Not far from the restaurant George V, Jean-Yves Bath is bringing a lighter, imaginative touch to cooking from his native Auvergne at Bath's, an intimate establishment with goldenrod-colored walls and striking art work. The menu, which garnered its first Michelin star just four months after Bath's opened last October, features such appetizers as ravioli filled with Cantal cheese and an artichoke fricassee garnished with foie gras and braised celery, followed by entrées like lobster cassoulet or beef fillet. Marinated fruit compote, known as confiture de vieux garçon, or pavé au chocolat top off the meal. It's clear why this restaurant has already gained an international following. $170. 9 Rue de la Tremoille, Paris 75008, France; 33-1-40-70-01-09; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A following is something Alain Ducasse, the French emperor of gastronomy, never has to worry about. Now he's sprung another surprise on us: 59 Poincaré, a highly stylized "concept" restaurant featuring simple yet elegant preparations of top-quality, albeit limited, ingredients—beef from Normandy; fresh Canadian lobster; a seasonal selection of vegetables; and a tempting range of desserts using either exotic or local fruits.
Located in the very townhouse where Ducasse used to serve his three-Michelin-star truffle tasting menu (at the restaurant Alain Ducasse), the setting is as unexpected as the fare: Diners at elevated white-marble tables face steel-and-glass food-keepers (garde-mangers) stocked with edibles worthy of a Dutch still life. One must-have dessert: profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce. $120. 59 Avenue Raymond Poincaré, Paris 75116, France; 33-1-47-27-59-59; e-mail: email@example.com.
As if that weren't enough, the world's only six-Michelin-star chef also has a new book, The Provence of Alain Ducasse (Assouline, $45), written with François Simon, food critic for Le Figaro. In search of "the substance and flesh of Provence" and la douceur de vivre (the sweetness of life), Ducasse shares his bonnes adresses—where to find the best foods, wines, hotels, markets, and bakeries. He is a seeker, never giving up until he has found the most perfect tomato, the most superior olive oil, the most golden-crusted pissaladière. Ducasse's restaurant choices alone are worth the price of the book.