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A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon.
– English saying
Café de l’Homme- Brazilian style pop-up
Since opening in 2015, Café de l’Homme has become a reference for excellent dining (menus by Frederic Vardon), beautiful pipole and drop dead gorgeous views of the Iron Lady. Not wishing to rest on their laurels, the owners – Coco Coupérie Eiffel and Christophe Bonnat – decided to vary the culinary offerings in line with the concept of the Musée de L’Homme located in the same building. After meeting Brazilian chef Morena Leite – who heads 6 restaurants and 5 Cookery Schools (free for children) in Brazil – Eiffel and Bonnat invited Morena, considered to be one of Brazil’s most innovative chefs, to come to Paris and cook alongside the in-house chefs and pâtissier Timothy Breton.
“Unlike France or China, Brazil doesn’t have its own “pure” cuisine. Dishes are colorful and as varied as the country and the people who live in it, with European and Asian influences; there’s the wealth of indigenous ingredients so expect frequently changing dishes”, says Morena.
Until 15th September, 17 place Trocadéro, 16th, Metro: Trocadéro, Tel: 01 44 05 30 15. Tasting plate €22 – Mains from €24 – Desserts €12. Open 7/7. Website: www.cafedelhomme.com
Drouant par Anton Westermann
The history of gastronomy and literature segue seamlessly at this belle address where, since 1914, in an upstairs room, the Prix Goncourt is awarded annually. The handsome Ruhlmann wrought iron staircase leads to the five private rooms – including the iconic Salon Goncourt.
It was acquired at the beginning of January 2006 by Antoine Westermann, superchef from the Alsace region. Under the direction of chef Antony Clémot – for Spring/Summer 2017 – Drouant presents Le Potager de l’Eté– an 100% vegetarian menu (still keeping the meat and fish). Begin with leeks, Alsace mustard vinaigrette and onion chips(€15); green and white asparagus, fried egg (€19 euros) raw and cooked artichokes with rocket & Parmesan chips drizzled with olive oil from Crete (€20). Mains are vegetable aïoli (€18), risotto with Reisling infused mushrooms and vegetable chips (€22), and fricassée of spring vegetables, pistou and eggplant caviar topped with grilled almonds (€20). Desserts (Mônt Blanc façon Drouant) are by Pascal Chanceau. From Monday to Friday, there’s a meat-fish lunch menu (€45). Saturday and Sunday Brunch includes drinks (36€). A La Carte about €76 plus wine by the glass from (€7).
18 rue Gaillon, 2nd, Metro: Quatre Septembre, T : 01 42 65 15 16. Terrace – Open 7/7. Website: www.drouant.com
Racines des Près
Following the success of Racines, Racines 2, Racines New-York and La Crèmerie, plus Au Bon Saint-Pourçain and Caffe Stern, serial restaurateur David Lanher opens the left bank Racines des Prés in the chic heart of Saint-Germain – opposite the imposing Church Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin. If Racines were a musician it would be Bob Dylan, however, Dylan definitely can’t cook like Alexandre Navarro! Blowin’ in the wind is a small contemporary space – book the bar overlooking the tiny open kitchen, handy to pick up a few tricks of the trade, especially if you’re eating solo. Navarro, a passionate chef (formed with Christian Constant, Alain Ducasse, Frédéric Anton, Alain Pégouret) sends out neo-classic food.
With his enthusiastic team, Navarro worships at the shrine of seasonality. (Lunch 29€-33€ Dinner about 48€ + wine). See Sam for a stunning selection of natural wines (by the glass 7€). We liked white Beaujolais Domaine de l’Ecluse 2016 (30€) and the red Vin de pays d’Allobrogie Côte Pelée 2013 from Jean Yves Peron (75€) which captures the Savoy region in a glass.
1 rue de Gribeauval, 7th, Metro: rue du Bac, Tel: 01 45 48 14 16. Closed Saturday lunch & Sunday. Website: www.facebook.com/RacinesdesPres
Pierre Meneau (yes, son of Marc Meneau, L’Esperance in Vezelay, reopening 2018) grew up with a passion for all things culinary. But before following in his father’s illustrious footsteps, he studied in the USA, traveled internationally, and became a golfer with a 2.5 handicap. Meneau’s a hyperactive perfectionist, his dishes inspired by art and literature. (Lunch 39€ – Dinner Tasting menu 79€, a bit extra with wine pairings).
Begin with a glass of white Vézeley Burgundy 2013 La Vigie Blanche by Marc Meneau (43€ bottle 7€/glass). Taste the quintessential foie gras with Teriaki reduction followed by tender roasted Breton lobster, spiced carrots and baby peas. Do taste ravioli, mousseline of chicken and morilles, then sea and earth meet with Merlu (hake) chorizo, tarragon emulsion, artichokes and cockles – presented with a nod and a wink to Max Ernst, the chef’s favorite artist. Desserts by Tom Duclos (ex-Rosewood, London) include Le Saint Honoré – a tribute to the nearby street and/or the picture perfect Le Rouge & le Rouge with strawberries, peppers, budosansho (Japanese pepper).
A triumph !
22 rue d’Astorg, 8th, Tel: 01 42 65 10 74. Closed Saturday & Sunday. Website: www.cromexqui.com
Chez Leon & Petit Leon
Belgian mystery writer Georges Simenon (1903-1989) had his table and napkin ring exactly where I sit on a red velvet banquette – there’s a bronze plaque commemorating his culinary fidelity to this authentic bar/bistro just off buzzing rue de Levi’s street market. Mission statement “La Qualité dans la simplicité”.
Simenon would enjoy the revised and corrected version of Chez Leon, say, crumble of Saint Marcellin cheese/salads/fish and meat of the day/bread by Monsieur Poujauran/house made desserts with excellent wines and cocktails and, if there’s no table available, because he’s forgotten to book, he’ll wait next door at the newly opened Petit Leon with an aperitif or glass of Pic Saint Loup Château Lascaux 2014 and a planche of pinxos tapas – making NBFs (new best friends) and notes for his next novel.
32 rue Legendre, 17th, Metro: Villiers, Tel: 01 42 27 06 82, Lunch formula 16€, Terrace. Closed Saturday Lunch – Open for Sunday Brunch (25€). Closed Sunday dinner and Monday. Website: www.restaurantchezleon.com
One to Watch:
The left bank Pertinence (décor by Gérard Ronzatti of Cabinet de Seine Design) is the 18-place jewel box where French cooking meets Asiatic creativity. Ryunosuke Naito and Kwen Liew (husband & wife) create their own personal cuisine in a designer zen atmosphere. Lunch (€29) Tasting Menu (€85) A La Carte (about €65). “When I go to a restaurant I want to be able to afford the wines”, says Ryunosuke. “So we have many bargains from €26, or by the glass.”
29, rue de l’Exposition, 7th, Metro: Ecole Militaire, Tel: 01 45 55 20 96. Closed Sunday-Monday. Website: www.restaurantpertinence.com
Lead photo credit : Café de l'Homme. photo: William Beraucaret