Restaurant Donna (Paris)

© Donna

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With its Spartan blend of marble and concrete decor, exemplified by the semi-circular central bar with a veiled installation hanging from the ceiling, Donna stands out from the crowd in the neighborhood between Rambuteau and Les Halles. The atmosphere feels intentionally more relaxed than other nearby restaurants, with (good) electro music playing in the background as chef Masahide Ikuta (a former chef at Les Enfants du Marché) crafts bold dishes inside the open kitchen. The night we went, the appetizer consisting of grilled octopus with chimichurri sauce, new potatoes, piquillo pepper cream and sea beans was a little all over the place; but the main, a line-caught marlin steak that was perfectly seared and tickled by sauce vierge, served with (more) potatoes and late summer vegetables, knocked us on our asses! So much so that the fig tart with pine-infused crème pâtissière and roasted pistachios had a hard time holding up in comparison. It’s worth mentioning that much like the fish course, the rest of the menu boasts excellent ingredients: veal sweetbreads, monkfish, Iberian pork pluma, Simmental beef… A bit of a gamble, but a worthwhile one at that! // Eric Taylor 

FEELING THIRSTY? : A beautiful selection of natural wines chosen by Marc Le Berre over at the Rouge ou Blanc wine shop, who has partnered with Masahide: a lively Venetian skin-contact wine from Angiolino Maule (€8 a glass), a powerful Touraine sparkling wine from the Domaine de la Marinière (€28 a bottle), or Babinou, a red and white blend from Vincent Marie in Auvergne (€48).
PRICE: : À la carte €54-77. 

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