The 8th arrondissement is popular with visitors to Paris because of its boutiques, museums and many hotels, but high rents make it a rarely chosen location for a young chef going out on his or her own.
This is why chef Julien Boscus’s excellent new restaurant, Origines, is such a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. Just steps from the Champs-Élysées, this very attractive and quiet (they installed an acoustic ceiling) street-corner restaurant with large picture windows was designed by architect Caroline Tissier, and it’s a comfortable and welcoming dining room with widely spaced tables, a sleek modern décor and indigo walls.
Boscus, a native of the Aveyron, previously won a Michelin star at Les Climats near the Musée d’Orsay on the Left Bank, and is a gifted chef with impeccable technical skills and a talent for creating dishes with contrasting flavours and textures.
His regularly evolving menu follows the seasons and showcases as much local produce as possible. A delicious example during a recent dinner here was his starter of cep mushrooms with coffee mousse, foie gras and walnut oil, which vividly brought autumn to the table. “Sea Wind”, another starter, is a similarly refined and subtle composition of bluefish, mussels, razor-shell clams, cockles and pickled vegetables in ponzu sauce.
Excellent main meals included Scottish grouse with Chasselas grapes and a whisky-spiked sauce, and Basque veal with sweet onions from the Cévennes.
Desserts are refreshingly light, too, such as Solliès figs with gavotte biscuits filled with whipped ricotta and garnished with an olive-oil ice cream.
Service from the young team here is motivated and charming, and the brilliant young sommelière pours a great selection of wines by the glass, too. This address is just as perfect for a romantic tête-à-tête as for a business meal.
6 rue de Ponthieu, 75008 Paris
Tel. 09-86-41-63-03-14, origines-restaurant.com
From France Today magazine