Piero TT by Pierre Gagnaire, Restaurant Fréderic Simonin & More: Tables to Try in Paris

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Piero TT by Pierre Gagnaire, Restaurant Fréderic Simonin & More: Tables to Try in Paris
“The banquet’s in the first bite. That’s a Chinese rule”. –Michael Pollan Piero TT by Pierre Gagnaire At his third Paris address, rue du Bac (formerly Gaya, which is now located at 6, rue Saint Simon), Pierre Gagnaire stays with an Italian theme– saying arrivederci to the state of the art décor and buongiorno to a classic cantina Italiano. The astonishing change is the décor! The space, on two levels, has been redone by architect Richard Lafond. There are carrara marble tables, wood panelling, red and white floor tiles, and shelves filled with books by Italian authors. Photos/souvenirs of la famiglia stud the walls; the atmosphere’s warm, timeless, exciting as a weekend in Florence. Heading the cucina is the brilliant Sicilian chef Ivan Ferrara – formerly at rue Balzac and *** Michelin L’Enoteca Pinchiorri. Director Gianluca Modafferi and sommelier Michele Lella, from Italy, worked with PG at the rue Balzac flagship. “The philosophy is not to reinvent Italian cuisine – and its innumerable regional variations – but to pay tribute to it; we call it Little Italy here,” they explain. Antipasti – to share, or not – include perfect cuts of Parma San’Ilario ham, mortadella, bresaola, ham, lardo di colonnata, cheeses (sweet Gorgonzola, 36 month Parmesan, pecorini, mozzarella di bufala Campana), Jerusalem artichokes, friture, bitter leaves with creamy Burrata, cuttlefish/squid, octopus, vitello tonnato. Then, the best of the sea raw/cru (lobster, scallops seabass, bluefin tuna, salmon) in pretty compositions with sharp seasoning. Fruity little taggiashe olives, green olive oil drenches vegetables and salad. So healthy! There’s swirls of pasta as in Bucatini cacio e pepe. Eric Clapton, if you’re reading this order Spaghetti a la Guitare! Topped with black truffles or seafood you’ll be “Sitting on Top of the World.” Add risotto, the signature chef’s twists on Milanese veal, beef inspired by the Piedmont dish “brasato al Barolo” (red wine braised beef). And soothing tortellini in truffled chicken broth – mamma mia, so good! Desserts are by PG and Julie Bellier – the only Frenchie on the team – tiramisu, torta caprese, baba au rhum and sugary spins such as “Burrata Campari” (Burrata stuffed ice cream, campari, creamy chestnut, lemon). Chocolate PierroTT and, no gluten Tarta Capri. All matched with excellent Italian wines, say, Rosé sparkling Filanda Bortolomiol (€44), red Chianti Classico Castello di Ama (€56). By the glass from about €12. Average spend about €70. 44 rue du Bac, 7th, Metro: rue du Bac. Tel: +33 (0)1 43 20 00 40. Tiny outside terrace to watch St Germain walk by! Closed Sunday-Monday La Poule au Pot by Jean-François Piège Soothing traditional onion soup anyone? Head straight to La Poule au Pot where it’s been a tradition for centuries from the time when Les Halles was the “the belly of Paris”. And where JFP not only acquired a Michelin star for his recently rebooted bistro, but also recently notched No. 1 in Figaroscope’s “10 best soupe a l’oignon in Paris.” Not just in winter, “we had a huge demand for it last summer during the heatwave,” says JFP. (Price is €16.) Check out JFP on season 10 of French Top Chef (airs on M6 on Wednesday at 9 pm). 9 rue Vauvilliers, 1st. Metro: Les Halles. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 36 32 96 Restaurant Fréderic Simonin When my friend Patricia gave me the book “Frederic Simonin, La Cuisine d’Un Chef Engagé” as a gift, I decided it was time to return to the restaurant (now awarded a Michelin star) where I’d enjoyed the cuisine so much when, in 2010, the chef opened his elegant restaurant, near rue Poncelet market, just off avenue des Ternes. MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) Simonin sharpened his knives at Pavillon Ledoyen with Ghislaine Arabian, Le Meurice, Le Taillevent, Le George V (where he met his wife Priscilla) and by the side of the late Joël Robuchon when they launched the London outpost. “Creativity, simplicity and generosity” is Simonin’s mission statement. Especially as Ambassador for Bleu-blanc-Coeur. “When animals are fed well, humans feel better.” In his elegant black, white and gold space, Simonin’s market-driven seasonal menus are based on “classics revisited”: “le terroir” (the land) features Le Ris de Veau, braised and crunchy sweetbreads served with carrots of different textures, while “la mer” (the sea) is represented by sea urchins on wild fennel cream set in sea water jelly. And there’s a generous dish (for the table) of creamy potato purée in homage to Robuchon (supplement €12), plus bread by Lalos, Alléosse cheeses, and wicked spins on favorite desserts such as Le Gianduja, comprised of crunchy hazelnuts and chocolate ganache/Dacquoise biscuit / cocoa sorbet. Lunch – €44-55€ (wine pairings – add €25). Dinner A La Carte or Menus d’Inspiration €86-€99 + add €50-65 for wine pairings by super-somm Antoine. 25 rue Bayen, 17th. Metro: Ternes. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 74 74 74 Saint James Paris and Spa Guerlain In 2012, at the Michelin-starred Château Cordeillan-Bages, located in the vineyards of Pauillac, Adrien Brunet met Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2007 (MOF) Jean-Luc Rocha; the two men bonded subsequently working together for 5 years. Now Adrien takes over from his Master at the prestigious neo-classical Saint James Paris, the city’s only château-hôtel, evolving the “excellence and rigor of chef Rocha.” [caption…

Lead photo credit : Piero TT by Pierre Gagnaire restaurant. Photo: Piero Marco Strullu

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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 It.com, 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 !


  • Margaret Kemp
    2019-03-08 03:47:40
    Margaret Kemp
    Thank you for the tip! Best. MK.


  • Bonjour Paris Editors
    2019-02-22 04:39:26
    Bonjour Paris Editors
    We love Simone! Thanks for the tip.


  • John Temple
    2019-02-21 16:50:30
    John Temple
    Try Simone: 33 Blvd Arago 13th. I'm positive you'll enjoy. John Temple