January Restaurant Buzz: Where to Eat in Paris

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January Restaurant Buzz: Where to Eat in Paris

“Food should be fun.” -Thomas Keller 

Delicious New Year greetings. Welcome to the first “buzz” column of 2024, showcasing the essential addresses in Paris. When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than warming up inside a great restaurant. Here’s the latest table talk in the City of Light.

L’Evadé 

And, not only should food be fun, going to a restaurant should be an escape (L’Evadé). What was once the 23 rue Clauzel by chef Julie Rivière is now a restaurant devoted to “bistronomy at its best,” explains chef Rémi Poulain.  

If the name sounds familiar, it’s Poulain’s parcours via La Tour d’Argent, Laurent, then with Jean-Paul Arabian at Le Caméléon, Le Prince des Galles, and Christine in the 6th. He fired up the ovens at L’ Escudella (7th) taking over from Top Chef Arthur Berlan (now in Rouen, place de la Pucelle). Poulain’s brilliant career continues with Anthony Rivière, partner, entrepreneur and restaurateur, founder of Burger&Fries.

Discover L’Evadé on a cobblestone street named in homage to Bernard Clauzel (1772-1842), a French soldier who served in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (please, don’t mention Ridley Scott’s film!) 

Rémi’s interpretation/improvisation of pâté en croute is subtly spiked with poultry, pork, foie gras, hazelnuts (14€). The hay-smoked leeks, creamy with egg yolk, arrive impeccably seasoned with Cecina (air-dried beef) (14€). Mains include duck fillet, beetroot, turnip, pear, tonka, rosemary juice (26€); and semi-cooked tuna, grilled cauliflower, broccoli, virgin citrus fruit (€26). Cheese comes from Bernard Anthony.

The lovingly developed wine cellar gathers great French regional wines and bottles from independent winegrowers. Among the gems: Château Chalon 2015 from Jean Macle’s Estate, Clos de la Coulée de Serrant 2018 (my choice), and Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru “Les Monts Luisants” 2021. Distinguished by their unique character and authentic expression of le terroir, each bottle tells a story. For malt mavens, L’Evadé offers an exceptional selection of Scottish, Irish and Japanese whiskey by Nikka Miyagikyo.

Special mention for desserts! The unctuous 70% dark chocolate soufflé, prepped according to Rémi’s secret recipe, is creamy and crunchy, the milk and tonka bean sorbet sensational. And/or pomelos, crispy pistachio, meringue, shortbread for fresh tangy sensations at meal’s end. What’s not to like? There’s a melting pot of fabulous flavors.

DETAILS  

23, rue Clauzel, 9th
Metro: Saint-Georges
Tel: +33 (0)1 48 78 74 40
Closed Sunday
Lunch €35-€39 Dinner €44-€52 + A La Carte
Tasting Menu €60 wine pairing (+€40)

L’Evadé. ©Jean Pierre Malvis

Prima 

Jean de Saulieu’s Prima was launched last summer in the buzzing rue des Dames, with a team including the Maître d’hôtel (from Puglia) and Marco de Cristofaro, Neapolitan pizza chef. Queue for the classics like Margherita, Neapolitan, and spicy Diavola with Calabrian nduja, or order originals such as the “Norma” with eggplant, “Tartufo” with mushrooms and Umbrian truffles, “Bottarga” with tuna belly.  

De Saulieu & Co. recently invited chef friends to celebrate Saturnalia (the ancient Roman pagan festival honoring agricultural god Saturn) with pizza! We spotted Julien Serri (vice champion de France de Pizza) presenting pizzas with Kasnodar Baeri Black Edition caviar. Also a regular chez Prima is Yoann Mormile, the former pro rugby man, world pizza champion, Las Vegas, 2023, who predicts: “Michelin will give three stars to its first pizza restaurant… And it will be in Paris.”

“It’s definitely time for Michelin to name its first three-star pizza restaurant and with luck it will be in France,” echoed Julien Serri (founder of funky Magna Street Food & Baciato), delicately spooning Kasnodar caviar onto L’Heritage pizza.

Desserts? Group Bagatelle’s pastry chef offered Winter Sun/Soleil d’Hiver, cheeky chestnut pastry cream, vanilla and clementine confit.  

There’s always something to celebrate at Prima – see you there! 

DETAILS

103 rue des Dames, 17th
Metro: Malesherbes
Tel: +33 01 44 90 98 49
Average spend from €20
Closed Sunday

Vive 

We all loved the Art Deco brasserie by Alsace-born restaurateur Adrien Rech dedicated to seafood. Alain Ducasse helmed it for a while (with legendary Mâitre d’ Eric Mercier), and now it’s the turn of David and Stéphanie Le Quellec, whose Breton name alone smacks of the ocean, to celebrate fish and shellfish cuisine.  

The décor’s sumptuous, with its huge bar, dining area on the first floor, and lush red banquette seating. David Le Quellec serves food for sharing (or not!) made with excellent, ultra-fresh ingredients sourced via fish markets spanning France – from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. The ceviché of sea bream with coconut milk, lime and coriander, is already a house classic – not to mention the dishes prepared from fish matured on site in a dedicated cellar! 

DETAILS

62, avenue des Ternes, 17th
Metro: Ternes
Tel: +33 01 42 94 07 90

courtesy of VIVE

La Brasserie des Arts 

Find this gem in one of Paris’s oldest rues. Brasserie des Arts breathes a wind of renewal into this legendary district, while drawing inspiration from it. 

Which other corner of Paris can boast an artistic past like that of rue Saint-André-Des Arts? Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, Honoré de Balzac, Albert Camus, Charles Gounod… so many renowned artists lived, created, and danced here, their mischievous spirits seem still to inhabit the place. 

It is to this rich artistic past that architect Jessica Mille pays homage by signing the decor inspired by Art Nouveau. A haven of beauty and indulgence, Brasserie des Arts offers a balcony overlooking Paris, perfect for observing this joyous hullabaloo day and night. 

The menu by cheffe Valentine Davase (from Tasmania) highlights traditional French dishes. A family sharing menu, honest market cuisine that adapts to any time of the day. No frills, excellent seasonal products enhanced by simple and perfectly executed techniques. 

DETAILS

28, rue Saint-Andre des Arts, 6th
Metro: Mabillon/Odeon
Tel: +33 01 81 70 45 70
Open 7/7 from 10 am-11 pm
Terrace
Lunch €29-€36 + wine
Dinner a la carte – €45-€60 + wine

www.brasserie-des-arts.com 

Le Rigodon – Down on the farm… 

In the heart of the Folie-Méricourt quartier is where to find Côme, the owner of Le Rigodon, passionate about agriculture and livestock, particularly from Normandy – the restaurant highlights produce sourced from small Norman farms. Organic certification is no longer enough for Côme; he also takes into account factors such as carbon footprint, independent producers, the type of agriculture/farming, animal welfare and even local ecosystems. 

The menu, with weekend brunch, lists generous dishes inspired by French cuisine where classic dishes sit alongside recipes revisited by Californian cheffe Gina McLintok, who presents a daily, seasonal, vegetarian recipe. 

DETAILS

10, rue des Trois Bornes, 11th
Metro: Parmentier
Tel: +33 07 78 82 58 88
Sunday Brunch
Closed Monday

Le Rigodon

Aux 2 K  

Aux 2 K is a project by two friends, Cheffe Samantha Kagy and Pastry Cheffe Kimiko Kinoshita, linked by passion for French gastronomy and the surname K! 

The talented duo met five years ago when they were both at the Michelin-starred Violon d’Ingres (now sold). Since then, they have launched the Aux 2 K project with Matthieu Besnardeau as the head sommelier and director of the restaurant.  

Emphasis is on authentic seasonal products, particularly from the southwest. There’s a quartet of starters, main courses and desserts, as well as a €41 menu.  

If the cheffes’ roots are in Asia, the richness of French gastronomy is evident! Both are exceptional technicians, having learned the gestures and balance of flavors within Michelin-starred maisons: at Violin d’Ingres where they met, then at Jacky Ribault’s fabulous L’Ours, where their paths crossed again, and they are always “having fun with flavors.”  

Note Samantha Kagy sends out dishes such as roast pigeon with smoked eel, candied grey shallot, strong jus; and Saint Jacques (scallops) butternut risotto with coral emulsion and jus façon bouillabaisse. Kimiko Kinoshita, the pastry cheffe, creates treats such as a delicate hazelnut black lemon dessert; black chocolate, coffee, mascarpone; and rice pudding drizzled with banana and caramel.

DETAILS 

5, rue Louise-Emilie de la Tour d’Auvergne, 9th
Metro: Cadet
Tel: +33 01 40 34 27 40
Closed Monday

Top Egg Mayo – Sur un Plateau! 

Bravo to Moulin à Vent, rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard (4th), named “Bistro Of The Year” (Pudlo Bistrots) and voted “Egg Mayo World Champion” at the recently organized ASOM event. The Association for the Protection of Egg Mayonnaise was founded by Claude Lebey, the much missed author/gastronomic critic  (1923-2017).  Au Moulin’s egg mayo is a “twist” with whole-grain mustard, pickled red cabbage and toasted breadcrumbs on top for ze crunch. Well done, Maitre d’ Théophile Moles and chef Maxime Plateau!  “I’m delighted with this award. It’s the accomplishment of a whole year’s work,” the chef confided to BP. “And never, ever store your eggs in the refrigerator!” he tips. 

Oeuf mayo at Moulin à Vent

Lead photo credit : Rémi Poulain at L'Evadé. ©Jean Pierre Malvis

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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 !