Quoi de Neuf Buzz

By Margaret Kemp


People always sigh when The Ritz is mentioned, it has that X-factor, hard to describe, but you know what I mean. And don’t sit there saying yes, but it’s so ringard. It is so not ringard, especially with the 6-hole golf course! What? Well more putting green, but at least Tiger can flex his Scotty Cameron putter next time he’s in Paris. Free use if you’re eating in the restaurant, drinking in the bar or spa.


There’s rugbymania as the world cup kicks off in France, through 20th October when the final takes place at Stade de France (www.whereonearthgroup.com). If you like cider head straight for La Sydrerie de l’Etoile where Alain Dutournier teams up with former rugby scrummer Philippe Sella. It’s sydre basque (don’t ask) the space is impressive with décor by Albert Bali, lots of photos of guess what? And plasma screens to watch those massive thighs in action. At the pianos Dutournier has put in Patrick Canal and his former second at Carré des Feuillants.


About the only exciting event as far as I’m concerned is Chanel’s limited edition rugby ball (130€). Rugby-man/ journalist Philippe Toinard’s “La Cuisine des 3èmes Mi-Temps” gathers 50 rugby mad chefs (Guy Savoy, Yves Camdeborde, Christian Constant etc.) who “live a double passion, that of la bonne chère and of du beau jeu”. Hmmm….


So, if you’re rugby watching, pick up this delightful little tome, invite your friends into your cuisine de rugby and surprise them with Christian Constant’s (who played for Montauban Tarn et Garonne) Foie Gras Chaud Au Pain d’Epices P.73 (Editions Pain d’Epices) www.lesgourmandisesdephilippe.zumablog.com


If you’re looking for an unusual gift, Poilane’s rugby ball weighs 2.3 kilos costs 30€ and can be ordered on 01 44 39 26 59. Think ovalmania at The Bristol Bar where there’s a menu of beers from all the competing countries and, if you get there early, a limited edition rugby ball in the colours of The Bristol (50€) T: 01 53 43 42.


And spare a thought for Helene Darroze who’ll be cooking for 500 at the Quarter finals at Stade de France. On the menu? Onion and cépes tart. Saint-Jacques cooked in their shell, emulsion de parmesan. Venison, sauce Grand Veneur with root vegetables, cooked style Grandmere. “ Rugby is a part of my life, it’s very similar to cuisine, it’s team-work, and now I’m the coach!” giggles Darroze from the South-West. “My father played and matches always ended in our family restaurant”.


Also check out Musée Quai Branly where (through 30 October) La Melée des Cultures showcases a programme of “cultural” rugby for young enthusiasts of all ages. Eat well in the restaurant, make a day of it, it’s free. (Only the expo not the restaurant dear!). www.quaibranly.fr   


Whenever we go to Citrus Etoile there’s something new and exciting. For La Rentree not only plush new carpet, orange leather stools for the Vuittons, but new dishes cooked without fat, just as they should be.


Treat yourself to the 39€ Menu Citrus Etoile, four starters including Gilles Epies signature Beignet de Foie Gras caramelisé au porto or a thick slice of Saumon d’Ecosse comme le Hareng. Three types of home-made bread for mopping up. From four mains fat sardines roasted and stuffed, and finish with Fabio Merra’s Soufflé chocolate or “you choose”. A delight. Rumour has it Sarkozy’s going next week.


Gilles Choukroun, we first tasted his contemporary talent at Café des Delices, remember the wicked, sexy crème brulée of foie gras with brown sugar, now everyone’s copied it? Since selling Délices (now a cute bistro, Carré Marguerite www.lecarredemarguerite.fr) he launched ’Angl ’Opera and recently the achingly chic Mini-Palais. Now you can have a wonderful breakfast/lunch/dinner/tea/aperitif after a visit to the Grand Palais www.paris.org  Choukroun’s the wild-boy chef who surrounds himself with other black-T-shirt wearing talents who call themselves Generation C. “French food never died – it just dozed off a bit”, he observes.


Karil Lopez cheffed in the kitchens of The Bristol, alongside Eric Frechon, for five years. Now Frechon’s packed him off and Lopez has realised his childhood dream, his own restaurant Le Cristal de Sel.


When Frechon’s not at his own pianos, or watching the rugby, you’ll find him at Cristal, eating Sardinas Ramon Pena, beurre aux algues de chez Mr Bordier (11€), Risotto aux girolles (14€), or Osso Bucco de veau au vin jaune, legumes du moment (20€). He might finish with warm Tarte fine aux péches, sorbet framboise (10€). The welcome from Damien Crépu is so kindly and Lopez and his No.2 the gorgeous Constance Deladelle keep turning out winners from their open kitchen.


In a tiny street off Avenue Rapp Veramente, has a new chic look. The elegant owner Régis Campana welcomes the likes of David Hallyday, show-biz stars, super-models, who adore chef Rosario Pietroluongo’s creamy risotto with gambas and roquette, home made pastas, simply grilled fish and affordable Italian wines. Sit on the terrace in warm weather, spot the rich and famous coming to the Jaguar showroom next door.


The waltz of the chefs continues. Arnaud Mene ex- La Ferme Saint-Simon just set up at Le Clarisse, 7th with Olivier Maria and, in his place, at La Ferme, Dario Dondelli and a young chef from La Maison du Danemark Joel Robuchon is opening a cave a vins right next door to L’Atelier, rue Montalambert, directing is the adorable Antoine Hernandez. And Gordon Ramsay (who played for Glasgow Rangers) will open Gordon Ramsay at The Trianon Palace, Versailles….watch this space.


Bye for now, just off to Chanel to get the rugby ball……



Address Book:

Reservations for Ritz Golf:

01 43 16 30 60 (M: Cambon)

Sunday Brunch (96€)

T: 01 43 16 30 80



La Sydrerie de l’Etoile,

6 rue Tilsitt, 8th (M: Charles de Gaulle Etoile)

T: 01 45 72 41 32

Open 7/7

Tapas, Cider, Dinner, Rugby



2, rue Sedillot, 7th (M: Ecole Militaire)

T: 01 45 51 95 82

Lunch 13-22€ + wine A la carte 55€




Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th (M:Champs Elysées Clemenceau)

Perron Alexandra 111

T: 01 42 56 42 42


Breakfast formula 8€

Lunch 20€ Plat + glass of wine

Dinner 43€ + wine


La Clarisse,

29 rue Surcouf, 7th (M: Invalides)

T: 01 45 50 11 10


La Ferme Saint Simon,

6 rue Saint Simon, 7th (M: rue du Bac)

T: 01 45 48 35 74



Cristal de Sel,

13 rue Mademoiselle, 15th (Metro: Commerce)

T: 01 42 50 35 29





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