While the Right Bank is abuzz with several restaurant openings a week, the Seine-adjacent 5th arrondissement of Paris remains in the background. The northern stretch of the neighborhood is, at times, hard to decipher, with the Tour d’Argent on one end and, a few minutes further, the tourist trap heaven that is Rue de la Huchette. Amidst the brouhaha—and a short walk from Notre Dame—a chef from the Land of the Rising Sun is working wonders.
Undoubtedly, there is a fascination—dare we say a trend—surrounding Japanese chefs in Paris serving ultra-modern cuisine. Atsushi Tanaka, in his Restaurant A.T., belongs to this admirable clique. Trained at Pierre Gagnaire in Tokyo, Tanaka now lets his inspiration fly in Paris, not restraining himself to either nation, offering a delicate and creative take on cooking. Seafood and fish are in the spotlight, as is often the case with Japanese chefs, and paired adeptly with spices, flora, and seasonal vegetables. At A.T., it’s all about trusting the chef. Dinner is a formal affair, with a tasting menu and artful wine pairings. For a less onerous and more laid-back option, several lunch menus give diners the opportunity to taste the world of Tanaka at the price of a mid-range brasserie. Sorry, Right Bank: the Left still knows how to bring its A(T) game.
4 rue du Cardinal Lemoine
Métro Cardinal Lemoine (10)
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 7pm-2am