Ever since Chamarré Montmartre opened, it’s been intriguing to read the varying verdicts of dueling Paris food critics, who generally either love or loathe the place. Less extreme than some of my colleagues, perhaps, I think it’s a very good new restaurant and an opportunity to discover a very personal take on the fascinating cooking and produce of the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Chef Antoine Heerah, who previously ran the one-star restaurant Chamarré in the 7th arrondissement, has moved to the former quarters of Beauvilliers, an old-school see-and-be-scene place with an ornate Napoleon III decor and classical French cuisine. Not a trace of its former life remains—the new dining room has an open kitchen and handsome chandeliers with dangling blown-glass pendants. With three rather obscure themes—Return from Indian Shop, Franco-Mauritian and Asian Sweet and Sour—Heerah’s menu may be a little too conceptual, but I loved my meal: terrine of pheasant, foie gras and cèpes with a spicy chatini (chutney) made of cèpes, pistachios and eggplant, followed by delicate poached chicken flavored with tandoori spices and served with lemon-scented basmati rice, and for dessert a brilliant rum savarin with basmati-rice-pudding ice cream. And come fine weather, there is one of the loveliest little terraces in town.
52 rue Lamarck, 18th, 01.42.55.05.42. Lunch menus €29-€35, dinner €47-€52. A la carte €65. Prices are per person without wine.
Originally published in the October 2008 issue of France Today