Torn between the soup or salad to start?
Can’t decide whether to go for chicken, duck or fish to follow?
If decision-making in restaurants has never been your strong point, then Paris could be your dream destination.
“Monomania” is a venue’s devotion — some may say obsession — to one ingredient.
The movement has taken Paris by storm, with a wave of bars, cafes, restaurants and pop-ups opening where one ingredient or signature dish is the hero — and the diner’s choice suddenly becomes a whole lot easier.
It partly takes its cue from the French love of specialty food shops, while the nation’s dedication to produce from designated origins — AOC or Appellation d’Origine Controlee — is already well known and fiercely protected.
Michelin-starred chefs and cafe owners alike have embraced it, providing a unique window on key ingredients and the multitude of ways in which they can be prepared.
It’s not just French ingredients or dishes.
Caviar, mozzarella and Japanese gyoza all now boast their own unique dining destinations.
Here are just some of the one-track options out there in the City of Light.
Eggs & Co
No prizes for guessing the hero in this cozy Latin Quarter cafe — it’s the humble “oeuf,” in all its forms.
Downstairs is a compact space with wooden beams but the mezzanine upstairs is roomier.
Both are frequently packed with locals and tourists alike from late breakfast (they open at 10 a.m.) through to early evening.
As you’d expect, weekend brunches are packed.
Omelets, scrambled, fried, Benedict, baked in small pots (en cocotte) — you name it, they can do it, accompanied by a mind-boggling array of herbs, vegetables, cheeses, meats and more.
One of France’s most decorated and renowned chefs, with three Michelin stars to his name, Guy Savoy decided to extend his global portfolio of restaurants with a small, casual bar dedicated to oysters.
Located just off the city’s famed Champs Elysees, it features just 16 seats and celebrates bivalves and their producers from around France, including Brittany and the Gironde coast.
L’Huitrade encourages customers to pop in for a quick aperitif, linger for a raw degustation or indeed take some to go.
Other options include oysters in an escabeche (a citrus marinade), or in jelly, a Savoy signature.
Pomze is a restaurant and shop dedicated to the humble apple: “une pomme,” in French.
It tells the story of apples from both a French and international perspective, with every culture celebrating them in their own way.
Or, as they more lyrically put it: “They are like notes for our musical score, like colors for our palette.”
This means that apples star in every single dish and product they serve, from Brittany fish soup with cider, to a salmon tartare, avocado and apple salad.
If you’re hankering for meat, then beef fillet comes with pommeau sauce: a mix of apple juice and Calvados, the famous apple brandy from Normandy.
Souffle, the notoriously difficult-to-master lightly baked dish made from egg yolks, whites and all manner of flavors, is the focus here in the ritzy heart of the city’s 1er arrondissement.
Among the dozens of options on the menu are asparagus, foie gras, morel mushrooms or truffles, alongside more adventurous options like beef bourguignon and the Henri IV with mushrooms and chicken.
Dessert fans need not fret — raspberry, chocolate and liqueur are just some of the sweet options on offer.
You can be pretty sure they won’t collapse as this place has been making them rise effortlessly since 1961.
Maison de la Truffe
Black gold, diamonds or pearls, truffles have been called them all.
The precious, rare and expensive fungus has inspired comparison with the finest gems for centuries and Maison de la Truffe has been serving up endless varieties of them to gourmets since 1932.
Black truffles from France, Spain and Australia and iconic white truffles from Alba, Italy, sit alongside a range of truffled products including oils, honey and pasta.
Diners in its sleek luxury brasseries can enjoy them on a baked potato, in a risotto, omelet or black truffle burger — or indeed on a white truffle pizza.
You can also stock up via its online store: black truffles go at $49 for a 12.5 gram jar.
Le Coq Rico
Le Coq Rico calls itself “the bistro of beautiful birds,” so it’s no great surprise that it celebrates all things feathered.
In its words, “fowl is a world unto itself, its flavor and texture changing depending on the region and the style of farming used.”
As such, roasted chicken is served from a minimum of three different origins, while time-honored classics such as chicken soups and consommes, duck terrines and chicken livers are also on the menu.
Got a big appetite?
Whole birds are cooked with their sides, such as the “famous Bresse Fatted Hen with truffle.”
The sources and terroirs of all its eggs and fowl can be found on the menu.
The restaurant is set to open in New York later this year.
There are few dishes more beloved in France than rillettes, the cardiologist-unfriendly but delicious mix of salted, chopped meat — usually pork — that’s cooked slowly in fat into a pate-like consistency before being spread on bread at room temperature.
Superstar chef Yannick Alleno has added a rillettes bar to his deli celebrating produce from in and around Paris.
Open in the evening, it serves an unusual and beguiling selection including chicken, tuna, goose, vegetables, trout and salmon.
Served in custom-designed jars and consumed on stools at the bar or in the chic bistro, calories don’t come much more stylishly.