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A Knight in Shining Armour

April 16, 2015
Le Sergent Recruteur

Once upon a time, on the ever-attractive Île Saint-Louis, there stood a sorry-looking tourist trap. This tavern of iniquity, proffering warm beers and cynical service to bus-loads of monument-weary sightseers, had for too long failed to fulfill its potential as one of the islet’s premier destinations. However, after what seemed like an eternity, the 600-year-old building was finally rescued from its mediocre fate by a heroic band of restaurateurs who transformed Le Sergent Recruteur into a cosmopolitan contempo resto, worthy of a top spot on Paris’ esteemed culinary scene.

Contrary to the medieval facade, the interiors are bright, light and modern; whitewashed beams and exposed stonework contrast with sleek marble counters and smooth, rounded contours, all courtesy of Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon. However, the piece de resistance has to be chef Antonin Bonnet’s Mich-starred fare – when the produce is this market-fresh, menus prove superfluous. Every day, the kitchen whips up six- or ten-courses, according to availability of ingredients and diners’ tastes. Past highlights have included tender veal dishes, melt-in-the-mouth John Dory and a spectacular savoury pithivier, all of which confirm the city’s reputation as a gastronomic force to be reckoned with. A veritable knight in shining armour.

41 rue Saint-Louis en Île, 4th / +33 1 43 54 75 42 / lunch Fri-Sat, dinner Tue-Sat /