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7, quai de Bourbon, 4th. Metro Pont-Marie.
Open : Tue-Sat noon-2pm, 8-10pm. Average : 120 Euros. Credit : Amex, DC, MC, V.

If you love french cuisine at its most refined but dread the stuffiness of many haute cuisine establishments, Hiramatsu offers an alternative. the setting alone - a small, luminous modern dining room on the ile saint louis - tells you that this restaurant run by Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, hailed as a japanese Alain Ducasse, is different. Hiramatsu is clearly in love with french produce : among the starters on his summer menu were foie gras with truffle sauce and cabbage, creme de grenouille on a truffle feuilletté, and snail fricassée on a mushroom millefeuille, a typical main course is Bresse chicken breast served with its caramelised liver, pan-fried oysters and spinach. Ordering from a 50 euros lunch menu that has since been a casualty of restaurant inflation, we tasted pan fried foie gras on a bed of stunning lemon grass infused aubergine confit, and salmon in a delicate consommé flavoured with orange flower water, served with a tiny dice of provençal vegetable and grapefruit. Citrus appeared again in dessert, a small orange flavoured cake with coffee granita. Though apparently simple, all of these dishes showed chef Hajime Nakagawa's total mastery of technique : just as professional were the friendly staff, who were happy to explain Hiramatsu's approach to food. Carbohydrates are apparently not his thing, so for better or worse, you're unlikely to leave feeling stuffed.
1st Arrondissement : Le Grand Vefour
1st Arrondissement : Le Carré des Feuillants
1er Arrondissement : L'Espadon
2nd Arrondissement : Le Vaudeville
4th Arrondissement : Hiramatsu
4th Arrondissement : L'Ambroisie
5th Arrondissement : La Tour d'Argent
7th Arrondissement : Le Jules Verne

8th Arrondissement : La Brasserie Lorraine
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8th Arrondissement : Ledoyen
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17th Arrondissement : Guy Savoy

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