Caméléon d’Arabian

Jean-Paul Arabian has been running Michelin-starred Paris restaurants like Ledoyen and celebrity haunts like Maxim’s for over forty years. I missed those experiences so I was delighted when I received a call inviting me to lunch at Caméléon d’Arabian a Montparnasse favorite of locals for nine years.


cam 1 

Jean-Paul Arabian has been running Michelin-starred Paris restaurants like Ledoyen and celebrity haunts like Maxim’s for over forty years. I missed those experiences so I was delighted when I received a call inviting me to lunch at Caméléon d’Arabian a Montparnasse favorite of locals for nine years.

Being two guys of Mediterranean temperament it took only moments for us to embrace over coupes of champagne.

The new chef and the old chef were working together prior to a two week break when a guest chef from Rome will be preparing Italian recipes and a one week closure until the re-opening on August 25.

The signature foie de veau was everything it promised: slightly firm exterior with a velvety center accompanied by a superb macaroni and cheese that had been finished under the broiler to add crunch.

cam 2

M’s Milk-fed roast lamb was perfectly pink in the center and simply superb as were the stuffed artichokes with basil and garlic.

cam 3
Being the consummate host Jean-Paul introduced us to two of his regulars, Bertrand and Guy, from the illustrious publishing house Albin-Michel.

At the conclusion of our meal we were commandeered to join them and share an aged calvados.


cam 4
New chef Rémi Poulain perfected his craft at Pierre Gagnaire, Laurent and La Tour D’Argent. His arrival at Caméléon bodes well for this local favorite. He and the always ebullient and welcoming owner, Jean-Paul Arabian, have wisely kept the signature foie de veau  and other favorites on the menu, while gradually blending in new creations.

On a recent Saturday evening, accompanied by M, Claire and Karen, we joined a packed house for a festive evening that began with foie gras de canard and razor clams stuffed with chopped vegetables and persillade.

The women continued with sautéed sea bass with artichokes and buttery baby peas that elicited lots of oohs and aahs.

The pink Challans duck breast was served with well done legs, turnips and cassis preserves-very rich and very filling.

cam 5

We were all intrigued by Chef Poulain’s riff on the classic profiterolle: caramelized chopped apples with vanilla ice dream and buerre salé that could make a desert eater out of me.

cam 6

My friend Bob Glaser had been salivating over my description of the foie de veau so we me for lunch and after a flute of champagne from Jean-Paul we tested Chef Poulain’s version of the liver classic and I found it be even better than the original. Equally up to snuff was the mac and cheese.

Caméléon Arabian is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots for excellent food in a lovely environment and the always charming host who makes you feel at home.

Caméléon d’Arabian

6, rue de Chevreuse
Paris 75006
M° Vavin – Ligne 4

01 43 27 43 27

The Paris Insider Newsletter

THE PARIS INSIDER family of weekly newsletters,Including THE PARIS INSIDER (Tuesday,) THE PARIS READERS CIRCLE (Wednesday,) THE PARIS WEEKENDER (Thursday,) and THE PARIS INTERVIEW (Friday) offer freshly written reviews about restaurants, museums, books, events, showings and what's on in Paris. Arriving at 9:15 AM Pacific Time you'll receive all of this plus tips on excursions to the surrounding regions from Champagne to the Loire Valley and much more. Thank you for subscribing.

Bistros

icon bistro

No one should have a bad meal in Paris! Whether a 2-star restaurant or a local bistro there should always be an excellent rapport qualité prix– relationship between price and quality. At my favorites you will be treated as a regular and have a satisfying experience. Just tell them  “Terrance sent you.”

Events

icon events

Regularly scheduled literary salons with guest writers, private dinners, restaurant openings, wine tastings,market visits and cooking classes attract a discerning, sophisticated crowd who love to have a good time while they learn. Our cadre of Paris–based colleagues happily share their passion for this magical city.