Restaurant Alluma (Paris)

© Alluma

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Looking to connect North Africa with the Middle East? Head straight to Alluma! Here you’ll find Tel Aviv-natives Liran and Noa Tal (he’s the chef, formerly of Balagan and Dersou; she handles front-of-house), who have turned an old Moroccan restaurant into an elegant Levantine spot that combines waxed concrete, marble features and zellige tiles. The day we went, the affordable lunch menu shone with top-notch pairings: compressed watermelon, feta cream, watermelon jelly, za’atar syrup and mint as a perfect appetizer; hummus and roasted eggplant enhanced with a garlic, radish and chili condiment, to be devoured with homemade focaccia; very good swordfish mi-cuit over charcoal and then sliced thin, served cold with slow-roasted tomato and eggplant caviar, all intensified by an explosively flavorful lime-harissa sauce; before an incredibly sweet and creamy mouhalabieh (Turkish orange blossom flan) served with rose petal jam, mint and strawberries. A true delight! // Eric Taylor 

FEELING THIRSTY? : A wine list without borders: a malagousia from the Tetramythos winery in the Peloponnese (€10 a glass), Sutak, an Armenian red from Wine Art (€44 a bottle), an Alsatian skin-contact white from the Domaine de l’Envol (€41)… Plus a few cocktails, including an arak and watermelon cocktail (€11) and a hibiscus Gin & Tonic (€12). 
PRICE: : Set menus €25 (weekday lunch), €64 and €89. 

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