Some of the top restaurants in town, meaning helmed by renowned chefs and attracting an equally celebrity clientele, all practice a traditional French philosophy towards dining. Mind you, this also leaves room for innovation and signature expressions. Some of the well-known restaurants in Paris that fit this category are Le Clarence, Lasserre, Taillevent, Laurent, Le Gabriel and La Grande Cascade. On this list you'll also find La Dame de Pic and Guy Savoy's new Monnaie de Paris restaurant location which both offer fresh insights into French traditional cuisine. The decor at these two restaurants as well as at Le Clarence and La Grande Cascade will add another dimension to your dining experience.
Another restaurant keeping to its French traditional cuisine roots is L'Affriole. For those who enjoy traditional Auvergne French food preparation albeit with a lighter touch, you'll thoroughly enjoy your dining experience here in this chic Eiffel Tower neighborhood. La Dame de Pic, Chef Anne-Sophie Pic's restaurant near the Louvre is a statement of elegance and refinement. Here the chef has taken traditional French cuisine and wrapped it into a full expression of aromas and sensory experience.
A real salt-of-the-earth classic here on this list is Au Pied de Cochon. A fixture in Les Halles since the '40s, this landmark just keeps getting better. It's disinguished, too, by the Maitre Restaurateur label, meaning everything is made in-house. So go ahead and indulge in the pork paté. It's some of the best in the city, not to mention the signature dish, their pig's trotters. For more, refined, fragrant, light and even artistic fare, have a go at this venerable old address whose kitchens today are illuminated by a rising (2-star) talent: Brasserie Thoumieux.
We tend to romanticize the inclusion of frogs' legs and escargots (snails) on a menu and call it French. But for visitors to France these seem to be the classic dishes that make us feel like we’ve tried the local cuisine. So, you’ll find the classic Brasserie Thoumieux on this list, a local's favorite since 1923. For a classic French bistro menu, and moreover, the simple ambiance of this place, an absolute favorite with Marais neighborhood locals, is Au Bascou.
For truly fine French traditional dining, Guy Savoy's still fairly new restaurant location at the Monnae de Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is meant to be repeated as often as you can. This same can be said for Prince Robert of Luxembourg's restaurant, Le Clarence, which re-creates the experience of dining in an authentic Bordeaux Chateau. And the Second Empire sumptuousness of Chef Frederic Robert's La Grande Cascade Michelin-starred dining room whisks you away to an elegant era of horse-drawn carriages Imperial refinement.