Restaurant Taverna (Paris)

© Taverna

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A decade in the finance industry spent jetting between Chicago, New York, Luxembourg and Paris proved to be too much for Paul-Henri Bayard, who left it all behind to become a chef. After training at the École Ferrandi and doing a few stints at Caché and Amagat, he opened up his Taverna under Greek and Cypriot influences – inspired by his wife’s homeland. The space is festive, combining waxed concrete and a chic rough-around-the-edges-style decor, with a small terrace for sunny days and a communal table upstairs. What about the plates? They’re quite generous, like the day we went for lunch: a flawless Greek salad; an extravagant sandwich version of spanakopita (feta, spinach); tasty fries sprinkled with wild oregano… At night, the menu lines up mezze to share: pita with olive oil, taramasalata with bottarga, stuffed vine leaves, fried calamari and Boukovo chili mayonnaise, grilled halloumi, saganaki with prawns or kefta, wolffish crudo… // Eric Taylor 

FEELING THIRSTY? : The drinks speak the same language as the food: Roditis, a natural pet’ nat’ or white wine from the Ligas winery in northern Greece (€40 and €37 a bottle), Athinas, a white from Santorini (€45), Mavro Kalavrytino, a red from the Tetramythos winery in the Peloponnese (€37), or even a good classic Mythos beer (€5.50 for 330 ml) or ouzo (€25 for 200 ml) that will make you feel like you’re vacationing on a Greek isle. 
PRICE: : Set menu €11-16 (lunch), plates €2.50 to €21 (dinner). 

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