Autentico Italiano© by John Axelrod Contact

where to find the best italian food outside Italy

L'Osteria, Paris

One of the most romantic places in Paris is the Place des Vosges. At night, without the crowds in the garden, the square, originally built as the Place Royal under Henri IV, still resembles its former era. The statue of Louis XIII, for whom the Place des Vosges was inaugurated, is placed in the center, with Louis eloquently dressed on his horse, surveying the Baroque splendor. The architecture and the manicured trees, surrounded by sumptuous 17th century apartments, is a sanctuary of civilized beauty.

Only steps away from this precious park is an even more secret beauty: L'Osteria.

Imagine only 10 tables, homemade kitchen, simple cutlery and a menu on a chalkboard. That's it. The truth of this autentico italiano restaurant is its honesty. While the Place des Vosges might have been made for the aristocracy's sake, as no royal person ever lived there, in l'Osteria, you get what you ask for. Others appreciate it too as there is often a line to get in. What do you get?

A light and juicy saltimbocca, a creamy gnocchi gorgonzola, tender San Daniele Prosciutto served with aged parmesan and 25 year balsamico. Pasta is all homemade. The ragu of vitello on the tagliatelle was divine. The Branzino was fresh and lightly crusted. Even the contorni, from an eggplant camponata to artichokes in oil to minted carrots to spinach with oil and garlic could have been meals unto themselves. The final sweet dolce was a classic tiramisu, with enough chocolate sprinkles to make me even happier.

Sharing this wonderful meal with someone special is like walking through the Place des Vosges with that same someone. After walking arm and arm, there is nothing like looking eye to eye over a glass of chianti. That it happened to be an Ornellaia only made it even better. L'Osteria is one for the memories.

10 Rue de Sévigné  75004 Paris, France
+33 1 42 71 37 08