David Lahner is one of the most innovative restaurateurs in Paris today, with a flock of stylish addresses in different neighbourhoods that suit different clienteles and culinary desires. These include La Crèmerie, Le Bon Saint Pourçain, Anima, Racines, Caffè Stern, Vivant and now Cèna (the word means ‘dinner’ or ‘supper’ in Italian).
Located in an office district in the heart of the city in the 8th arrondissement, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Musée Jacquemart-André, it fills a void in a part of Paris which is decidely top heavy with Michelin-starred restaurants and sandwich shops but which had previously offered rather little by way of the kind of healthy and inventive modern bistro cooking that has become the delicious signature of contemporary dining in Paris.
The eclectic menu evolves regularly and runs to dishes such as Roman-style deep-fried artichokes with arugula, guanciale and socca (chickpea-flour crêpe) curry; yellow pollack with tenderly roasted asparagus; and a rich chocolate mousse tempered with smoked black cardamom.
These off-beat dishes reflect the gastronomic wit and impressive resumé of young chef Alban Chartron, who worked at La Villa Florentine in Lyon, Le Louis XV in Monaco, Anne-Sophie Pic in Valence, and at Épicure at the Hôtel Bristol in Paris before taking over the kitchen here. Booking is essential, since this place is very popular, especially at lunchtime.
23 Rue Treilhard, 8th Arrondissement, Paris
Tel. (33) 01 40 74 20 80,
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From France Today Magazine