February Restaurant Buzz in Paris

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February Restaurant Buzz in Paris

“Cooking’s a bit like cinema, it’s the emotion that counts.”
-Anne-Sophie Pic

Goodbye, Dry January! Exciting Paris events for February include the Winter Sales, a trio of Chinese New Year parades, fabulous concerts, art and museum exhibitions, a marvelous Mardi Gras parade at the Jardin d’Acclimation, Valentine’s Day and, towards the end of the month, the first signs of spring. Get off to a tasty start here with our restaurant picks…

Empreinte

Chef Jérôme Laurent and his brother Florian are making their mark in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement. Jérôme’s culinary career kicked off alongside chef Yannick Alléno at Le Meurice, then at Terroir Parisien restaurant and STAY, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. “I’m passionate about the terroirs and those who shape them,” he says. In 2015, he collaborated with Aurélien Faure and Paul-Arthur Berlan at L’Escudella. Of the recently launched Empreinte he says, “this is our family challenge, we’re so excited, as is Florian who heads the dining room.”

The daily menus evolve according to the markets. “Each artisan, in his or her own way, leaves a souvenir in my kitchen and on the menus, whether it’s a baker delivering crusty bread, a market gardener who grows organic vegetables, or cheese makers such as Christelle & Cyrille Lorho and Xavier Thuret”, says Jérôme.

Lieu jaune de Loctudy cuit basse température variation autour de l’oignon de roscoff. Courtesy of Empreintes

There’s lamb from Aveyron, free-range veal from Ségala, Coulonnière pigeon from Hubert Héliès, duck from Ferme de Bouyssou. As for the pork, it’s from Mont Lagast and beef’s from the family farm in Lariès. The fish, shellfish and crustaceans arrive direct from Brittany; scallops from the Bay of Morlaix.

Focus is on vegetables from the Jardins de Brières-les-Scélles, hazelnuts from Ferroles farm, citrus fruits from Baches, organic cereals and legumes from Aveyron’s Axel and Paul, and butter and cream from Beillevaire Farm.

The 44 seat dining room is decorated with solid oak tables and natural wood tones, giving Empreinte a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. The slightly open kitchen gives a sneak peek at the chefs at work, and the wine list offers a vast selection of more than 100 references, 100% French.

DETAILS

3, rue Saint Augustin, 2nd
Metro: Saint Augustin
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 08 13 76

Céleste, Cheval Blanc Paris. Photo credit: Vincent Leroux

Céleste at Cheval Blanc Paris

Have you noticed the transparent bubble on the roof of the LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc, Paris? Under a crystal vault, the new ephemeral rooftop bar offers 30 seats in a beautiful bubble suspended between the sky and the city ​​lights. Céleste’s menu evolves according to the rare spirits selected by the in-house sommeliers. It’s accompanied by fingerfood creations including a selection of yummy temakis and gunkans signed by chef Takuya Watanabe – a celestial experience awaits. Bonne soirée!

DETAILS

Until March 31, 2024
Every day – 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
By reservation only (10th floor)
Cheval Blanc Paris, 8 Quai du Louvre, 1st
Metro: Pont Neuf
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 28 00 00

courtesy of Le Molitor

Get stuffed @ Le Molitor

Bravo! Grégory Gbiorczyk, Executive Chef at The Molitor Hotel, takes first prize in the 2023 French Stuffed Cabbage Championship. The national final of the culinary competition, organized by the Groupement Les Artcutiers, took place on October 18, 2023 at Ceproc, when the 12 candidates had 3 hours and 30 minutes to create their recipe.

Chef presented his original version made from local products: Foie gras and veal accompanied by a unique and succulent double Bordeaux and horseradish sauce. This mouthwatering dish is offered daily on the menu at Brasserie Molitor, with potato mousseline, double Bordeaux sauce and horseradish cream (€35).

Molitor also suggests whole stuffed cabbage as a takeaway dish (swear you made it!) for 8 to 10 people (€250). Available to order, with a minimum of 72 hours in advance, for collection from Monday to Friday.

Since its revival in 2020, Brasserie Molitor has offered innovative gastronomic experiences while preserving traditional cuisine. You’ll remember chef G from various prestigious establishments such as Château de la Messardière, Saint-Tropez or the Kilimanjaro, Courchevel. But it’s in Paris where his heart lies, with Lucas Carton’s brigade and then Le George V, “where I acquired experience in haute cuisine. Then, at Le Bristol, alongside Eric Frechon.”

DETAILS

13 rue Nungesser et Coli, 16th
Tel: +33 01 56 07 08 50
Metro: Porte de Saint-Cloud

courtesy of Pristine, Paris

Pristine

He’s from Nancy (where we enjoyed his cooking chez Poul’ange); she’s from Luxembourg, where they met. He worked within the Ducasse group. And now Michelle Primc and Jérémy Grosdidier launch Pristine, an olive stone’s throw from the gourmet rue des Martyrs.

Vibes are relaxed in this atmospheric old wine cellar, now neo bistro. The duo send out hip plant-based cuisine, with products from the Ile-de-France region including “forgotten vegetables.” Their lovely lunch menu is a bargain, which offers, for example, for €25 (two-dish formula) and €28 (the complete one), a mushroom tart with hazelnuts and Tonka beans and a subtle grain-breaded chicken, with chard, spinach, capers, and grated goat’s cheese. Add the cocotte de legumes au four and don’t ignore the ice cream sandwich, made with hazelnut butter, honey, sarrasin/buckwheat. Lovely liquids include cocktails (€11) and wines by the glass (about €6). My pick’s a flute of Champagne Cuvée Perpétuelle Non dosé (€15). Cheers!

DETAILS

8, rue Maubeuge, 9th
Tel: +33 (0)6 29 22 80 21
Metro: Notre Dame de Lorette
Lunch Monday-Friday, Dinner 7/7

Michelle Primc & Jerome Grosdider at Pristine. Photo credit: Gilles Pudlowski

Feed your hair!

At La Réserve, in collaboration with brand Flora Lab Paris, you can restore your crowning glory’s va-va-voom with hair and scalp therapy sessions then let Chef Jêrome Banctel (rumors are he’ll nab his third star in 2024) nourish you with his delicious dishes at Le Gabriel, his Michelin two-starred restaurant.

DETAILS

42 avenue Gabriel, 8th
Metro: Champs Elysees Clemenceau/Concorde
Tel: +33 (0)1 58 36 60 90

Wish List – Caviar des Amoureux

“Due to its rarity, price and exquisite taste, caviar has always played a very important role in the art of seduction,” says Caviar Kaspia. A delightful way to declare your love is sharing Baeri Imperial Caviar, packaged especially for Valentine’s Day/Night.

Caviar des Amoureux, Special Edition Red Box Imperial Caviar Baeri to discover at the restaurant (80€ for 30g /130€ for 50g).

Kaspia Passion Box (€409) with the Heart of Salmon in 250g & the Kaspia engraved Pearly Spoons. Includes:

1x 100g of Lovers’ Caviar (Imperial Baeri)
1 bottle of Kaspia Champagne
1 Salmon Heart
2 potatoes
2 mother-of-pearl spoons

17, place de la Madeleine, 8th
Metro: Madeleine,
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 65 33 32

Caviar coffret for St Valentin. Courtesy of Kaspia

Cédric Grolet Café

The star pastry chef, famous for his flower-like tarts and trompe-l’oeil cakes that look like apples, limes and other fruits, launches a third address in Paris. Grolet, with 9 million followers on Instagram, was recently criticized on social networks for his delicious, but off-the-charts expensive croissants galettes and yule logs. Make up your own mind; the café opens Wednesday, February 7th and new creations are announced: croissant-doughnuts filled with cream and giant biscuits he calls cookie-pizzas (served by the slice or in XXL format). See you there?

DETAILS

6, rue Danielle-Casanova, 2nd

 

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Lead photo credit : courtesy of Pristine

More in caviar, Cédric Grolet, Cheval Blanc Paris, Empreinte, Molitor, Paris pastry, rooftop bars

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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 It.com, 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 !