1 rue Charlemagne, Paris
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We’ll forgive the ‘90s decor—inexplicable modern art, stonewashed walls, etc.—because the food itself at Substance is representative of today. The degustation menu, which changes seasonally, does have two standout signatures: the amuse bouche bowl of whipped potatoes and runny cancoillotte cheese topped with trout eggs, and the Apology for Excess palate cleanser served on a ceramic plate that looks like a paw print. Each of its finger pads feature one of four dollops of quintessential flavor profiles—fat, spicy, sweet, and tart—used to create the main bite itself: a sharp, creamy lemon tarte. The three-course lunch is €62 and the five-course dinner is €100.

Despite its location in the posh and otherwise quiet 16th arrondissement, it’s a great destination pre- or post-visit to Place du Trocadéro for viewing the Eiffel Tower, or the nearby fashion houses and museum expos of YSL or Dior. 

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