Caméléon
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Heather Stimmler-Hall in 6th arrondissement, Contemporary, Dining €30-€50

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Article originally appeared on The only authentic insider guide to Paris. (http://www.secretsofparis.com/).
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