There’s cool marble aplenty at Fred Peneau and Inaki Aizpitarte’s Le Dauphin. But that’s not the only cool thing. Unapologetically minimalist, and unstoppably popular since it opened in 2010, this bijou tapas-style restaurant serves modern French dishes that locals and travellers in-the-know just can’t get enough of.
The menu changes frequently, meaning that two dinners here won’t be the same. But with so many creative, enticing small plates on offer, you’d probably end up eating your way through one incarnation of the menu happily, even if it didn’t change with the seasons. One night you might be treated to a rich bowl of boeuf bourguignon. The next suckling pig, or pumpkin and eel soup. Tandoori-style octopus or smoked burrata. Sea urchin or razor clams. It’s a delightful mystery. And one that diners are all too happy to indulge in, and return time and again.
It doesn’t hurt either that said cool interiors were designed by none other than Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaus and Clément Blanchet. The gleaming mirrored space tends to be packed Tuesday to Saturday when it’s open so, while walk-ins are possible, it’s best to reserve yourself a seat. After all, Le Dauphin was supposed to be a casual sister space to Le Chateaubriand (a restaurant now notoriously hard to secure a table at), but this neo-bistro is now a stellar player on Paris’ restaurant scene in its own right.