio of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée where Cédric Béchade, young prodigy of Alain Ducasse's team, revisits classics: lobster accompanied by vegetables parisienne, poached egg in gelée with sweet bell peppers and tomato and sardines in escabeche marinade perfumed with oregano. These selections are light but satisfying during the summer heat.

(Updated: 09/10/10 NW)

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