Cantine Scene: October Food News in Paris

Cantine Scene: October Food News in Paris
“Behind every plate of food is a story. All together we must make sure that all the stories behind every plate of food are good stories.” — José Andrés, chef, restaurateur, founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK) From the new Cheval Blanc hotel to a food destination in the Marais, the Paris restaurant scene is buzzing. Here’s a selection of tried-and-tested gourmet addresses to add to your little black book. Restaurant Le Limbar  At this chic, all-day space on the ground floor at the recently opened Hôtel Cheval Blanc, Chef Maxime Frédéric’s concept is based on his love of bread and cereals. The focal point is the bar, punctuated with pots of fresh herbs, and, like books on a shelf, tomes of warm bread. Once seated (at the bar or your chosen table), a panier is proudly proffered. Today we chose from sourdough baguette, buckwheat crown with organic cider, and rye, which we spread with rich Normandy butter… The short and to the point menu boasts organic ingredients from the Frédéric family farm at Tourville sur Sienne in Normandy. Should you visit Les Secrets de Nos Vergers, they have a few rooms for overnight guests. Begin with fresh Kombucha/ginger infusions, salads, soups, then try, say, the flaky, pastry vol-au-vent “poule au pot.” The puffy pie combines Beaufort cheese, candied egg yolk, oakleaf lettuce and roasted corn. The tomato tart is colorful, or share the wicked signature “Croissant Pont-Neuf,” a magnificent achievement made with ham, comté cheese lettuce and love. And, if lunch is not for you, consider Afternoon Tea, a lovely surprise where you’ll feel like Alice. Burn off the calories walking around the Samaritaine, gasping at the €750 million+ transformation. By night Limbar segues into a seductive piano and tapas bar where mixologist/alchemist Florian Thireau creates Elixirs du Nuit, “tomorrow’s cocktail today.” Choose from nine cocktails (€22) shaken and carefully stirred with ingredients like aloe vera, rose, timur berries, orange blossom, vanilla, and pomegranate. Or, if you prefer, there are mocktails on offer. And yes, buy the bread and a takeaway menu’s available. 8 Quai du Louvre, 1st Metro: Pont Neuf/Louvre Rivoli Tel: +33 (0)1 79 35 50 44 (C) Grand Duc Grand Duc Deep in the heart of the Marais district, Grand Duc, the former Les Chouettes brasserie (originally a jewelry workshop) has been transformed by Thibault Vidalenc into a destination restaurant as theater experience. Out goes the brasserie vibe, in comes elegant neo-Eiffelien décor by Hugo Toro and Maxime Liautard. Over several light-filled floors, you’ll find a cocktail bar, Art Deco dining room, monochrome mezzanine and, on the top floor, a sushi bar and wine library extraordinaire. For Vidalenc: “I needed Grand Duc to be a Parisian address that’s the very essence of conviviality and sharing.” For General Manager Pascal Billon (whose grandfather was chef at Le Louis XV Monaco), the service and the comfort of guests is a priority “as well as superb cuisine and wines, bien sûr.”

Lead photo credit : The Croissant du Pont Neuf at Limbar. (C) Restaurant Le Limbar

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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 !