The Rentrée Buzz: Tapas

The Rentrée Buzz: Tapas

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Tapas is achingly chic at the moment, haven’t you noticed how
Spain is having its’ 15 minutes? “Yeah!” you sigh, “we know that, we
always go to Casa Tina (18 rue Lauriston, 16th T:01 40 67 19 24) or
Alberto Herraiz’s Fogon Saint-Julien (10 rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre 5th
T: 01 43 54 31 33).”

C’est clair dear,
it’s all riding on the back of JR (who adores Spain) and his
tapas-style runaway success story, L’Atelier de Joel  Robuchon.
Frankly, I don’t know why he didn’t call it Casa Joel! If you only eat
one meal in Paris, head straight there, but don’t bother to call, they
don’t take reservations! The concept will be copied – but if you want
Zara, not Dior, it’s up to you (5 rue Montalembert 7th T:01 42 22 56
56). Be prepared to queue, but guarantee you’ll make NBF’s (new best
friends). Or try Le Montalembert for good red onion tart.
(3 rue Montalembert, T:01 45 49 68 03) 

far away, the lovely Hélene Darroze is serving her version of chic
tapas in the newly decorated Salon d’Hélene: ceviche de saumon, jellied
oysters, timbale de ris de veau. (4 rue d’Assas 6th T:01 42 22 00 11)
and at Café Lenotre, the just opened belle-epoque style complex, on the
Champs-Elysées, order a dish of tapas and, if the weather’s warm, grab
a table on the terrace.
(10 avenue des Champs Elysées, 8th T: 01 42 65 85 10)

Alain Dutournier’s
a lovely man, a talented chef (2 Michelin stars) and his South-Western
cuisine (lots of Spanish/Gascon influences here) rarely disappoints.
The new décor at Le Carré des Feuillants is worth a look, and
Dutournier’s lunch menu excellent value at 58€. (14 rue Castiglione,
1st. T: 01 42 86 82 82). Now Dutournier and Thierry de la Brosse (owner
of L’Ami Louis) have created Pinxo in the newly renovated Plaza Paris
Vendome Hotel. (4 rue Mont Thabor, 1st. T: 01 40 20 20 00)

talking lunch, if you want to try Yannick Alléno’s cooking book for the
55€ lunch (Hotel Meurice, 228 rue de Rivoli, 1st. T: 01 44 58 10 55).
Meanwhile Alleno’s replacement at Le Scribe is Jean-François Rouquette
(1 rue Scribe, 9th T: 01 44 71 24 19). And Thierry Burlot is taking
over the new kitchens at what will be the hottest opening of the year,
the Hôtel Particulier Baccarat, place des Etats-Unis. More of this in
our next issue, but we do know that the transformation is by Philippe
Starck! More musical chairs at Les Elysées du Vernet (25 rue Vernet,
8th T:01 44 31 98 98) where Eric Briffard (ex-Plaza Athénee) is getting
excellent reviews.

You love Le
Violon d’Ingres but if you can’t get a table at Constant Central, try
the new Café Constant. It’s just as packed, but note that’s there’s no
booking in this sympa petit bistro du coin. Take pot luck (salade
Nicoise, oeufs mimosa, saumon froid macedoine, marinated sardines, and
the classic Paris-Brest) every weekday from breakfast ‘til around 10pm.
(139 rue Saint Dominique, 7th T: 01 47 53 73 34) 
new hot bistro is L’Entredgeu (38 rue Laugier, 17th T: 01 40 54 97 24)
and don’t tell too many people about De La Garde where young Yohann
Marracini (formerly of Passard) is single-handedly cooking the best
food in the 15th (83 av. Segur, T: 01 40 65 99 10) Quality price (29€ +
wine) it’s the tops.

Gérard Depardieu and Carole Bouquet
have revised and corrected the beautiful old Fontaine Gaillon (1 place
Gaillon, 2nd T: 01 42 65 87 04). The new chef Laurent Audiot, is
ex-Marius and Jeanette, and is working together with Gege, while
Bouquet is signing the wine-list. And talking of works of art (I mean
Ms Bouquet), the Musée Dapper (35 rue Paul Valery 16th T: 01 45 00 01
50) is under the direction of Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau and Iris
Hahner, who tell me that their new exhibition Parures de Tete (through
11 July 2004) sponsored by L’Oreal is a fascinating insight into “L’Art
d’arranger la chevelure.” (That’s everything to do with Coiffure
Africain, darling.) There’s a fabulous friendly club-like atmosphere at
the Dapper, interesting pieces to buy and see and, Café Dapper, a
perfect meeting place for excellent light lunches and teas (open
the Food Galerie (58 rue Charlot 3rd. T: 01 42 72 68 97) there’s not
only ze books, but also delicious photo exhibitions, book signings
(French & English) conferences and tastings. The ladies who lunch
will adore OLIOPANEVINO (only for lunch and dinner Friday; 44 rue
Coquilliere 1st T:01 42 33 21 15) while the guys can schlep off to see
CHRISTIAN VALETTE at DEVéZ for a piece of perfectly grilled beef from
the Aubrac.
(5 place de l’Alma 8th. T: 01 53 67 97 53).

Pont-Neuf building has had a major facelift and now houses a new
complex of hip boutiques and restaurants, so choose from Laurent
Taieb’s (he who created Bon, Lo Sushi and Bon 2) Kong–for
Franco-Japanese cuisine prepared by Fumiko Kono and Richard Pommies,
music by the belle Beatrice Ardisson and décor by the ubiquitous
Monsieur Starck. Or Lo Sushi 2 with décor by Andrée Putman. If you’re
going to the Palais de Tokyo, don’t forget you can eat there.

Albert Corre
(ex-Senderens, Robuchon, Cagna, Fenix) is packing them in at his “chic
pas cher” Le Petit Pergolese, (40 rue Pergolèse, 16th T: 01 45 00 21
40), an address to cherish. Not only for the magnificent contemporary
artwork, but also for Albert’s fresh products, excellent wines and
friendly service. If you want haute cuisine then he’s still next door
at Le Pergolese, his original canteen and ohhhh, that dazzling Colgate
smile…..Albie can cook my goose any day!
See you next week.

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”.

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !