Montmartre and Pigalle may be the home of many scenic spots and a wide range of cafés perfect for a quick lunch or coffee break, but the area is not known as a fine dining destination. Locals however, notably SoPi dwellers and habitués of nearby rue des Martyrs, know the best addresses for hidden neighborhood gems worth discovering. One such address is the newly opened Belle Maison.
Surrounded by breezy blue tiles, dark wood, and quirky design touches like yellow radiators and fish-shaped water bottles, customers enjoy exploring the expressive flavor combinations concocted by young resident chef, Nicolas Laval.
The menu is based on the catch of the day, with recent dishes including a delicate ceviche of John Dory dressed with blood orange, arugula pesto, and green mango and an equally seasonal grilled octopus tentacles with citrusy guacamole. The feather-light crab cannelloni infused with south-east Asian flavors like ginger, lime and tom kha is an instant classic.
A normally commonplace cod fillet is jazzed up with asparagus sourced from the Gard region and enrobed in a creamy asparagus dressing. More traditional palates will delight in a simple plate of oysters, whelks, or edible sea snails, accompanied by house-made mayonnaise.
While the focus of Belle Maison is obviously on fish, carnivores are catered to with the same fresh, flavorful combinations of the seafood menu. On our visit the menu featured duck fillet in broccoli a mousseline with a side of glazed carrots and fennel.
The dessert menu includes several treats in the same spirit as the main menu, like vacherin (a pavlova-like dessert made with meringue and whipped cream) topped with passion fruit sorbet and fresh pineapple another favorite is the vanilla ice cream topped with a croustillant and rich chocolate sauce.
The extensive wine list, sourced from France and abroad, may feel overwhelming, but the friendly staff is on hand to help with the selection. If you have a hard time deciding on a bottle, there are many wines available to order by the glass, as well. Another nice touch at Belle Maison is the absence of piped in music: perfect for those who prefer the quintessential Parisian bistro soundtrack of low-key chatter to accompany their meal.
Given the popularity of Belle Maison, advance reservations, which can be done on the bilingual website, are highly recommended.
4 rue de Navarin,75009. Métro: Saint-Georges or Pigalle. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 12:30-2:30pm and 7:30-10:30pm
tel: +33 1 42 81 11 00
Written by Elena Berton for HiP Paris. All photos by Palmyre Roigt. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In.