Les Jardins du Presbourg, Qasti: Restaurants to Try in Post-Pandemic Paris

Les Jardins du Presbourg, Qasti: Restaurants to Try in Post-Pandemic Paris
During the lockdown in Paris, the French Government closed all non-essential addresses, including restaurants. These are uncertain times, not only for restaurants but also for the diners that love them. In the latest news, cafés, restaurants and bars may reopen at the end of May. We will be sure to publish the date once it’s confirmed. When it’s all over… we’ll party. Here are some restaurants that I tried prior to the closings. We can look forward to dining at them soon. Les Jardins du Presbourg Following a year of work, rising from the ashes of the Gilets Jaunes attacks, Gilbert and Thierry Costes (Group Beaumarly) have created a restaurant chic, cocktail/oyster/champagne bar… Read: an address that ticks all boxes. Martin Brudnizki’s décor– with floral, gold leaf, and seashell– includes confidential alcoves for lovers and a terrace for sunny days. Sit back, order a flower-based cocktail (from €9); the playlist pleases as does the menu and the cheerful wait staff. A few menu examples: Eggs Benedict (€24), Onion soup (€21), Beef tartar (€25), Kale, Quinoa, Avocado, pomegranate (€14), Beetroot & Burrata (€13), Roast cauliflower, condiments, coriander (€14). Mains of simply seared scallops accompany wilted fresh spinach; white butter and lemon caviar sauce enhances the delicate flavor. Love me tender veal chops are roasted with wood mushrooms and dauphine potatoes. For dessert, Bourbon vanilla mille-feuilles with airy vanilla cream. Excellent wine card includes gems such as Château Margaux 2007 (€1600). We sipped Château Belle Assise Coureau, Saint Emilion 2017 (€50/€12). In the shadow of L’Arc de T. – Les Jardins de P. is a triumph. Coming up next: The transformation of L’Aventure on avenue Victor Hugo in the 16th. 3, avenue de la Grande Armée, 17th Metro: Charles de Gaulle, Etoile Tel: +33 (0)1 45 00 24 77 Sumptuous Sunday Brunch €60 Coming soon: “Le Tea Time” Open 7/7 from 8am until late Qasti – Bistrot Libanais “This is my story,” says a proud Alain Geeam (the chef behind a Michelin * restaurant, rue Lauriston, 16th – L’Auberge Nicolas Famel, 3rd and an eponymous boulangerie). The Lebanese self taught talent whizzes between his addys on a scooter! For his latest Marais project Geeam transformed MG Road at the angle of rue Saint Martin near the iconic Les Bains-Douches complex. The walls are decorated with bold blue “Matisse meets the Mediterranean” cut-out collages by Linnea Andersson. How far-sighted to install a beau washstand at the entrance – everyone washes their hands before they’re seated. “I’m cooking by the season, so there’s no tomato or taboulé at present”, he says. However, there’s a plentiful choice of dishes, inspired by Geeam’s homeland and his family. The table is soon laden with mezzes, warm focaccia breads, golden olive oil, sumac and zaatar (Lebanese spices), hummus, cauliflower caviar, stuffed vine leaves. Then, slow roasted lamb cocottes and plenty of choice for carnivores and vegetarians. Eat with fingers, or not, make NBFs at the nearby tables. Sit at the bar and watch the world go by. Do book, it’s small (about 30 covers) it’s buzzing, it’s delicious – you’ll love Qasti, Geeam and, special shout out to restaurant manager Gordana. 205 rue Saint Martin, 3rd Metro: Etienne Marcel Tel: +33 (0)1 42 76 04 32 Average spend €21 lunch formula – €42 dinner + liquids Open 7/7. Bistronomique Beirut style Sunday Brunch (€39) Rosie Just by the Bastille, Corcoran’s Irish Pub is now Rosie, a must-visit neobrasserie. At the helm are Juliette Cerdan and Kevin Caradeuc, school friends, now business partners. “Our concept revives authentic brasserie spirit, à la française,” they explain. “Everything’s l00 percent made in-house by a young brigade (headed by chef Eloi Spinnler, pastry chef Yohann David) using products we sourced on a road trip throughout the Hexagon, before launching Rosie.” The bright, light, pleasing decor is by British designer John Whelan (Flo-Reims, Julien, Paris) of the Guild of Saint Luke – an affiliation of artists, architects and craftsmen. I wonder who placed the bidet and weighing scale in the ladies loo? Nice touch. Egg mayo, pâté en croute, ham with sprinkles of Espelette pepper, cromesquis of pork shoulder, rabbit. Add the pretty, generous, homemade sausage and mashed potatoes nicely served with its “nest” of sauce, duck pithiviers and foie gras, parmentier vegetarian pie – the duxelles of mushrooms replace the beef – there’s always a plat du jour. And don’t leave without tasting Yohann’s signature Saint Honoré! Sip Cuvée Rosie (€15/€3.50). From the cocktail menu “Rosie” vodka, vertical infusion of hibiscus, thyme, rose, rose petals, lemon juice. “Everything’s coming up Rosie!” 53 Faubourg Saint Antoine, 11th Metro: Bastille Tel: +33 (0)7 49 19 19 62 Average spend from €20 Open 7/7 Terrace Café Prunier Celebrating 100 years of French caviar production, Prunier (opened on avenue Victor Hugo in 1924) recently launched their “street food” concept and new “Café Prunier” menus for the Victor-Hugo and Madeleine restaurants, while reviving the first ever tin of French Prunier caviar – an homage to Emile Prunier. Well worth a visit for the magnificent ground floor listed salon created by architect Louis Hippolyte Boileau and designer Léon Carrière in celebration of all things marine – now elegantly revised and corrected in the best possible taste. Prunier 2020 means more than ever that “la star c’est le caviar” explains chef Filipe Alloin, a young talent who’s mentor is the great Jean-Louis Nomicos. Alloin suggests the delicious Lalos baguette caviar (eat in or take out) with fillings such as mozzarella/mortadella/cream and wild pepper. At €15 per delicious baguette that won’t break the bank – caviar today is not just for Prunier’s rich and famous clientele –

Lead photo credit : courtesy of Les Jardins du Presbourg

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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 !