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Terroir Parisien: Locavore Dining In Paris By A Michelin Starred Chef

When a famous chef opens a restaurant, be it in Paris, New York or Kansas City, expectations always run high. Yannick Alleno’s new outpost, Terrior Parisien – open since March in an über cool space in the Latin Quarter – was certainly no exception.

Adding to the buzz was Alleno’s fresh concept – using ingredients sourced primarily within Ile-de-France – that led to almost frenzied expectations.

Would the passionate maestro behind the three-starred Le Meurice live up to the hype? Most critics and foodies have answered with a resounding “oui.” On a recent breezy summer evening, my husband and I happily agreed.

If I hadn’t been seduced by the bistro’s sleek styling, complete with a massive central bar, handsome blond wood and airy floor plan, Alleno’s fresh take on Parisian classics would have been enough to woo us. Together, it’s a lethally fabulous combination.

Here are three reasons to bump Terroir Parisien to the top of your must-try list.

The concept. Unlike top foodie cities in the U.S., the locavore movement has been slower to catch on in Paris. Alleno has been steadily changing that, first by introducing a wildly popular regional menu at Le Meurice, then by publishing a book on the topic. Now comes his bistro offering a menu of refreshed traditional Parisian recipes with goods sourced from the Ile-de-France region.

Trend-setting? Perhaps. But the locally born-and-bred chef prefers to think of it as a return to tradition – to the days when Parisian chefs bought locally-raised and farmed goods from Paris’ central market at Les Halles. But if a concept alone is no reason to try a restaurant, Alleno’s food is.

The food. Alleno’s dishes are fresh and exciting. Highlights include navarin printanier d’agneau (a classic for spring) served with crisp, sweet baby veg and a handsome sauce. Soup lovers (my husband is a devotee) will love Alleno’s take on the classic onion and his sumptuous potato-leek.

Do Alleno’s dishes taste any better for their regional provenance? Maybe. The knowledge that your perfectly nutty asparagus comes from a family farm in Argenteuil surely makes eating them that much sweeter. As for worries about fish, cheese and wine (do they produce these in Ile-de-France?), Alleno does source goods from farther afield, then unites them in distinctly Parisian combinations.

The table. As recently as May, nabbing a table at Terroir Parisien without reserving was quite doable. It’s a large airy space and dining before 9:00 P.M. meant you could count on a table. No more. (Word is out, so go sooner rather than later).

Stop by for a glass of superbly well-priced wine (Beaujolais at under 3€) or light bite at off-peak hours (“le snacking” of classics like croque-monsieur and charcuterie are available between lunch and dinner). But for dinner and even lunch (both served seven days a week), best to call ahead.

You’ll be greeted by servers whose style is as distinctly modern as the bistro’s décor – handsome and chic with just the right touch of classic Paris. All this plus the work of a three-star chef at bistro prices. What’s not to love?

Terroir Parisien
20, rue Saint Victor, 75005
+33 (0)1.44.31.54.54
Métro: Maubert-Mutualité
Open: Mon-Sun, for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Written by Paige Frost for the HiP Paris Blog. All photos Didier Gauducheau. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Paige Bradley Frost

Paige Bradley FrostPaige Bradley Frost, a Los Angeles native, moved back to Paris with her young family in 2011 after first living and getting married there in 2000. A lover of French style and cuisine, she spends her days scouting and writing about the city's gems when not chasing after her two young children. Her articles about parenting, culture and lifestyle have appeared on NYTimes.com, the Huffington Post and various other publications. She blogs about her Paris experiences at http://parisdejavu.blogspot.com.

Website: Paris Deja Vu

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Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Terroir Parisien: Locavore Dining In Paris By A Michelin Starred Chef”

  • Oh no. That is horrible. Readers beware….We are so sorry you were ill.

  • Catherine Devane says:

    After reading this great blog entry, we eagerly reserved at Terroir Parisien. Our waiter encouraged us to try the “tete de veau” hot dog, which we did, being the type of diners willing to try anything new and authentic. My husband and I were both ill for 2 days (I’ll spare you the details, but let your imagination run wild) and missed much of our precious time in Paris being hotel bound. I’m sure it’s a great restaurant….just saying….be careful.

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