Summer 2020 Restaurant News from Paris

Summer 2020 Restaurant News from Paris
“If bistros disappear, life disappears” is the mission statement of Alain Fontaine, chef/owner at Le Mesturet, running a campaign to obtain UNESCO recognition for the French bistro. Following the lockdown linked to the health crisis, restaurants have reopened and, until September, every spare inch of pavement has been converted to a street café (as in “squatter les trottoirs”). Inside, the government’s new health standards demand separation of tables – a compulsory distance of one meter apart – masks, hand sanitizer on tables, and diners instructed to spritz before and after holding menus, so, expect to be not quite sure if the bouquet from your pinot noir is from a little too much alcohol content, or gel wafting up from your hand… Here are some newsworthy restaurant reopenings. Frenchie Pigalle. Photo credit: ©Geraldine Martens Alain Ducasse has reopened Allard, the achingly French gourmet bistro, having consulted with medics at Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière and with impressive state of the art covid-secure safety measures in place. The chef and his team of scientists have installed a €45,000 air cleaning system which means each table is placed under a dynamic virtual bell. And cheffe Pauline Berghonnier’s weekday 3 course lunch (€34 + bevvies) gets rave reviews. Frenchie Pigalle: “Opening in Pigalle marked my first Parisian infidelity to rue du Nil”, admits Frenchie’s Greg Marchand. “Frenchie Pigalle is a free spirit, a globalized, mixed race BLM cuisine, inspired by my travels, I’ve dubbed it sexier-trash. Here you’ll nibble on sweetbread nuggets with your fingers (if well washed!) adding raw cream and caviar”. Yummy, Banofffee pie with pecans, Cherry Pavlova. No reservations. Great cocktails. Sir Winston. Photo credit: ©Romain Ricard “Sir Winston”: You remember Manoj Sharma from Akrame Benallal’s Shirvan Café Métisse, and as best “foreign cook of the year” Pudlo Paris Guide 2016 when he helmed the kitchens of Desi Road, rue Dauphine. Now he’s at the stoves of “Sir Winston”, Bertrand Group’s Indian style brasserie/terrace which replaces the iconic old Parisian pub, Winston Churchill, on rue Presbourg near the Etoile. Laura Gonzalez’s bright decor recalls Bombay Brasserie, London and Manoj’s cuisine remains true to India’s classics, “tali” style, with heat and passion. To be continued… Ralph’s. Photo credit: ©Yann Deret Ralph’s: Here’s authentic American cuisine: the essential burgers, traditional chicken Caesar salad, Maryland-style crab cake, the famous RRL cowboy steak, and also vegetarian and/or tuna burgers, grilled Atlantic salmon… Not forgetting the mouthwatering American desserts: Ralph’s brownie, New York style cheesecake, house made carrot cake, ice cream sundae … all the delights of a trip to the USA without the hassle. Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse

Lead photo credit : photo courtesy of Allard restaurant

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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, 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 !