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The French city continues to draw in tourists around the world with its rich culture, charming buildings and sumptuous food

Additional reporting by Dudi Aureus.

Pandemic or not, there is a reason why we keep going back to Paris, France. Also known as the “City of Lights”, it continues to draw in tourists from across the globe with its distinct architecture, famous museums and parks, and, of course, gastronomic offerings. The standard of cooking here is high, thanks to the chefs who have dedicated their professional lives to serve up top-notch dishes made with the season’s best offer. Having said that, it is safe to assume that you can never have a bad meal in the city.

While each season is special in its own right, we like to think that the best time to visit Paris is in the summertime, when the flowers are in full bloom, it’s warm and sunny, and sumptuous ingredients like asparagus and artichoke appear on the chefs’ menus. So, if you have an upcoming holiday there, here are some restaurants and bars worth exploring.

For a special night out, visit… Restaurant Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris

Housed in the historic Monnaie de Paris that boasts a spectacular view of the river Seine is three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Guy Savoy, helmed by its celebrated eponymous chef. Fitting of its location, the restaurant looks like an art gallery decked out in contemporary artworks from Savoy and French businessman François Pinault’s personal collections. This sets the stage for an impressive menu that evolves with the season—one that is fresh and inventive, yet anchored in the traditional refinement of French haute cuisine.

Currently, Savoy and his team serve up a delightful spring-summer menu which features “textures and temperatures of green and white asparagus” and is decorated with “stained glass herbs” (see above pic). The meal is complemented by a warm and impeccable service led by Grégory Legal, the premier maître d'hôtel for 20 years. With a beautiful space, delectable menu and top-notch service, this restaurant deserves a spot on your Paris restaurants bucket list.

Restaurant Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris, Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris, France, +33 1 43 80 40 61

For an indulgent meal with exquisite wines, head to… Epicure at Le Bristol Paris

Fancy some traditional French food paired with fine wines? Head to three-Michelin-starred Epicure, set within an elegant dining room at Le Bristol Paris. Heading the kitchen since 2009 is celebrated chef Éric Fréchon (also a holder of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France title), who has transformed this place into a ‘temple of gastronomy’ with classic French dishes that make for exceptional culinary moments. There are many standouts on the menu, of course, but one can never go wrong with his signature macaroni dish packed with the season’s best truffles, artichoke, foie gras and finished with the aged parmesan cheese and black truffle jus.

The experience is made more memorable with an extensive wine list that leans heavily on French labels. Assistant chef sommelier Benjamin Forme is always on hand to share his recommendations and show diners the traditional way of decanting wines using a candle. Watch the video above and see how the candle is lighted under the neck of the bottle to let the sediments rise to the top.

Epicure, 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France, +33 1 53 43 43 40

Read more: French Chef Éric Fréchon On Keeping The Magic Alive After 20 Years At Le Bristol Paris

For front-row seats to a mesmerising culinary show, sit at… Pavyllon’s gastronomic counter

Nothing beats counter seats for a more intimate culinary experience in one of the world’s most celebrated culinary capitals. That is what you’ll get at Pavyllon, chef Yannick Alleno’s casual restaurant in Champs-Élysées where you get to sit at the gastronomic counter overlooking the open kitchen and the beautiful gardens outside. With front-row seats to the culinary show, you’ll be able to witness Alleno work his magic in preparing his greatest hits such as the Badaboum style egg with sorrel mushrooms and smoked eel toast. Slice it open to reveal the surprise ingredient inside: oscietre caviar. How he does this is a complete mystery, and a secret technique Alleno isn’t letting us in on. But one thing is clear—it’s an absolute must-try.

Pavyllon, 8 Av. Dutuit, 75008 Paris, France, +33 1 53 05 10 10

For a gastronomic trip off the beaten track, stop by… Quinsou

A gem of a find in the heart of St Germain, chef Antonin Bonnet’s Quinsou is set in an unassuming but stylish modern bistro. Using natural and ethically sourced ingredients, Bonnet whips up dishes with well-balanced flavours that are also simple, clean and fresh. The restaurant carries a varied and interesting wine list which includes a good selection of natural wines. With attentive and unpretentious service, this is a culinary experience to be savoured—and a trip well worth making.

Quinsou, 33 Rue de l'Abbé Grégoire, 75006 Paris, France, +33 1 42 22 66 09

For a nature-inspired meal, check out… Restaurant David Toutain

Coming through the doors, you’ll immediately feel the space’s strong connection with nature, thanks to its neutral wood palette accented with oak and wood finishing. Chef-owner David Toutain, who also trained under celebrated names like Alain Passard, Pierre Gagnaire and Bernard Pacaud, learned to cook with mountain plants and herbs while working with French chef Marc Veyrat—a pioneer of molecular gastronomy.

His various experiences have defined his nature-inspired and highly inventive cuisine, as showcased in the ‘Menu Queen of The Meadows’, ‘Lemon Balm Menu’, and ‘Menu Lierre Terrestre’. Naturally, his creations are made with sustainably sourced produce from small farmers across France and are often updated based on what’s in season. The food is complemented by a good wine list, as well as a warm and welcoming service led by restaurant director Marco Togno.

Restaurant David Toutain, 29 Rue Surcouf, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 45 50 11 10

For an unforgettable feast fit for a queen or king, book… The Feast at Le Grand Contrôle

The meticulously restored five-star hotel Le Grand Contrôle, located within Chateau de Versailles, opened its doors last year and is now home to legendary chef Alain Ducasse’s latest dining concept—The Feast. Inspired by its location in one of the most regal palaces in the world, the experience begins when diners are ushered into an 18th-century “courtroom” styled with authentic furniture and artworks curated for the palace. You are then led into the main dining room by the staff dressed in period costumes, so you can partake in the “Royal Feast”. The spectacular menu is inspired by King Louis XIV (also known as the Sun King) and comprises classic soups, starters, roasts and desserts. Indeed, it is an immersive and magical evening bound by delectable food.

Stay the night at Le Grand Contrôle and enjoy the full experience, which includes exclusive tours of the estate and after-hours access to the Hall of Mirror.

Le Grand Contrôle, 12 rue de l’Indépendance Américaine, 78000 Versailles, France, +33(0)1 85 36 05 50

For sunset cocktails with a view, drink at… Le Tout Paris Bar

In between shopping, take a breather and stop by Le Tour Paris’ bar with a panoramic vista of the Parisian skyline. Soak in the sights as you cool down with classic cocktails that have been given a modern touch. Park yourself at the al fresco terrace and sip on the Kir Royal, a fizzy version of the classic Kir and made with Moët & Chandon champagne, red fruits and pink pepper liqueur. Or, for something more potent, the Negroni here is concocted with a special gin infused with Timur berries, Vermouth and Campari.

Le Tout Paris Bar, Cheval Blanc Paris 8 quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, 01 79 35 50 22

Bring a piece of Paris home from… Au Bain Marie

You never know what antique treasures you will find at Au Bain Marie, a store specialising in dinnerware and table accessories. The store has an amazing collection of antique silverware, majolica, cutlery and porcelain dating back from as early as the end of the 18th century—the likes of Buccelati, Tiffany and Christophe. The store also carries its own collection of dinnerware along with exceptional collections from the renowned porcelain manufacturer, Herend. The store is frequented by the best chefs and we were lucky enough to bump into the master pâtissier himself, Pierre Hermé, while shopping there.

Au Bain Marie, 56 rue de l'Université 75007 Paris 

Ex-banker and activist Harmin Kaur is a foodie at heart, and shares her food and wine discoveries on @harminkaur_

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