Where to Eat Now in Paris: Brach, Gaya, La Pascade, Show Devant

Where to Eat Now in Paris: Brach, Gaya, La Pascade, Show Devant
A chef must think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate up like an artist – and – cook like grandma! Gaya Pierre Gagnaire’s bistrotheque, formerly located on rue du Bac, just moved to rue Saint-Simon and the former La Ferme Saint Simon, once owned by chef Francis Vendenhende and his wife, TV personality, Denise Fabre. Back in the day it was the canteen serving the gratin of ministers and deputies who’d stroll over from the nearby National Assembly. Saying goodbye to the chintzy décor, Marcelo Joulia and Laurent Lelimouzin have given the place a contemporary vibe without detracting from the main event – the food. Walls are punctuated with delightful photos from the chef’s impressive personal collection – it looks as if Gagnaire’s made a good move. The theme’s “Terre & Mer”. Eat at the bar (for Ministers in a hurry) black croque monsieur (aubergines give it the color), veggie or tuna poke bowls, as well as revisited seafood classics including langoustine mayonnaise, royal sea bream carpaccio, Oeuf Claude Monet, paté Marguerite, Seafood Platter (€85 for 2 people) with matching wines. Or, reserve a table and let chef Nicolas Fontaine tempt you with, say, Saint Jacques scallops, sublime Soupe de Poissons, then Suprême de Volaille from the Landes, Galicia rib-eye steak with soy sauce. Finish with cheese from Monsieur Antony and the Dacquoise with crème de marron and
 orange panna-cotta. The impressive wine card is by Frank Lucas, super sommelier and world cup beer champion! So what’s happening at Gaya rue du Bac? It’s re-opening as Piero Trattoria – watch this space! 6 rue Saint-Simon, 7th. Metro: Solferino. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 44 73 73. Closed: Sunday-Monday. Closed 1st January until dinner 4th January, 2019. Lunch formula €39-45. Seafood platter for two €85. Café de la Paix Overlooking Garnier’s Opera House, Café de la Paix has been “the” rendez-vous of le tout Paris since since 1862– a favorite watering hole for the likes of Guy de Maupassant, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, Harry Truman, and Josephine Baker. The setting’s romantic: a painted ceiling that’s a listed historic monument, beautiful frescoes, gilded panelling, Corinthian columns. The hotel was used by Robert Altman for his 1994 film Prêt-A-Porter. Outside, the corner terrace is a discreet, Bond style, people-watching observation post. Inside, the menus by Laurent André, Michelin star Executive chef (since 2016), tick all the boxes. Sunday Brunch, with Oyster Bar, food stations, entertainment for children and music is probably the best in town. And don’t forget to taste cheffe pâtissier Sophie Barnardi’s Opera; the famous dessert was arguably first created for the Opera House around 1890. €94 includes a flute of rosé champagne – 50% for the under 12s and under threes are invited. Time to celebrate: Reserve Christmas Eve Brunch – 25th December, €115 with a flute of champagne. New Year’s Eve 31st December – multi-course festive dinner (vegetarian options available), €350 includes a flute of champagne. Happy New Year Brunch on 1st January, €145 with champagne. 2 rue Scribe, 9th. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 07 36 36. Open 7/7 – 7am-midnight Brach Paris It took four dusty years of construction to build Evok Hotels’ Brach on the corner of rue de la Pompe and rue Jean Richepin in the 16th. The 1970s building formerly housed a Paris postal sorting office (La Poste – the post office – remains). Designed by Philippe Starck – with the collaboration of his daughter Ara – the hotel consists of 59 rooms and suites,a  state-of-the-art Health Club, two pools pools, and a rooftop herb garden with sensational Paris views. (Rooms are priced from €457-€1,000 + breakfast €25.) Adam Bentalha heads the slick steel and glass open kitchen; he’s worked in Switzerland at the Royal Savoy, Lausanne and in Paris at the Ritz, Shangri-La, Royal Monceau, Prince des Galles with Stephanie Le Quellec. Order the detox juice (€12) and eat, facing the kitchen, in the achingly stylish lounge featuring squashy sofas, raw wood chairs, cosy corners with walls of books, nick nacks, magazines and sculptures. “We’re serving Sunday brunch from 16th December, it’s going to be fantastic,” promises the chef with the smiling eyes. Bentalha’s food is a Mediterranean fusion style, so you can expect, say, grilled cauliflower, sesame sauce; lobster carpaccio with mussels a la mode turque; Mediterranean tuna, black olive tapenade, marinated tomatoes; couscous quinoa tagine; vitello tonnato, parmesan chips and capers, or onion compôte; truffle ravioli and winter bouillon – the “musts” of the moment. And, save room for spectacular desserts, displayed like precious jewels, by MOF Yann Brys. New Years Eve 7-course dinner – €290 + wine 1-7 rue Jean Richepin, 16th. Metro: La Muette. Tel: +33 (0)1 44 30 10 00. Open 7/7. Average spend : €55 + wine La Pascade Launched with huge success in 2012, this restaurant serves neo-traditional, delicious golden, buttery Pascades— flaky, pastry, savory n’ sweet caramelized tarts which originated in the southwest region of Aveyron. Now rocking a sleek new décor and the input of chef Bruno Doucet from La Régalade Saint-Honoré alongside Sébastien Pradal. The ideas’s simple – make the Pascade (egg, milk, organic Aveyron flour) then fill with seasonal ingredients. Order with, or if you’re weight watching, without the pastry (€19). The menu starter/main/dessert costs €34. Look for starters of signature Régalade terrine (€10). Beet Hummus with smoked eel, feta, poutargue, eggplant, cashew nuts and cumin (€13) and, for the “ladies who lunch,” a big seasonal salad (€19).

Lead photo credit : Gaya restaurant. Photo: Jacques Gavard

Previous Article Words in French and English That Can’t Be Translated
Next Article An Ice Skating Rink, Winter Chalet, Pop-up Bars, Markets: Festive Events at Paris Hotels

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 !