The Place : Part tapas bar, part izakaya (the Japanese equivalent of a bistro), Otto brings a burst of energy to the long-neglected Mouffetard district, which has been dominated by touristy addresses for too long. Whether at the bar or around the central kitchen counter, patrons come to test their elbow lifting skills as well as their fork skills. Behind this minimalist and festive establishment hides a trio: friends Stéphane Offner and Tony Alvarez-Parage, who have teamed up with Eric Trochon, a MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) and Michelin-starred chef from Solstice located nearby. Good to know: for groups of friends, there is a large table available in the downstairs area.
The Plates : Creative dishes are announced on bits of paper displayed all over the place and prepared on the spot in front of diners. The highlight? Raw cooking on Japanese binchotan charcoal and masterfully crafted condiments. A feast is guaranteed with meats, fish, and vegetables that burst with flavor according to the seasons: garlic butter razor clams (€10), chimichurri flank steak (€14), sweet potato and hazelnut fritters (€9), teriyaki chicken skewers (€13), grilled sea bream (€14), roasted butternut squash with creamy cauliflower (€9)... It's so delicious that you won't really want to share these little wonders that arrive in no particular order!
Drinks : While Otto is open for lunch with a great €19 set menu, the evening is still the best time to gather at Otto for a selection of French wines that are natural, organic, or biodynamic, carefully curated. When it comes to wine, you can eye a Larzac terrace from Domaine du Pas de l'Escalette (€10 per glass), or a white wine from Southwest France, Domaine de la Pierre Levée (€9 per glass). Feeling adventurous? Why not try a sake (€14 to €16 per glass) for a new taste sensation?
Otto, 5 rue Mouffetard, Paris 5th. Open every day from 12pm to 2am. No reservations.