Best restaurant of 2019
Touched by binchotan’s sacred fire (“white charcoal” in Japanese) while working at Yakitori Tori Shin (NYC), the young French-American chef Robert Compagnon finally decided to tend his own fire in Paris. Red hot flames and love at first sight are guaranteed at this fiery barbecue joint that’s been given the Zen treatment (a walnut wood bar, Tiffany’s ‘20s light fixtures, vintage tables), and which he opened with his “partner” Jessica Yang, herself a talented Taiwanese pastry chef who worked for Guy Savoy. On the menu of their Rigmarole, there are around 20 dazzling miniatures, including 12 on the whack-a-mole tasting menu (€49): stunning sea bream and lemon confit tartare; crisp razor-thin cuttlefish, with a milky herb dressing; bright grilled zucchini with smoked taramasalata; a divine chawanmushi egg, steamed in chicken broth, with wild mushrooms; stratospheric grilled chicken thighs with clementine zest; chicken liver thrown briefly over the coals; an outstanding polpette with spinach and paratha flatbread; a celestial chilled clementine and aniseed soup with pastis ice cream; and a Machiavellian chocolate fondant with pralines and hōjicha ice cream. So many smoldering treats that need to be put out fast: Terre Silvante, a white Italian wine from the Castelli Di Jessi (€7 a glass), Morgon Côte de Py from J.Foillard (€45 a bottle), or Cuvée de Ranke, a Belgian beer (€6). Small plates and skewers (x2) €5-9. // M.J.-D.