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Café Constant, Paris

139 Rue St. Dominique
France 75007
Tel: 33 1 47 53 73 34
Metro: École Militaire's insider take:

Formerly the executive chef of Les Ambassadeurs, Christian Constant has spun his well-earned celebrity into a mini empire of four restaurants, located practically side by side on Rue St. Dominique, near the Eiffel Tower. His establishments range from the pricey, high-design Le Violon d'Ingres (33-1-45-55-15-05; to this unassuming corner café. And they all turn out some of the best food you'll eat in Paris. Café Constant's market-based menu is ever-changing, but the neighborhood regulars seated cheek by jowl on bentwood bistro chairs or burgundy-colored banquettes might be tucking into, for example, house-made foie gras terrines, roasted Bresse chicken, crispy phyllo purses stuffed with shrimp and basil, or plump chocolate dumplings. The wines are affordable—try the flinty Quincy from Philippe Portier or inky Côtes du Rhône from Perrin—and the weekday prix-fixe lunch is an excellent value at about $30. Reservations are not accepted, but if you arrive at noon for lunch, or 7:30 pm for dinner, you probably won't have to wait. Once installed, you can relax: Service is swift yet startlingly courteous, and the staff doesn't rush to turn tables.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays noon to 2:30 pm and 7:30 to 10:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.