When I lived in Paris I often walked past Drouant, the historic restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Antoine Westermann near the Opéra in the second arrondissement, so when we were over for my birthday weekend in May it was the perfect time to finally visit.
Discreetly tucked behind a screen of trees around the outdoor terrace, Drouant has sat on the corner of a quiet, pretty square since 1880 - Westermann took the reigns in 2006 and now owns five restaurants in France and the US. Known for elegant French cuisine, the talented Alsatian chef refreshes classic dishes with a gastronomic touch and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant has the lovely, serene ambience of a relaxed yet refined establishment with neutral interiors, cream and gold walls, comfortable leather armchairs and simple white tables. Unlike the Parisian stereotype, the service was excellent: both the maître d' and sommelier were friendly and attentive.
For mains we shared the steak tartare made from French Charolais beef, with crunchy fries and a green salad along with the pan-fried sea bream and a glass of fresh Alsace pinot gris. The portions are generous so we were too full for desserts, but were offered complimentary candied orange slices to finish a wonderful dinner. If you're looking for a foodie experience in Paris, Drouant is an excellent choice.
Drouant, 18 Rue Gaillon, 75002 Paris, France