I’m not the first person to notice that the minute there’s a little bit of sunshine, Parisians are outside, eating! The café may be right next to a traffic light on a narrow, polluted street, people are walking toutous, throwing stoogies around, but every owner knows that unless he puts a few tables and chairs outside, he may as well close down or pray for rain. Here’s Buzz’s quick guide to divine days and nights noshing; just add sun-cream and Dior shades.
Down at the Canal Saint Martin, the hippest hood in town, it’s a movie at the Hotel du Nord. Well, yes, it was a movie, inspired by Eugene Dabit’s fascinating collection of anecdotes about the Nord’s odd residents. And he should have known; his parents owned the place at the time (1928). “Always write about what you know bla-bla-bla.” Today/night, you can celebrity spot (well, tennis-star Amelie Mauresmo eats there!), enjoy traditional cuisine (tomate-avocado-mozzarella; filet de perche) and wild, wacky weekly “diner spectacles”. Cross the canal to Stella Cadente, the boutique of designer Stanislassia Klein. She’s often sitting in the window at her sewing machine; there are a few tables for a cup of Palais des Thes teas, and if you’re lucky you’ll get an impromptu fashion show.
102 Quai de Jammapes, 10th, (Metro: Jaques-Bonsergent)
T: 01 40 40 78 78
Closed Sun and Monday night
La Terrasse du Parc is the garden restaurant, designed by Patrick Jouin, for “le tout chic Paris”. It’s right next door to Alain Ducasse’s 59 Poincaré, which closes during the summer because “no one wants to eat inside”. There’s a lunch formula including a glass of wine and coffee for 45€. But suppose it rains? Then there’s an interior pavilion, and Delphine Darosey, the charming chef sommeliere, will console you with a lovely little Corbieres Blanc. Light cuisine by Pascal Bardet includes Caesar salads, pastas, poissons à la plancha (or just plain steamed). Spit-roasted meats, cheese and fruit or chocolate desserts.
57 avenue Raymond Poincaré, 16th (Metro Victor Hugo/Trocadero)
T: 01 44 05 66 10
Pershing Hall—eat “outside” in the designer walled garden, a little Parisian oasis. Sunday brunch live (very) from 11h-19h 29€
49 rue Pierre-Charron, 8th (Metro: George V)
T: 01 58 36 58 36
Closed Sunday night
La Table du Lancaster—zen eating in a traditional garden fragrant with Lancaster roses, themed Asian influenced cuisine by Michel Troisgros. Expect to pay about 70€
7 rue de Berri, 8th (Metro: George V)
T: 01 40 76 40 18
La Petite Cour has to be the most romantic courtyard canteen (with fountain) in town. You’ll love it to bits. Gilles Epié (just back from LA where he was at L’Orangerie) delivers cuisine that’s trad with a modern spin: jarret de boeuf en salade; saumon épais aux pommes de terre tiedes; lapin with a farcé of champignons and spinach. Authentic baba au rhum, yum-yum. About 35€
8 rue Mabillon, Paris 6th (Metro:Saint Germain des Pres)
T: 01 43 26 52 26
And, on the terrace just derriere the Bourse, sip some excellent wine and eat delicious food at Au Café Moderne, where Fréderic Hubig and David Lanher are the genial hosts. Mondays are Grands Crus nights. And for the collection Printemps-Eté 2004, taste a different great wine each Monday night, so there’s nothing to hate about Monday any longer! Drown you sorrows, say, on 5th July with a sublime Chateau Rauzan Segla, Margaux, 2éme Cru Classé, Millésime 1997, for the price of 35€. Lunch formula 24-29€ Evenings about 30€.
40 ru Notre- Dame-des-Victoires, 2nd
T: 01 53 40 84 10 (Metro: Bourse)
Burn the plastic at:
* L’Espadon at The Ritz, on the Italian terrace, with Donatella Versace, Elton John & David Furnish. (From 100€)
T: 01 43 16 30 80 – Open 7/7
* Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, where Philippe Legendre’s seasonal cooking is impeccable (Mouna Ayoub). (150-250€) Worth it for Jeff Leatham’s stunning contemporary adventures with flowers.
T: 01 49 52 70 00 – Open 7/7
I’m not paying that!
Try Bistro de Breteuil, in the heart of the 7th. Formula tout compris, from kir to coffee, at about 30€.
3 place Breteuil, 7th (Metro: Latour-Maubourg)
T: 01 45 67 07 27
Best-kept terrace secret:
Hotel Raphael, up on the roof! Divine darling (about 65€)
17 avenue Kléber, 16th (Metro: Kleber)
T: 01 53 64 32 11
Born in Britain and now based in Paris, Margaret Kemp graduated from The Cordon Bleu and spent a year working and watching in the kitchens of top chefs from Sydney, Australia via Bangkok, Hong Kong, California, New York and France. Realising she would never win the coveted 3-Michelin stars, she decided to write about the people who do, the “disciples of Escoffier.”