With Valentine’s Day behind us, Paris is always a good idea to help keep the romance alive – what could make more sense than a cheeky escape to the city of lights and love for a romantic dinner for two?
Right above the Salle Pleyel, a famous Parisian concert hall, awaits a vintage inspired eatery which might just be the best spot in Paris to people watch. Settle in on the velvet couches, and enjoy dinner by candelabra light. The atmosphere is plush, chic and elegant and definitely old school, yet definitely very cool. Order giant goldfish bowl G’n’Ts or pick a Chianti by the glass to wash down the creamy and gorgeous Burrata. After that? Fresh tuna pasta or perhaps a sea bream filet? Either way – the entire menu is mouth watering from A to Z. As the night goes on, the beautiful people arrive – a mecca for models and fashionistas who come for the food, the vibe and the white-tux-wearing crooners. Noto is clearly a place to see and be seen.
Noto, 252 bis Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris
You’ve got to love a hidden treasure. Step downstairs into the depths of the party hotspot that is Verde, just beyond the Champs Elysees on Avenue Georges V. Utterly romantic (it’s quite noisy so you need to be close to chat!) the hip restaurant combines the best of the Parisian party spirit – including a resident DJ with a cosy menu ranging from tapas-like light bites to classic Italian dishes like Osso Bucco or lamb stew pasta. Stop for a cocktail or take your time over dinner, admiring the décor: palm fringes, mirrored walls and heaps of dark nooks and crannies that give Verde a slightly louche feel making it just the spot for romance.
Nothing’s more romantic than a Parisian hidden terrace, so duck into Thierry Marx’s Camelia for a spot of lunch ‘al fresco’. Marx is famous for his traditional French cuisine and where better to sample it than in a peaceful garden? Tables even have privacy curtains to stop any prying eyes, so you can focus on the salt incrusted beetroot with Stracciatella and pomegranate followed by scallops, served with roasted Colonnata bacon, butternut and truffle – or, just on each other! Inside, you’ll love the warm cocoon like atmosphere, and the chic pastry counter where you would be well advised to pick a Paris Brest: a feast of praline hazlenuts and ‘choux’ pastry. Dreamy!
This is where you’ll find businessmen, celebrities and couples meeting for rendez-vous over a gourmet meal. The cosy surroundings – low slung tables, cosy armchairs, the fireplace and the overall ‘library’ feel, give La Chinoiserie that exclusive feel. My personal recommendation? Follow chef Simon Havage’s lead and choose his Signature Menu. First up a fabulously fresh Seabream ceviche with mango, coriander and black lemon, then comes the grown up ‘mac’n’cheese’ with “Prince de Paris” ham, comté cheese and seasonal truffle – grated by the chef himself! To finish with a sweet touch, try the amazingly light Madeleines with honey – which is homemade by the resident bees who live just beyond the glass roof made by the Eiffel workshops!
La Chinoiserie, 24 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008 Paris,
If you like a little theatrical setting with your Asian inspired menu, look no further than the very plush Lili at the Peninsula hotel in Paris. The Cantonese restaurant ‘par excellence’ in the French capital – it’s all about the incredible interiors: sky high ceilings, costumes and majestic drapes, all against a dimly lit backdrop. Food from the best of Hong Kong’s chefs include the most delicate Dim Sum, the classic Peking Duck or sweet and sour pork but also frog’s legs with a twist and baked oysters! Just the place to try something new. Whatever you go for, it’s bound to be good. My favourite? The beef filet served with foie gras wrapped in lettuce leaves. Melt in the mouth magic!
Lili, 19 Avenue Kleber, Paris 75008