Thanks to low rents and gastronomically adventurous locals, the 11th arrondissement continues to be a hatchery of really good, new and affordable restaurants. Among the latest, La Cave de L’Insolite is a wine bistrot with a talented Irish chef in the kitchen sending out dishes like marinated salmon and veal steak with roasted potatoes and beets.

Over at the handsome Le Petit Cheval de Manège (the little carousel horse), Xavier Thiery, formerly of the very upmarket Lucas Carton and Lapérouse, cooks up terrific modern bistrot dishes like ceviche of seabass with avocado, black olives and oranges, or grilled scallops in leek cream sauce on a giant duxelles-filled ravioli.

La Cave de l’Insolite: 30 rue de la Folie Méricourt, Paris 11th, Lunch menu €14, à la carte €30

Le Petit Cheval de Manège: 5 rue Froment, 11th, €35.

Prices are approximate, per person without wine.

Originally published in the January 2012 issue of France Today

Alexander Lobrano’s book Hungry forParis is published by Random House. Find it in the France Today Bookstore.




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