Vive Restaurant in Paris

Christine Drinan, Founder

You’re on the circuit of Girafe, L’Avenue and Loulou. You have a standing table at Matignon (and dance on it too). In fact, you can walk into the Hotel Costes, no reservation, and get the best seat in the house. (Here’s looking at you, Ubah Hassan). Well, Vive, Maison Mer restaurant in Paris is none of that. In fact, it’s completely opposite of scene, where you are at Vive to experience the food. By some accounts, Vive restaurant in Paris is some of the best seafood in town. This is the review of famed chef Stephanie Le Quellec’s collaboration with her husband David, where he does most of the cooking.

Atmosphere

Vive restaurant in Paris for me represents the modern Parisian bistro. It looks high style on the website, but the reality is that it’s a casual neighborhood spot. Yes the decor is elevated with orange patterned banquets, velvet banquets and clean modern wooden tables. It vibes more though like an elegant version of abcV in New York, where scene is a far second to food.

There’s barely a lick of English spoken and no English menu, so the American tourist riff raff isn’t around. Instead you have elegant French locals enjoying their favorite seafood restaurant in Paris. Downstairs is more casual with a communal bar to grab a bite and 8-10 tables. The upstairs is more stylish and as it gets closer to the weekend, tables are packed with local French foodies.

Food + Wine

Nowadays where Paris is 90% scene of restaurant, Vive restaurant in Paris is in the 10% that’s about the food. David Le Quellec, whose wife is famed 2-star Michelin awarded chef Stephanie, helms the kitchen at Vive. The restaurant is an ode to his Bretagne roots of seafood and fish by the sea. In other words, the menu is a pescatarian’s dream.

It’s About the Food

I have to admit lately I’ve been guilty of being on the scene circuit in Paris. My visits are so short and I have plenty of friends and work dinners, so we end up at the trendiest restaurants in town. It’s one of the reasons why I love Paris so much. However, Vive restaurant in Paris reminded me that you can come to Paris to really eat. The seafood and fish were at a quality level that I can’t get in New York. The execution of each dish especially in the sauces was next level.

Signature Dishes

They were sadly out of the scallops and dover sole, which are the dishes to have at Vive. However, we more than made do with daurade au tartare and the hot ceviche. As the waiter put it, we could get sashimi anywhere, but these were specialities of the house. The hot ceviche especially was unique, as they poured a beautiful hot broth over fresh pieces of bass.  It was just perfection.

I’ll Take the Sauce

We also had a beautiful whole red mullet, which is usually not my thing, but the sauce was a broth that I’ve never tasted before. I had two pieces of bread just to mop it up. The roasted leek with a cream sauce of baby clams put me into the food nirvana. The cauliflower was also a standout, roasted with another light cream sauce. What I loved most about the restaurant was that it didn’t pound you with heaviness like traditional French cooking. Instead everything was so light, clean and flavorful, even if it did have a touch of cream. It took me until the next day to process how creative and well-executed the food was, and I will definitely go back.

Service

The team could not have been more welcoming to two Americans who were the only foreigners in the house. Considering that the restaurant was full of regulars there could have been loads of attitude but it was nothing but love. The service was flawlessly French but modern in the sense that it was approachable. There is no English menu, so for non-French speakers it could be daunting. However the waiter was genuinely helpful and gave all the right recommendations. We originally ordered a lot more food but he set us on the right path.

Overall: 7.5/10

I would go back with a group of French local friends on a Thursday or Friday in a heartbeat. Vive restaurant in Paris is a place you enjoy your company and the excellent food.

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FAQs

Q: What are the hours of operation of Vive restaurant in Paris?

A: The hours of operation of Vive restaurant in Paris are as follows:

Tuesday
  • 12–1:30 PM
  • 7–9:30 PM
Wednesday
  • 12–1:30 PM
  • 7–9:30 PM
Thursday
  • 12–1:30 PM
  • 7–9:30 PM
Friday
  • 12–1:30 PM
  • 7–10 PM
Saturday
  • 7–10 PM
Sunday
  • Closed
Monday
  • 7–9:30 PM

Q: What kind of food does Vive restaurant in Paris serve?

A: Vive restaurant in Paris serves elegant seafood, and by some accounts is one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in Paris.

Q: What is the atmosphere of Vive restaurant in Paris?

A: Vive restaurant in Paris is elegantly casual, local and effortless. You can arrive in jeans and nice sneakers and blend in with the locals.

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