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Since the 18th century, Paris passageways (sometimes called galeries) have been major features of the city. And, just in time for La Rentrée, an ambitious seven-year project, adjacent to the handsome Musée Maillol, unveils a bold neo-passageway– throwing open its black iron gates on the 25th of August.
Appropriately named “BeauPassage”, the left-bank space is located on the site of several old buildings, dating from different eras, including the former 18th century Récollettes Convent and a Renault showroom/petrol station connecting Boulevard Raspail to rues Grenelle and Bac. Step through the dramatic “oak forest” entrance by conceptual artist Fabrice Hyber and you’ll find a zen, open to the sky, tree lined sculpture garden covering 10,000 m². There will be restaurants, bakeries, cafés, street food, bistros, bars, and “Champion Spirit”, the spa and state-of-the-art gym by Muay-thaï world champion Abdoulaye Fadiga (preferred by P.Diddy, Nathalie Portman, Bono).
Gathering 17 Michelin stars in one place is the BeauPassage mission. Mainly dedicated to gastronomy and food, the passage is signed by Groupe Emerige, B&B Architectes, Franklin Azzi Architecture and landscape designer Michel Desvigne.
Yannick Alléno, superchef of Michelin-star restaurants in Paris and Courchevel, presents L’Allénothèque, a bistronomic adventure with terrace, sexy black open kitchen, wild looking sharing tables (or not), and 700-reference wine cellar designed by Studiocaid’s Franck Cousin.
Upstairs, sculptor Laurence Bonnel-Alléno’s airy Galerie Scène Ouverte showcases temporary installations by contemporary artists and can be privatized, as can the cellar, which will be used for wine-tastings.
Mersea continues the foodie experience by Olivier Bellin & the Fish Gang (he’s chef of the **Michelin-star Auberge des Glazicks, Plomodiern, near Brest). The “fast-marine street food concept” will send out signature Fish&Chips – a dozen starters and seasonal dishes such as Black Burger, lobster Cardinal, cod ceviché, seafood salad… street bowls, fish bowls, Nutella waffles anyone? At the cocktail tasting counter try Mersea’s Picardie brewed craft beer, and interesting gin specialities.
Thierry Marx’s La Boulangerie, launched in 2016 in association with MOF baker Joël Defives, offers an eye-watering range of baked-on-the-spot breads (organic flour and natural leaven), pastries, traditional and crazy-creative pastries, as well as a savory snack range, including the delicious “Breadmaki” prepared – while you salivate – on a teppanyaki grill.
Anne-Sophie Pic’s Daily Pic spins on the gourmet canteen created in 2014 as a sort of ready-to-wear offering to offset the haute couture ***Michelin grandeur of her eponymous Valence maison. So what’s new? The recipes, concocted at 65 ° C, without additives or preservatives, keep for three weeks in glass jars They include favorite dishes made to Grandmère Pic’s recipes, artistically revised by Anne-Sophie.
Pierre Hermé, über pastry-chocolatier launches his first chic all day coffee-house – designed by interior architect Laura Gonzalez – where he wants tea and coffee to be raised to an art form. Ispahan Croissants and lightly-browned pistachio pains au chocolat are perfect for a delicious morning break, while the lunch menu offers crunchy crab and avocado salad, carpaccios, croque-monsieurs, and club sandwiches made from soft Japanese white bread. To finish, seasonal desserts, pâtisseries, those magnificent macarons and chocolate bonbons – to eat in or take away. Infiniment divine!
Do you know Alexandre Polmard— the “tongue to tail” breeder-butcher who created the unique process of maturing meat followed by a hibernation period at -21°? His two-floor Beaupassage butcher/restaurant also includes a cigar humidor, an important addition for Polmard, who produced a limited edition of 3,000 Honduran cigars – carnivore cigar aficionados can rent out the entire farm themed Chloé Genter designed restaurant space.
And, for cheese, Madame Nicole Barthélémy Mâitre Affineur – by appointment to L’Elysée Palace – no website, darling – opens a BeauPassage branch – a crottin’s throw from the fabled 51 rue de Grenelle bijou boutique (Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg etc) since 1971.
The edgy %Arabica boutique is a neo-Ryokan style space created by Junichi Yamaguchi, artisan barista, world champion of Latte Art. The 100 m² tasting area has all white design by Japanese architecture studio Onndo, serves specialty coffees from the finest South American and African terroirs – espresso, macchiato, latte, Americano, Chemex, served either hot or iced.
53-57 rue de Grenelle, 7th. Metro: rue du Bac. Website: www.beaupassage.fr
Lead photo credit : The "dream team" behind BeauPassage