In Paris, 5 places where an Italian chef dines

Modern bistro, pizza, French classic, Japanese or street food? The right places in town, according to Tommaso Burbuglini


Popine, one of the 5 places Tommaso Burbuglini recommends so as to enjoy the craveable side of Paris

Do you know that proverb that says "the shoemaker’s children go barefoot"? Like all proverbs, it holds a truth that can be adapted to every occasion, to every profession. Plumbers will have a dripping sink, bakers will eat bread from the day before... And how about cooks? They eat bad food, usually, but when you want to eat some delicious food, who’s better than a chef to direct us to a truly delicious, finger licking meal! 

So, I’ve been in Paris for a while and I’m a young cook; I’m just out of one of those hectic weeks when I didn’t have a moment to sit down and enjoy a hot meal. Here comes the well-deserved rest, though. For those in our field, a day off means going to have good food. Paris is the cradle of pre-modern gastronomy and culinary fermentation keeps brewing; even these days, when people speak less and less of French cuisine, food here is a synonym of francité and all that follows is just a take on it.

Back to us. I was saying: I’m  young, Italian and starving and it happens it’s my day off. Where shall I eat? Here’s a list of a few places, not too mainstream, where readers, even non-chefs, will love to go. There’s something to suit everyone’s liking here in Paris. From Oriental to Latin American food, from north to south, you can find everything and quite easily. Paris is a real cosmo-gastronomic city. I recommend 5 places following these categories: bistro, pizza, French classic, street food and oriental. 

Dilia (photo from Le Fooding)

Dilia (photo from Le Fooding)

Modern bistroDilia – Third man for Team Italy in Paris, after Giovanni Passerini [see: Giovanni Passerini e la carica delle neo-osterie and My Italian neo-classicism in Paris) and Simone Tondo (see: Uno spirito libero a Parigi], Michele Farnesi, born in 1987, surprises in Ménilmontant thanks to his intuitions and food cost study. If you drop by at lunchtime, you have to stop. There’s no place where you can pay less than here, for such a high quality menu. In the evening, the chef continues to surprise: 3 tasting menus also for moderate prices. You’ll feel at home in this small Italian corner in the French capital. 

Pizza: Popine – It’s currently one of the most popular Neapolitan pizzerias in Paris. It’s guided by the expert hand of Gennaro Nasti [now also busy with Bijou, see Nasti, quella pizzeria è un Bijou, by Paolo Marchi, plus he was among the speakers at Identità di Pizza within Identità Milano 2017]. He’s taking Neapolitan pizza to new horizons, always focusing on excellent raw materials. I recommend it for the dough, always of the highest standard. If you want to taste wheat, you can’t miss it.

Christophe Philippe, chef at Amarante


Christophe Philippe, chef at Amarante


Classic French cuisine: Amarante – If you remember Ratatouille’s Auguste Gusteau well, you’ll be surprised when you see Christophe Philippe, the chef at this elegant yet laid-back restaurant near Bastille. He’s a big man who dedicated his entire life to food, French food that is, so much so he built his home inside the restaurant! Yes, you got it right: the red door at the far end of the corridor is his home. Like the entire place. If you’re looking for good French food, here you’ll find the classics: foie gras, veal brain, escargot, sweetbreads. All masterfully made. 

Street foodHero – Stop in Strasbourg-Saint Denis. So as to visit the glorious gates, you might ask? No, but to eat some of the best Korean street food in Paris. There’s plenty of fried chicken you can dip into the many sauces prepared in the kitchen... You’ll find it hard to believe in some flavours that are folkloristic to say the least. One of the funniest things of this place, which has very high standards, is the sink in the middle of the restaurant, where you can wash your hands. Go ahead, it’s a place for greasy elbows! 

Oriental cuisineKushikatsu Bon – In Oberkampf the impossible-to-pronounce Asian Kushikatsknfkdl@**... stands out by far. Jokes aside, it’s an excellent Japanese restaurant of the Kaiseki school: many small courses will make the meal. The chef, friendly and attentive, will guide you into his world made of food that he fries à la minute and extravagant pairings with Asian-style beer. A long counter and just one tasting menu. Let him guide you, and don’t forget the chopsticks. 
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Dal Mondo

Reviews, recommendations and trends from the four corners of the planet, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose