When it comes to prioritizing where to eat, Michelin stars are only one factor of many to consider. But sometimes, when a single city or country receives such an overwhelmingly gushing nod from the fine dining guide, it is impossible not to take notice. This year, that distinction went to France, which welcomed a stunning 75 newly-starred restaurants. Without a doubt, France’s dining game is as robust as ever––in Paris and beyond. Here are a few highlights for 2019 for the food travelers ready to make reservations.
Chef Mauro Colagreco’s restaurant, which is set at the foot of the mountains on France’s southeastern border, was one of two French restaurants to receive three stars this year (the other being Le Clos des Sens in Annecy-Le-Vieux). The spacious dining room boasts a panoramic view of the sea and the menu follows suit with a daily-evolving list that utilizes the daily catch from local fisherman.
Colagreco’s cuisine, which is informed by his Italian-Argentinian heritage, also draws heavily from vegetables grown in the restaurant’s own gardens, meat and dairy from local farmers, and wild mushrooms and other fruits and plants gathered in the nearby mountains. 30 Avenue Aristide Briand; 33-4/9241-8686
Located in the chic Royal Champagne hotel (45 minutes from Paris by train) and surrounded by stunning, UNESCO-certified vineyards, chef Jean-Denis Rieubland’s contemporary fine dining spot received its first star this year. The menu at Le Royal is categorized by land and sea. The oceanside offerings include dishes like turbot with seaweed butter and filet of sole with truffle, leeks, and vitelote chips. The terroir section, meanwhile, features veal sweetbreads stuffed with chorizo and beef fillet with nori leaves and white port sauce.
For dessert, expect a bevy of sweets like blood orange baba with rose champagne and Iranian black lemon or Guanaja’s 70% chocolate swirls with espelette pepper and cacao sorbet. 9 rue de la Republique; 33-3/2652-8711
The Left Bank’s intimate restaurant has made an outsized impact on Paris’ dining scene since opening in 2013. This year, chef Toutain was awarded his second Michelin star for his inventive cuisine, which is rooted in his French farm upbringing. The vegetable-forward dinner tasting menus are whimsically named “Queen of the Meadows” and “Poppy.” Both options highlight seasonality, like with a vegetable risotto with celery root, crispy spelt, and raw chestnut, lamb with chanterelles, or an elegant cod dish offset with bright dots of beetroot puree. 29 rue Surcouf; 33-1/4550-1110
Set in the luxury Le Prince de Galles Hotel and helmed by chef Stephanie Le Quellec, this refined French restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars this year. The light-drenched space is filled with marble and wood, giving it an elegant, yet unstuffy, feel. The a la carte menu changes according to seasonal availability, but features artful compositions of fish and shellfish sourced from the Mediterranean sea and North-East Atlantic, produce, fowl, and meat.
Expect updated French classics like frogs legs seasoned with green cardamom, roasted sweetbreads with house-made harissa and truffle quinoa, or wild Colvert duck inside puff pastry with celeriac and barberry 33 Avenue George V; 33-1/5323-7777
Chef Julia Sedefdjian’s contemporary French restaurant, located in Paris’ fifth arrondissement, received its first star in 2019. At only 24, Sedefdjian is now the youngest French starred chef––and for good reason. Her playful menu offers delights like crispy egg yolk with haddock, caramelized pork breast with mashed celeriac, and seabream tartare with lemongrass broth. The pastry selection, meanwhile, includes poached clementine with titmut pepper sorbet, fennel shortbread with lemon whipped cream, and cider-lacquered pears with chestnut whipped cream and apple sorbet. 5 rue de Pontoise; 33-1/4202-5919