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It's hard not to be excited by Le Chateaubriand. It is effortlessly cool, understated yet accomplished, democratic, affordable and, perhaps most importantly, fun. Its lack of airs and graces – hard chairs and bare tables, the take-it-or-leave-it five-course fixed-price menu and the championing of natural wines – is not to everyone's tastes, but Le Chateaubriand doesn't really care. The restaurant has great price per head for a top 10 Restaurant in the world at around 60 Euro per head.

Menu Gourmet says that the Chef Inaki Aizpitarte is an acclaimed leader of the so called bistronomy movement, born in Besançon from Spanish relatives fleeing from Franco dictatorship, when 18, orphan of his father, he quit his high school with empty pockets.

He played then different jobs: stone carver, landscape painter in Dax with his uncle and finally oenology student for 5 years in Bordeaux. Later he flew to Tel Aviv to work as a dishwasher in a Serbian restaurant, where he learns all the bases to build up his real job.

Back in France, the consecration: chef de partie of at Café des Délices, owned by Gilles Choukroun, Omnivore’s ubiquitous chef beur . Then, the La Famille bistrot, a controversial center of innovations in Montmartre where he got noticed by many. In 2005 he started working as a chef at Transversal, the Mac/Val, Vitry-sur-Seine’ s museum of contemporary art but one years later he was already employed by his friend Frédéric Peneau, who just purchased Chateaubriand, a bistrot with a Thirties design that he had stepped in accidentally. That was a fate move.

Travel lover, from Asia to Centre America passing through Middle East, Inaki is a self-taught chef following instinct, fantasy and improvisation on a menu that changes every day. Freshness, simplicity and most of all the freedom of a nonconformist, gipsy and clandestine style, paint him has a maître à penser on the French scene. «I strive to create alive recipes, which at first clash but then meet together well», he says illustrating this scheme of contrasts that dissolve in time.

In the meantime his family went back to Bask countries where Inaki himself always flees whenever he can. For gastronomic purposes, to tell it all: «My mother cooks simply and well, a style that always inspires me», he says running through the anamnesis of his culinary virus.

The New Yourk Times has a great review for the resturant.

Inaki Aizpitarte, the rock-star chef of this restaurant, speaks another dialect entirely. In his case, it’s Basque: strong, palate-rousing flavours and brash presentations that smack of the art student. Whether a particular dish resembles Action Art or naturalism, everything is expertly, calculatedly off-the-cuff.

The self-taught chef made his name at La Famille, a boho Montmartre spot, with an intellectual approach that sometimes bordered on painful. Happily, now that he’s moved to the 11th Arrondissement he’s eschewed such gimmickry in favor of the raw and the sous vide. It’s gutsy food, and he doesn’t care if you like it: he’s full every night anyway. (The trick is to have an early nibble, then show up, say, at 10, for the second seating, for which they don’t take reservations.)

I also like the Greedy Diva review here:

I'm calling it early. Without fear of regret or revision. Set it in stone now. With 10.5 months remaining on the 2010 dining calendar, "Meal of the Year" can be safely declared. There has been, for some time, much banter about an apparent "crisis" in French cooking and a declining French food culture. However, Le Chateaubriand is rock solid proof that brilliance still flourishes in the kitchens of Paris. Its non-descript facade, in a part of the 11th arrondissement that I would never otherwise have cause to visit, belies the furtive, bustling, new wave French bistro that is Le Chateaubriand.


So there you have it: GD's meal of the year. Given the adventurous and varied combinations adopted, this type of fare may certainly be hit or miss. But, given what I've evidenced of the mind at work here, I trust that there'll be many more hits than misses for me. Bold, classic and contemporary all at once, Le Chateaubriand is one of those places that will likely never get boring - it will certainly have a regular place on the fixture in all my future escapes to Paris. Le Chateaubriand, you have won yourself a loyal friend.

Here is also a good one here with good photographs:

Interview by RedVisitor ( & Andrea Petrini (Food Critic) is below where As one of the world's most exciting & talented youngchefs, Inaki Aizpitarte speaks candidly with food critic Andrea Petrini about the phenomenal success of his restaurant, Le Chateaubriand, about taking risks in the kitchen, along with his favourite places to eat in Paris.

Contact Details:

Address: 129 Avenue Parmentier, Paris 75011, France
Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 57 45 95

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