Monsieur Le Prince team. Photo by M. Kemp.
Monsieur Le Prince, Paris 6th
Someday my prince will come, and, while awaiting his arrival, I discovered Monsieur Le Prince, which ticks all the boxes for a fussy princess.
“Behind the immeuble,” said the aimable princess in the newspaper kiosque outside Métro: Odéon. What a lovely lady, she’s a vocal map: as I left, another enquiry came from a Russian lady . . . it must be like that all day. I turned on my heels and bought a Figaro newspaper, just by way of thank you.
So, right at “Women’s Secret,” then right again and you’re on rue Monsieur Le Prince, a long windy street with a lot of history, something to do with the Duc de Condé, who owned these parts at some point. So thinks Romain, owner of “MLeP” for about a year.
He explained that this space has been a restaurant since 1947, so he kept lots of the original pieces, such as the beautiful silver zinc bar and overhead lights. He’s decorated with flea market finds and interesting photos and paintings, many with with an American theme. The loo, reached by a spiral staircase (darling, take off the Jimmy Choos before ascending the stairway to heaven) is like a library. Books chosen by Romain, reflect his love of travel, psychology, Tennessee Williams, America, the world.
Back downstairs the tables are set with brown paper, the type Picasso loved to doodle on in bistros, and, on which poverty-stricken artists drew pictures instead of paying la note. I left a message from BP, bien sûr.
In the kitchen, Benjamin Patrier, ex- La Tupina, Bordeaux; Tour d’Argent and Lapérouse. He has a light artistic touch, the food brought to table by Lou, who as an impoverished artist could paint and then take out for dinner.
Tarte fine aux légumes. Photo by M. Kemp.
From five starters and a daily special, begin with Tarte fine aux légumes or Carpaccio de daurade.
Then a thick cut of Maigre (a lean fish with no translation—unless you know one, dear reader. If so, please post your response below) is roasted and served with raviolis de chanterelles. Epic, although chef says his signature dish is Côte de boeuf & son vrai gratin dauphinois. Poire pochée aux épices & cornet praline to finish, Pain perdu or perfectly-chosen cheeses from Marie-Anne Cantin.
Now that I’ve gotten to know Monsieur Le Prince, I don’t even think it’s worth waiting for another, he might turn out to be a right frog!
Tél: 01 43 54 74 59
12, rue Monsieur Le Prince, Paris 6th
Shut Sunday & Monday lunch
3-course Menu du Prince 32€
Plat du Jour 14€
Daily Market menu Starter + Main or Main + Dessert 17€
3 courses at lunch 21€
Le Paris Seize, Paris 16th
There are lots of reasons to go to Le Paris Seize (AKA Le Paris 16), an addy Parisians call “confidentiel.”
You won’t see tourists, just chic BCBG (bon chic bon genre) locals. You’ll get a good idea of “le look,” which at the moment is 7 for All Mankind® Jeans, Moncler jackets, cashmere and Ugg boots. For spring it’s much the same, version light, minus the Moncler, all the better to enjoy the terrace in front of Le Paris 16.
Located on rue des Belles Feuilles, in the beating heart of the posh 16th arrondissement, a wonderful rue with two superb butchers, a pâtisserie, boulangerie, shoe repair shop, Monoprix, Marrionaud, two high-end greengrocers, fast-food bars and Androuet, the epic cheese emporium where the blinds come down at lunchtime. So, while waiting for Androuet to open, pop opposite to Le Paris 16.
You’ll be elbow to elbow with the regulars, a smiley lot for Parisians who all look happy to be there. Probably something to do with the welcome of the flirty, sexy Frédéric Prud’homme AKA Freddy, who dashes around recommending his wines, serving his bières à la pression.
Le Paris Seize burrata salad. Photo by M. Kemp.
The food is French tradi and Italian, big accents on, say, Antipasti du Paris Seize. Linguini carbonara aux truffes ou saumon, crustacés, truffes noir. La poutargue (dried tuna or mullet roe, a seasonal speciality… poor man’s caviar, darling), Rigatoni Amatriciana or with cream and parmesan. Generous portions sent out in copper pans. Delightful. Decor’s masculine: action sport paintings, just like you see in those Jean-Paul Belmondo films. That could be a young version of Belmondo in the corner, beneath the neon that declares TOILETTES & TELEPHONES.
From behind the handsome zinc bar Frédéric recommends the red Chianti Classico Il Grigio 2007 at 40€ or the white Parusso Blanc 32€.
Starters change daily…ask Fred. Last Wednesday there was fresh burrata, served with a bright roquette, olive and herb salad, drizzled with olive oil (see photo above). Aubergines alla parmigiana: Bresaola et artichauts, Scarmozza al’ forno. The main of the day was grilled sea bass, but there was also a choice of 11 dishes including: Tartare Italien classico, Escalope Milanaise, Saltimbocca alla Romana. Ice cream is homemade or try a slab of gorgonzola, then you won’t need to wait for Androuet to open!
Le Paris Seize (no website)
18, rue des Belles Feuilles, Paris 16th
Métro: Victor Hugo
T: 01 47 04 56 33
Average Spend : 3 courses 32€ + wine
By the same owner: Pizzeria d’Auteuil
Tél: 01 42 88 00 86
81, rue Jean de la Fontaine, Paris 16th
No reservations – unless your name is Bruni or Sarkozy!
Le “Coffee” Time de l’Hôtel Vendôme, Paris 1st
Want to impress a visitor to Paris? It’s certain you’ll be showing them Place Vendôme and doing a bit of retail therapy at Colette on rue Saint-Honoré.
“Coffee Time” at L’Hôtel de Vendôme. Publicity photo.
Pop into the discreet and elegant Hôtel de Vendôme, be the first to do “Coffee Time.” Sink into the club armchairs or sofas, let their answer to Jeeves do you proud. From the silver pastry trolley nibble a Carupano macaron, spoon with a mousse croquante, or cigare fumé Baiano….or choux lacté Divo Tannea or tiny pots of Crème Concerto.
The pâtissier behind all this is Luc Debove (MOF), who’s speciality is ice-carving. He’s on the right in the photo wearing his MOF collar.
“It keeps me in shape,” he says.
Also find Debove at the swish Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat, part of the same group.
Coffees change weekly and are by Coutume Cafe and chocolate used is by Chocolaterie de l’Opera.
Le “Coffee” Time de l’Hôtel Vendôme
1, Place Vendôme, Paris 1st
Open daily from 3-7pm 23€Métro: Concorde, Tuileries or Opéra
Need to know: Le Coq Rico opens in Montmartre
If you love chicken, head to Antoine Westermann‘s Le Coq Rico bistro in Montmartre. It opened this week.
Thierry Lébé‘s wearin’ the whites; and it’s going to start a new trend doin’ the funky AOC chicken/pigeon/pintade. You’re going to love la planchette de béatilles—watch this space.
98, rue Lepic, Paris 18th
Tél: 01 4259 8289