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They say if you sit on the terrace at chez Francis you’ll see everyone you know pass by! Recently renovated by architect Pierre-Yves Rochon, the brassserie, with full-on Eiffel Tower views, is set for summer. Responsible for the transformation is Groupe Richard who also own the nearby Hotel Montaigne, Casa Luca, Marius et Janette (about to undergo a facelift), and the Cantina di Luca.
Inside or out, the atmosphere is relaxed, eyes on the Eiffel Tower or the outsize interior clock that glows at night when the Iron Lady sparks up. Beautiful contemporary art works by Picasso, Matisse, Warhol are scattered around the rooms. And, the other art’s in the kitchen, from the glass open area, and from the sea-food bar piled high with huge silver plateaux of the finest oysters, crabs, and clams.
Executive chef Fadi Frem (ex-Michel Roth at Le Ritz and Jacques Cagna) orchestrates his team with a day-long menu, beginning with breakfast, moving on to a roast for lunch (28€), and his speciality, slow cooked 6-hour casserole of, say, Bœuf Bourguignon (25€).
Chef Frem’s beautiful spin on brasserie fare includes starters of subtle truffled artichoke carpaccio, copeaux de parmesan (a glass of wine 7€) or a bottle of Petit Chablis AOC Michel Laroche 2014 (45€). Black Tiger shrimp tempura : Salmon tartare, lemon and ginger : Buratta, vintage tomatoes, basil. And he’s kept the “Tradition” dishes, like the Croque Monsieur, Belle Omelette, and Club Sandwich poulet bacon. There’s also Cheeseburger Chez Francis, Belle Sole Meunière, Beef Tartare raw or aller/retour: Château Beef Pepper steak matched with Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup AOC Mas de l’Oncle-Elegance 2013 (35€). Saint-Marcellin cheese and dessert Café Gourmand (a taste of everything). Don’t miss the feather-light Meilleur Pain Perdu de Paris.
This is the perfect “pipole watching” address (Patrick Bruel, Vanessa Paradis, the Kardashians) before or after shopping on the Golden Triangle or maybe you’re off to The Crazy Horse!
Chez Francis, 7 place de l’Alma, 75008. Metro: Alma/Marceau. Tel: +33 (0)1 47 20 86 83
Lead photo credit : Chez Francis, Paris