The more things change, the more Paris stays the same. Although many of the city's best restaurants now have young, foreign chefs shaking up the scene, French diners still expect them to respect seasonality and be dedicated to terroir even as they embrace more freedom and flexibility. There are classic silver platters heaped with oysters and shaved ice at the new L'Avant Comptoir de la Mer, but instead of serving them on a white tablecloth under a stained glass dome, diners stand at a bar filled with French rugby players and elbow their way to reach communal slabs of butter.
After a chaotic year in the City of Light, there's a return to foods that are anything but. Pot-au-feu, steak frites, frog's legs, escargots—these much-dreamed-about but rarely available dishes are no longer the stuff of Francophile fantasy. Newcomers like La Bourse et La Vie or Mensae have young chefs reviving lost dishes and turning their obsessive focus on sourcing great ingredients for Grand-mère's cuisine. In other words, put away the shaved vegetables and microgreen garnish. The bistro is back.
For my booze-and-butter-soaked guide to the best restaurants, bars, and shops in Paris, check out the full listing on Tasting Table.