Travel Spotlight

Paris Update: Spring Picks

Spring’s warmer weather is encouraging Parisians to explore the city’s best new openings, from reopened museums to hot spot restaurants from beloved chefs. Ever the on-trend city, Paris also welcomes several new boutiques and a fashion-forward museum. One springtime must: a pre-packed picnic from the folks behind English bookstore Shakespeare & Company. Read on for more of the season’s most exciting newcomers.

Dining Newcomers

Clown Bar, Jerome Galland

Clown Bar, Jerome Galland
Best for casually elevated fare: La Bourse et La Vie

This upscale bistro—featuring a brocante décor that mixes 19th-century mirrors with 1960s-style globe light fixtures—was taken over by French-trained American chef Daniel Rose (of Spring) in the fall of 2015. Complementing the dining room’s classic charm, Rose’s menu features French staples like pot-au-feu and oysters gratinée.

Best for a prix-fixe affair: Le Grand Restaurant Following the opening of his neighborhood restaurant Clover, Jean-François Piège opened this more upscale venture, which has already been awarded two Michelin stars. Le Grand is a stylish affair that serves haute cuisine in a dramatic, modern setting. The prix-fixe menus are symphonies of French gastronomy, heavy on classic dishes like sweetbreads and blue lobster.

Best for a quick break: Shakespeare and Company Café In 2015, beloved English language bookstore Shakespeare and Company opened a café in its long-vacant adjacent storefront. Enjoy a variety of savory (mostly vegetarian) and sweet treats (the best are the baked goods by Bob's Bakeshop) at indoor or outdoor tables while reading your latest purchase. Starting in spring 2016, the café will offer ready-made picnic baskets for Seine-side eating.

Best for a raw bar: Clamato This oyster bar by Bertrand Grebaut of Septime fame serves refined seafood dishes in a lively yet relaxed setting. Clamato’s small plates menu changes daily; the rustic, understated décor is unpretentious and welcoming; the wine list, which features natural and biodynamic wines from boutique producers, is well-selected; and the service is friendly.

Best for a unique environment: Clown Bar Located next to Cirque d’Hiver, Clown Bar is known as much for its stellar wine list and dishes as it is for its history—the refurbished space was the former communal dining spot for the clowns from the circus. The décor now includes a circus-themed glass ceiling, a wall of tiles from Sarreguemines (once one of France’s great ceramics towns) and a frieze of clowns behind its original zinc bar. The short, seasonal menu changes frequently and focuses on small plates.

Shopping Hot Spots


Known as the inventor of the bias cut, French designer Madeleine Vionnet freed women from stays and corsets in the early 20th century with her Grecian-inspired draped gowns. Now, more than one hundred years later, the historic maison is back in the limelight with a new Paris flagship.

Gripoix Famous for creating ornate glass baubles worn by icons like Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin, Gripoix has made waves with current French tastemakers through collaborations with Dior and Louis Vuitton. In 2015 the brand opened a boutique in the tony Place des Victoires. Here you will find minimalist Art Deco–inspired pieces made using the traditional process of molding molten glass that put Gripoix on the map.

Museum News

Palais Galleria, Pierre Antoine

Palais Galleria, Pierre Antoine
Musée de l'Homme

After an extensive five-year renovation, Paris’s anthropological museum reopened in the fall of 2015 to great fanfare. A new installation focuses on the global evolution of humanity, and the museum’s restaurant gives yet another reason to head over to the Trocadéro. Le Café de l’Homme offers a sophisticated dining experience amidst white marble tables, green velvet banquettes and views of the Eiffel Tower.

Musée du Parfum Fragonard In the fall of 2015, the famous perfumer reopened its musée du parfum after a complete renovation. Housed in a 19th-century theater near the Opéra Garnier, Fragonard’s small, dense permanent exhibition traces 3,000 years of perfume history. You will find everything from information about the fabrication of scents to displays of gorgeous decanters, the oldest of which date back to ancient Egypt.

Palais Galleria Located directly across the street from the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d'Art Moderne, this Beaux Arts museum has been attracting fashion and art lovers alike. Well-curated exhibitions range from the exquisite wardrobe of the Countess Greffulhe (Proust's muse) to "The 50s," which featured stunning pieces from French fashion’s golden age designers including Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy.

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