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L'Épi Dupin, 6th Arr.

Champigny-sur-Marne, France, Europe: The dining room at L'Epi Dupin
11 Rue Dupin
France 75006
Tel: 33 1 42 22 64 56
Metro: Sèvres-Babylone's insider take:

Chef François Pasteau's market-based, creative cuisine served in a neighborhood-style setting was revolutionary for the mid-1990s. Now it has become the norm, yet few chefs do it better, and the popularity of this far-from-new neo-bistro continues unabated. Pasteau favors sweet, mildly spicy combinations for his ever-changing menu. For a starter, there might be a beef mille-feuille paired with chutney, ginger-perfumed zucchini, and a shellfish coulis for balance. The five main-course options may include skate with slow-cooked orange- and coriander-spiked fennel, sautéed scallops with meltingly tender leeks in citrus vinaigrette, or a spiced skirt steak in a rich red-wine sauce. Desserts range from house-made gingerbread with orange marmalade and basil sorbet, to roasted peaches, to plum crumble. The location is convenient (Le Bon Marché is half a block away); the food is affordable (a dinner prix-fixe is about $45); and the markups on the short, well-chosen wine list are reasonable (try a glass of the peachy house organic white from the Armagnac region). There are, however, drawbacks to the compact dining room: The faux wooden tables and plastic chairs could be in a 24/7 diner, and the decibel level reflects the elbow-to-elbow crowding (as well as contentment). Reserve at least a week ahead, and request the second seating for lunch or dinner and a corner table.

Open Mondays 7 to 11 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays noon to 3 pm and 7 to 11 pm.

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