My first visit to Le Dauphin was consequent to a very late night spent at their big sister—Le Chateaubriand—, with my own big sister. After an impeccable tasting meal, which started with their famous steak (desserts stretched the term ‘experimental’: cherry sorbet with anchovies, and a deconstructed ‘cake’ with egg yolk. Not an an apricot as I’d optimistically thought), and was rounded off by drinking wine into the smalls with the staff and other foodie stragglers. Where, as you do at 3am, we made plans to visit Le Dauphin the following night. Given that it was two doors down, with the one in between them being Le Cave—their while-you-wait bar—, it seemed like an obvious choice.
The deco is all-over white marble and naked bulbs, but its small square size stops it from being gaudy or impersonal. We sat around the central bar, where we could make full use of the maitre d’—Frank, a brooding French lumberjack / sommelier, who provided us with a full tour of the wine menu, and for pudding, some rum that had a nose and punch like whisky.
Plates are contemporary French tapas: whimsical combinations, spin-offs (top interpretation of fish and chips) and reviving has-beens like purl barley, and doing magical things with tomatoes that even an Italian would be impressed by.
The photos here are from my second visit; where the rose petal-shaped ceviche and squid ink risotto still topped my list, Frank was on hand to give sage advice, and yes, there was still Aesop handwash in the bathroom.
And as fortune would have it, Le Dauphin has just become my local.
Address: 131 Avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris
Tel: 01 55 28 78 88
Hours:Tuesday — Saturday. Reservations available from 12 – 13.30 (Formule Déjeuner 23€ or 27€) / And between 19.30 – 20.30 (Dîner à la Carte) with a second seating available after
Thank you to the equally delicious Emily of Amazing Art Direction for her photography skills, be sure to check out her blog.