Franco-American Small Plates Near the Louvre at Ellsworth

People always want the butter and the money from the butter. (That’s what the French say for “have your cake and eat it too.”) But no matter how you slice it (OK, OK, I’ll drop the food idioms…) it’s true: one of the most frequent questions I get as a tour guide in Paris is: “Where can we get a good meal around here?” And “around here” is always the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame… basically, tourist trap heaven.

While most of the time, I counsel people to venture as far away from “around here” as possible, I do have a handful of recommendations for places near the main tourist haunts, and Ellsworth is one of them. An easy 10-minute walk from the Louvre (leave via the Richelieu gate), Ellsworth is the casual little sibling of Verjus – a more elaborate restaurant from American husband-and-wife team Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian.

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The cuisine at Ellsworth is modern, ingredient-driven, and just a little bit American. (Or a lot, if you go for the fried chicken, which first became famous at Verjus and is non-negotiable no matter what else you order). But that’s no reason to steer clear of this haunt, which has become a staple in Paris. French products still drives the menu – seasonal asparagus, fresh summer tomatoes, rich Norman cream – with a few things borrowed from nearby nations, like Italian burrata.

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There are no appetizers and mains, but rather a regularly rotating list of about ten savory dishes and three sweet, all of which are designed to be shared.

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Quite a few options are vegetarian, which I always love: this asparagus was perfectly cooked with a bright, floral aroma.

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And in keeping with the tradition of Verjus, there is a great list of wines by the glass too.

While reservations aren’t required, this place is rather small, so I’d recommend you make one. It’s easy to do via their website, which you can also let them know about any allergies in advance (a major plus, since while the waitstaff all speaks fairly good English, it’s always nice to make sure that people really know what it is you’re allergic to).

Ellsworth – 34 Rue de Richelieu, 75001

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