SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOD & DRINK

Five of France’s most exciting foodie hotspots (including one at €49 for 3 courses)

From reality TV chefs to cut-price options right up to €400 tasting menus, here are some of the foodie hotspots that the 2022 Michelin guide authors got excited about.

Five of France's most exciting foodie hotspots (including one at €49 for 3 courses)
Arnaud Donckele (left), Dimitri Droisneau (right) and Marielle Droisneau. (Photo: Philippe Lopez / AFP)

The 2022 guide, published in March, featured several new entries. Here’s our pick of five of the most interesting: 

READ ALSO New Michelin guide celebrates ‘resilient’ French cuisine

Plénitude – Paris

It’s only been open seven months, but the Paris restaurant – on the first floor of Cheval Blanc Paris – now has three stars, awarded to chef Arnaud Donckele in Cognac on Tuesday. Picking up three stars all at once is almost unheard of – only Yannick Alléno achieved the same feat in 2015 with the Pavillon Ledoyen in the 8th arrondissement.

Broths, vinaigrettes, creams, veloutés, juices are at the heart of the cuisine at Plénitude. A seasonal six-course Symphony Menu costs €395, while the Sail Away Together menu of three savoury dishes and one sweet is €320.

La Villa Madie – Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône

Another new three-star venue listed in this year’s guide came as something of a surprise, by all accounts. Dimitri and Marielle Droisneau’s restaurant in the south of France overlooks the Mediterranean.

“We took this house nine years ago. We had a baby, we have a second one now. We live in the villa. We work in a paradise,” chef Dimitri said at the ceremony in Cognac.

The cuisine follows the seasons, and uses carefully selected local produce. As such, the menu changes daily according to what’s available. The Menu Anse de Corton – a starter, a fish course, a meat course, and a sweet treat – costs €130, while the six-course Menu Espasado “Cap Canaille” is €180.

Plaza Athénée – Paris

Top Chef series three winner Jean Imbert was one of a number of former contestants on the show to win a star for his restaurant in the palace le Plaza Athénée – with the jury praising his “impressive revival of the greatest classics of French gastronomy”.

Guillaume Pape – a finalist in series 10, also picked up his first star for  L’Ebrum, in Brest; as did series nine finalist Victor Mercier, for FIEF in the ninth arrondissement, honoured for producing “empowering cuisine, made exclusively using French produce”. Mercier was also named Young Chef of the Year.

The self-titled Menu de Jean at Plaza Athénée costs €296

Villa La Coste – Bouches-du-Rhône

Continuing the Top Chef theme, judge Hélène Darroze – who already runs the three-star Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London – was awarded a star for her restaurant in the south of France, as was fellow-judge Philippe Etchebest for his latest venture in Bordeaux.

Local vegetables and fruit are the stars of the dining show at Villa La Coste, with meat and fish playing an accompanying role. A three-course lunch menu is €75, while a full dinner menu is €155.

Domaine Riberach: La Coopérative – Bélesta, Ariège 

One of six new restaurants to be awarded a Green Star for its seasonal food and it’s determined approach to ‘sustainable gastronomy’. This year’s six Green Star winners join 81 establishments which received the award last year in France.

“Slow food” is the order of the day, with menus created based – as is often the case – on the seasons, the market and chef Julien Montassié’s instinct. The chief rule is that food must be local – “0 km is our motto”, boasts the website.

The six-course Menu Latitude is €85 without wine. A three-course Menu Km0 is €49 – and a children’s two-course menu is €18.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOD & DRINK

France to see ‘exceptional’ year for Champagne despite record heat

Champagnes from 2022 are expected to be "exceptional" despite record heat and drought in France over the summer, according to producers of the prestigious sparkling wine.

France to see 'exceptional' year for Champagne despite record heat

Grape harvesting took place in August — earlier than usual.

Both the quality and quantity this year are comparable to vintage years 2002 and 1982, the head of the champagne producers’ union SGV told a press conference on Thursday.

The Champagne region suffered from water shortages like the rest of France but rain “arrived at the right moment during the cycle”, Laurent Panigai told reporters.

This summer was France’s second hottest on record, with average temperatures 2.3C above the norm.

This, coupled with water shortages, caused major problems for livestock farmers.

But the abundant sunshine looks set to deliver a windfall for many wine makers.

Producers in the Bourgogne region are also suggesting this year’s harvest could be comparable in quality to 1959, one of the best years of the last century.

READ MORE: ‘The price of glory’ – Meet the Champagne industry lawyers charged with protecting the brand name

Champagne producers were authorised to pick up to 12,000 kilogrammes of grapes per hectare, the highest level for 15 years.

This is set to enable them to replenish their stocks after a disappointing year in 2021.

The hot weather helped reduce diseases such as mildew. The fungal growth wreaked havoc on the 2021 French wine crop, which was also hit by late frosts.

“Many of the greatest years come at the same time as large (production) volumes,” Panigai said.

Drinkers can expect to sample 2022’s champagne vintage in 2024, as most bottles are kept in cellars for between 15 months and three years.

The champagne industry was hit badly by the Covid-19 pandemic, which shut restaurants across the world and led to most social events being cancelled.

But it rebounded in 2021, posting record sales of €5.5 billion.

France is the world’s second largest wine producer, after Italy.

SHOW COMMENTS