For decades, the great Parisian chefs have recruited their small hands in the suburbs. But today, young talents are increasingly choosing to migrate there! To the west, nothing new: the beautiful neighborhoods were already home to good restaurants. The movement, on the other hand, is new to the inner working-class suburbs. The cooks go into exile to take advantage of slightly less obscene rents, to escape the stress of the capital and to obtain supplies more easily than in intramural Paris. Gentrification guarantees newcomers a nice pool of customers, and we even sometimes witness an almost supernatural phenomenon: Parisians cross the ring road to test a good address.
This greedy movement is largely under-reported. Apart from a few tenors like Jacky Ribault, who oversees a star restaurant in Vincennes, a beautiful brasserie in Noisy-le-Grand, today doubling as a unique “bakery-butchery”, few chefs are highlighted. Our selection aims to highlight the talents of these new gastronomic territories. West, North, East and South are represented. But instead of a geographical criterion, we have favored chefs who do good, beautiful, good things: seasonal products, shortcuts, vegetarian options, anti-gaspi cuisine. All this, as far as our Parisian selection is concerned, within the framework of formulas which for lunch cost less than 20 euros (prices observed at the time of our visit).
At Eléphant d’Argent, the rustic decor contrasts with the extreme freshness of the authentic Thai cuisine. In this ancient half-timbered building, Asia is evoked only by the imperial red that covers the walls and a pair of elephant statuettes enthroned on a shelf. It is the plate that makes you travel, with formulas at low prices (15 euros: starter-main course). Octopus salad, chicken soup with finely spiced lemongrass, chicken with ginger or ground beef with basil, served with rice or noodles… each suggestion is tasty and plays on the careful dosage of spices and chillies. Light and fresh – the fish is only served as the dish of the day – the dishes are hearty enough to do without dessert. And if paper napkins say a lot about the crowds in the restaurant, it doesn’t change the smiles of the waiters friendly and attentive without being rushed.
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