The 10th arrondissement remains relatively little known to most visitors to Paris, but this atmospheric and increasingly fashionable corner of Paris, bisected by the pretty Canal Saint Martin, is coming on strong as one of Paris’s most interesting gastronomic neighborhoods. Up-and-coming young chefs appreciate the reasonable rents and the adventurous food-loving young crowd. To be sure, if your idea of Paris is Saint Germain des Prés, the 10th is going to look decidedly rough around the edges, but as long as you exercise the common sense that’s a good idea in any large city, it’s perfectly safe and profoundly Parisian.
Many food lovers have been heading up here in the wake of deservedly rave reviews for young chef Romain Tischenko since he took over at Le Galopin, an old corner café with a teal blue facade, a tiny open kitchen and a small main dining room adjacent to the big service bar. (Another dining room in the basement is usually reserved for large groups.) Tischenko’s menus change constantly, but they consistently reveal his impressive technical skills, intelligent audacity and restless gastronomic imagination. Dining here recently, our foursome was intrigued by the seven-course, €42 dinner tasting menu. Our first dish was a plump, perfectly cooked shrimp with mustard leaves in a smoked-mozzarella foam, and everything that followed was stunningly original and deeply satisfying: a delicious still-life presentation of white button mushrooms, watercress, yellow and purple cauliflower, marigold petals and foie gras cream; grilled sea brill with lemony fork-mashed potatoes, shiitake mushrooms and seared baby leeks; and a financier made with ground walnuts, spelt flour and honey, served with fresh, crushed and candied chestnuts, a slice of pear and chestnut cream.
34 rue Sainte Marthe, 10th, 01.42.06.05.03. Lunch menus €19, €24; dinner tasting menu €42
Prices are per person without wine.
Originally published in the December 2011 issue of France Today