Italians Do It Better
If you really want to know where the wild things are, go to dinner at Pink Mamma, the hugely popular new Italian restaurant in a beautifully renovated former hospital in the frisky Pigalle neighbourhood. Spread across four floors, this lively but romantic restaurant also includes a speakeasy-style bar named No Entry in its basement and a gorgeous glassed walled dining room on the top floor with great views over the neighbourhood. If a variety of pastas and pizzas are both on the menu here, the specialty is charcoal-grilled beef, which comes with sides like cheese polenta, sautéed baby spinach, corn or green salad. Those who prefer seafood will also find grilled octopus on the menu, and the best way to begin here is with a couple of the sharing plates, maybe arancini (breaded deep-fried rice balls), some stracciatella (the creamy middle of burrata cheese smoked) and some Parma ham that’s aged for two years. Next, the Sardinian fregola pasta with baby squid is delicious, or share a pizza, the puckish named Regina (Queen) de la Night is topped with mozzarella, Tuscan ham, Portobello mushrooms and olives. Portions are generous here, but if you still want dessert, the panna cotta with peach compote with lavender is original and refreshing. Pink Mamma is open daily, though note that it has a no reservations policy, so go early to avoid a wait. – A. L.