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Wednesday
Jan032007

Caméléon

Le Caméléon
6, rue de Chevreuse, 6th
Tel 01 43 27 43 27
M° Vavin

Cameleon2.jpg

I ate here in November with Laura of Cucina Testa Rossa (in the fabulous gold and red scarf), just a week after it officially opened. It’s on the same street as my old art school, Academie de la Grande Chevreuse, so I was automatically all nostalgic. But this upscale, contemporary bistro is a breath of fresh air in this dusty old district near Luxembourg Gardens (the bottom of the 6th close to Montparnasse). The décor is minimalist, with wooden floors, white table cloths, huge picture windows and red and orange velour-covered seats. At the entrance is a beautiful zinc bar, which clashes somewhat with the flat-screen TV showing fashion and design shows.

 Cameleon1.jpg
Our exquisite main dishes...I had the pork, Laura tried the fish.

 
The animated gentleman greeting everyone and orchestrating the seating is owner Jean-Paul Arabian, a boisterous Parisian character who welcomes everyone as if into his own home. The food is deceptively simple and unfussy, made with the finest, fresh seasonal ingredients. I absolutely adored my pork chop with baby carrots, and the pain perdu with fig dessert.

 Cameleon3.jpg
I could have eaten my weight in this dessert...yum!

 

With a glass of wine the bill was just about €30 for lunch. Count on €45 for dinner. If you sit in the main dining room, you get to watch the chefs in the kitchen through the window. Seating by the bar seems like it would be a bad idea in winter with the door opening and closing. Reservations ideal.

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Reader Comments (4)

What a coincidence that you reviewed this new restaurant. Dined with Parisian friends during my last visit in November and it is just as you have mentioned. It was delightful! Sat in the main dining room and watched the preparations in the kitchen. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. I had a duck dish with the freshest, good tasting vegetables. I will eat there again the next time I'm in Paris!
January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLilia Dignan
Just FYI, this restaurant may have just remodeled when you visited it in November 2006, but it certainly was not opening for the first time. Sounded interesting so I Googled it and found a New York Times review from 1988!

Love your web site Heather!
February 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel
Would this "dusty old district" be changing ? A new boutique hotel opened one month ago across the Cameleon with the most surprising façade I have ever seen in Paris... You should go and have a look. Besides, the Cameleon, is still a wonderfull restaurant, with to my opinion the best food you can have in the area.
December 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel
Cameleon is the hottest restaurant in Paris. Jean Paul Arabian has just created his website. Have a look at http://cameleonjeanpaularabianparis.com
June 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterorso

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