for Gourmets in Paris
Charting the Changes
Big and Small
restaurants mark the coming of fall with some
changes such as a new chef or different décor.
There’s nothing to report along those lines
from the great dining palaces—for the moment.
Although a rumor concerning the departure of a certain
triple-starred chef is making the rounds, we’ll
have to wait a few more weeks to know for sure.
2005, the start of the season was marked by Alain
Senderens at Lucas
Carton “giving back” his three stars to
the Michelin Guide in favor of simplified décor,
service and cuisine. A year later, Senderens
(Lucas Carton’s new name) is packed, and you
have to reserve way in advance. Christian Constant,
head chef at Les Ambassadeurs
(Hôtel de Crillon) a decade ago, reiterated Senderens’
statement more discreetly by cutting in half the prices
at his restaurant Le
Violon d’Ingres. He had already
lost a Michelin star and while this decision seems
less spectacular, it does illustrate a trend of lowering
prices to attract a younger clientele. In contrast,
trendy and fashionable places and those that cater
to glitterati are raising prices.
Hélène Darroze, has
just added an addition to the ground floor of her restaurant,
called Boudoir. For around €60
one can enjoy extremely sophisticated (and gourmet)
finger foods like truffled Landes duck foie gras lollipop,
saturated with flavors of the Southwest.
former chefs at Alain
Senderens—Bertrand Ganneron and Frederic
Robert—have just surfaced, the first as the
owner of Bascou,
the latter at La
on avenue Parmentier, which was put on the map by
a young Englishwoman of anonymous background, now
has a young Basque at the helm. Inaki Aizpitarte was
most recently at restaurant Le Transversal (Musée
de Vitry on the Seine), and he offers a cuisine he
far as bistros go, Jean Paul Arabian, once director
of Ledoyen, and owner of Pierre au Palais Royal, has
opened Le Caméléon.
There, starting at eight o’clock each morning,
you can have breakfast and get items to go. Chef David
Angelot, also formerly at Ledoyen, updates classics
of bourgeois cuisine: warm leeks in vinaigrette, mackerel
pissaladière, fried smelt fish, skate with
capers, and Provençal bourride (white fish
with potatoes in a lightly flavored garlic sauce).
The warm décor is by Alberto Balli, and prices
are reasonable: €30 for a lunch menu à
la carte, €40 for dinner.
by, on the rue de la Grande Chaumière, Wadja
has restaurateur Thierry Coue who is one of the players
helping to revive the bistro scene in Paris. Alain
Ducasse is also in the news: he has entrusted
young David Zuddas with the task of creating a sandwich
out of Berber bread, red pepper confit, eggplant and
feta available in all B.E.s or Boulangepiceries. It’s
also said that the multi-starred chef has his heart
set on an old brasserie in the 17th arrondissement.
The name Rech has been going around.
Pascal Yar, former director of Gaya Rive Gauche, reopened
his “club” for fish aficionados in the
7th arrondissement called 35 degrés
Ouest, where the young Reddy Merienne prepares
a colorful and poignant cuisine: warm sardines in
spicy chutney, fish tartar in Caesar sauce (with anchovies)
and delicious pan fried langoustine accompanied by
a water cress velouté. The roast wild bass
with cèpes mushrooms and veal juice reduction
like the Saint Pierre fish with cockles and capers
served with a lightly moussed jus are his modern takes
on the seafood genre. Count on a few gourmet desserts,
wines by the glass, and a small but well-selected
wine cellar. Small lunch menu (wine and coffee included):
€29. A la carte about €55.