A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world. —Louis Pasteur
Alain Ducasse’s 120 seat Spoon 2 – with stunning decor by Jean Michel Wilmotte – is now open at the 19th century Palais Brogniart, Place de la Bourse.
This is a brand new Spoon – the former brand Ducasse created in 1988 – at Hôtel Marignan just off the Champs Elysées – to be a workshop for revolutionary cooking – influenced by his world travels – “breaking the codes of cuisine”.
“20 years ago we created SPOON, it was intense and exciting, to-day I’m thrilled to witness the evolution of the brand”, said Christophe Moret, formerly Spoon’s driving force and head chef. Find him now at Shangri-la.
Today, from Spoon 2’s open kitchen they’re sending out starters – from Taiwan – spicy shrimp cake (12€); Tartares of dorade (12€), salmon (10€) & mackerel (9€); Mains of Tandoori chicken (€20); Coconut cod milk and mango tartare from Thailand (20€). Multicultural desserts include bread and butter pudding UK (9€) and Iced Bounty from Tahiti (8€). Matched with world wines selected by Gérard Margeon, lead sommelier. (Bento lunch formula from €32.)
The kitchen is helmed by Gianluca Bennardo and the dishes served are an homage to the great culinary traditions of the world, given an evolutionary Spoon twist. Monsieur Ducasse never stops asking questions of his cuisine.
Not only a new restaurant but there’s also Ducasse the movie. “La Quête d’Alain Ducasse” showcases his world travels-– you even see him schlepping his own valise!
25 place de la Bourse, 2nd, Metro: Bourse, Tel: 01 83 92 20 30. Lunch Mon-Fri, Dinner Mon-Saturday, Closed Sunday. www.alain-ducasse.com
Not easy to be “son of”. At 31, Pierre Meneau is making a name for himself. Having left the nest to study law in the US of A, he returned to Paris and set up his own restaurant in 2012. Father, Marc, is genius *** superchef of L’Espérance, Saint-Père-sous-Vézelay, Burgundy – sadly closed in 2015 – reopening next Spring.
Pierre’s chic Crom’exquis, near the Madeleine, Paris, is a tribute to one of Papa Marc’s signatures Cromesquis golden croquettes both crunchy and molten. Pierre interprets them in different ways – for a recent themed lunch to celebrate the relaunch of the iconic Bresse Bleu cheese – only available in France. Pierre served his cromesquis so that the unique blue veined cheese golden squares burst in the mouth – sensual and sensational! He followed with paper thin ravioli, Bresse Bleu and cèpes jus. The main of free range chicken breast was stuffed with hazlenuts, herbs, jambon de Paris and a suggestion of Bresse Bleu. We drank elegant Savigny-Les-Beaunes Vielles Vignes from Domaine Michel Ecard – hommage to papa Meneau (€55). “My menu changes daily so pop by and see if it’s to your taste,” he suggests. À la carte, about €50- €60 for two courses, with a glass of wine. Lunch menu: starter- main- dessert for €39. See you there !
22, rue d’Astorg, 75008 Paris, Metro: Saint Augustin, Tel: 01 42 65 10 74. www.cromexquis.com
Bistrot de Marius
Following a change of ownership and decor “Petit Marius” (younger brother of the iconic Marius and Janette next door) becomes “Bistrot de Marius” – with fish and seafood the USP.
Depending on the catch – and the season – the menu/blackboard offers oysters; bountiful seafood platters; shellfish; Bouillabaisse; perfect flaky pastry filled with sardines, herbs, olives; Mont Saint-Michel mussels; langoustine nems; salmon or tuna carpaccio. Mains include Brittany langoustines; organic line caught salmon; cod and vegetables of the moment in aïoli; Whiting “Colbert” tartare sauce, skate – on the bone – capers and lemon; spaghetti with langoustines; chicken casserole; or, for the carnivores in the room – filet of grilled beef, sauce béarnaise.
For dessert, Grandma’s soothing home-made rice pudding, dark chocolate fondant, chocolate mousse, creme caramel, beautiful baked apple and quince sorbet, mirabelle crumble, or ice cream and house made sorbets.
Lunch formula is €27 – starter and main course, or main and dessert. A la carte about €30Euro – €68 + wine, juices etc.
4 avenue George V, Metro: George V, Tel: 01 47 23 41 88. Open 7/7. www.lepetitmarius.com
Le Fitzgerald – Restaurant / Cocktail Bar
F. Scott would definitely enjoy this Midnight in Paris style multi-functional address created by Guillaume Bénard which perfectly captures the sensual underground atmosphere of prohibition.
The art deco inspired restaurant balances tradition – zinc bar, tiles and modernity – furniture, memorabilia and lighting. At night, push open the padded door, relax on the banquettes, it’s confidential cocktail time (from €8-€15). Order the “Tender is the Night”, vodka zubrowka, white peach, thyme sirop, basil, cucumber and celery (13€).
From the kitchen, chef Pierre-Thomas Clément sends out interesting market-driven dishes to share: La Burrata (€18); Assiette Ibérique (€16). Average A La Carte €45 – Daily formula (2 courses) 24€. Or solo starters – soup of the day – Célerie rémoulade, smoked haddock, Granny Smith; Poélée of cepes, Colonnata lard… consider a glass of Mon Petit Pithon 2015 (€7). Note the thick crusty fresh sourdough from nearby Moulin de la Vierge, rue Saint Dominique. And mains of, say, milky white Turbot, spinach, lemon confit, beurre blanc; gambas linguine, coconut milk, beurre blanc (red Pic Saint-Loup AOC Mas de l’Oncle (38€); then either cheese (Saint Nectaire) with black cherry jam or Fig Millefeuille. You won’t need The Love of the Last Tycoon (it’s affordable) and you’ll certainly be This Side of Paradise !
54 Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg, 7th. Metro: La Tour Maubourg, Tel: 01 45 50 38 63. Closed Sunday. fitzgerald.paris
POD (Parisian Omnivore District)
BHV’s exciting new concept – located in the courtyard that showcases BHV L’Homme – located in the street behind the iconic store founded in 1856.
Check out Paris’s first fabulous patio Food Court – in winter garden setting. Dedicated to healthy Parisian/International style street-food taking in six kiosques serving eclectic styles of eating. La Perle Café (La Marais’s La Perle’s little sister) for creamy avocado toasts, banana bread and house granolas. Look for freshly pressed “intelligent” juices, hommous, and Buddha bowls from We Are Juice, French style lobster rolls from Homer – tapas from Petiscaria – the new label launched by Moustache and Greek specialities from Nykos.
Why go? Great coffee, free wifi – le snacking – Sunday Brunch in a green and pleasant setting. Remember BHV’s open Sunday (11am-7pm). We also love the terrace (and Le Perchoir outpost) at the main store!
POD opens from Monday-Saturday – 8am-8pm – Sunday – 8am-19hrs. BHV opens daily – 9am to 8pm. 36 rue de la Verrerie, 4th. Metro Hotel de Ville. www.bhv.fr/actus/pod-le-premier-food-court-parisien