Our favorite New Year's Eve spots
Threadbare at CAM (Paris)
In this old boutique (stripped-bare walls and timeworn hardwood floors), chef Eseu Lee’s rock ‘n’ roll cuisine has replaced the miniature Eiffel Towers that used to be sold here. On the 31st, this former Passerini chef will ring in the New Year with some small Korean flavor bombs, including a steak tartare doped up with gochujang sauce, or an incredible hanger steak marinated in fermented soy sauce…. Plates from €8 to €23. 55, rue au Maire, 75003 Paris, telephone: +33 6 26 41 10 66.
Hygge at Sébastopol (Lille)
With its luminous loft-like feel and locavore dishes, this Lille bistro celebrates good culinary taste and a “hygge” mood (the cool, cozy Danish lifestyle). Take their New Year’s Eve tasting menu as proof (€100, not including drinks), in which Damien Laforce will highlight all the star ingredients from his Advent calendar: blue lobster from Audresselles, caviar, foie gras… 1, place Sébastopol, 59000 Lille, telephone: +33 3 20 13 13 38.
Charcoal-fueled at Rigmarole (Paris)
New Year’s Eve is bound to be a fiery affair with Robert Compagnon! Running the barbecue fed binchotan coals (“white charcoal” in Japanese), the French-American chef is planning on making chicken, lobster, oysters and monkfish liver dance over the flames…. You won’t find any truffles or foie gras on the dance floor, but there will be a promising playlist with a dozen tasty tunes! Tasting menu for €95. 10, rue du Grand-Prieuré, 75011 Paris, telephone: + 33 1 71 24 58 44.
A feisty feast at Chardon (Arles)
This December 31st, Canadian chefs Phoebe Oviedo and Oliver Truesdale-Jutras (Stovetrotter) will make their last meal at Chardon, the cool locavore residency run by Laura Vidal and Harry Cummins. It’s the ultimate excuse to send out their wonderful scallops, miso and coral emulsion, or their mallard duck prepared two ways. Five-course menu for €60 (food and wine pairings for €35). 37, rue des Arènes, 13200 Arles, telephone: + 33 9 72 86 72 04.
Dizzying heights at Les Grands Verres (Paris)
Heated up by the Quixotic team (Mary Celeste, Candelaria, etc.) and architect Lina Ghotmeh, the Palais de Tokyo’s new restaurant (winner of Le Guide Fooding’s Best Décor award of 2018) is getting out the big guns. Come for a six-course feast, including: turbot bisque with lemon confit and caviar, plus ravioli with porcini mushrooms, truffles and quince. Tasting menu for €120 with a half-bottle of Champagne included (€180 with wine and cocktails). 13, avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, telephone: + 33 1 85 53 03 61.
Tiger and Dragon at Madame Pang (Bordeaux)
In this chic dim sum bar, chopsticks will most certainly be flying frantically over bamboo steamer baskets. Expect sixties vibes and Asian fusion delicacies: xiao long bao with pork and porcini mushrooms; foie gras and duck spring rolls; Hong Kong-style oysters; ar gau shrimp with lemon confit… Set menu €60 (from 6pm to 9pm) and €95 (9:30pm to 2am). 16, rue de la Devise, 33000 Bordeaux, telephone: +33 5 64 28 58 36.
Practically free at Bouillon Pigalle (Paris)
No reservations, no fancy dress, just a few concessions to tradition (foie gras, turkey with chestnuts) and lots of Champagne! Exactly what you need for a good time and none of the fuss at the Moussié brother’s Bouillon – the spot which has replaced Pigalle in the belly of Paris. À la carte €15-20. 22, boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, telephone: + 33 1 42 59 69 31.
Pirate-themed at Ar Piliguet (Ouessant)
At the ends of the earth, in a space with plenty of Breton charm, Emmanuel and Martine plan on concocting some delightful treats using local goods: island scallops with an orange-infused butter sauce; fresh foie gras with a buckwheat crumble and fig chutney… The ideal New Year’s Eve spot for starting the year with a clear head. Tasting menu for €72. Place de l’Eglise, 29242 Ouessant, telephone: +33 2 98 03 14 64.
Indulgent at Comice (Paris)
At Comice (named after agricultural fairs) on this particular night, countryside conversations will be off limits but flavorful rustic ingredients (lobster, poularde, scallops) will speak for themselves, brought to life by chef Noam Gedalot (ex-Sergent Recruteur) and sommelier Etheliya Hananova…. Tasting menu for €160 (€80 for food and wine pairings). 31, avenue de Versailles, 75016 Paris, telephone: +33 1 42 15 55 70.