Those pretty little flowerbuds aren’t the only things opening up in Paris right now. Here, the restaurant debuts we’re most looking forward to this season.
Guy Savoy at La Monnaie
Paris has been waiting for years while its historic mint—a 17th century masterpiece, until now mostly closed to the public—was transformed into a museum and cultural space, which will also house Savoy’s relocated flagship restaurant. Until now, Paul McCarthy’s chocolate gnomes were the most exciting food served on site, but Savoy is fired up by a room he’s called “Versailles-esque,” designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, with towering windows looking out over the Seine toward the Louvre. Savoy’s refined classics and this only-in-Paris setting are such a match made in heaven, his other restaurants (at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore) can’t really compare. After endless false starts, we’ve finally got a solid opening date of May 19. See you there.
You have to love the venue-appropriate name—“adjugé” is the auction-speak equivalent of “sold!”—of this new daytime-only, 40-cover restaurant at Paris’s grooviest, most eclectic and accessible auction house, Drouot. The head chef is Amandine Chaignot, whose tour of duty is impressive: until recently the head chef at the Rosewood in London, she previously worked for Jean-François Piège during his tenure at the Plaza Athénée, for Eric Fréchon, and for Yannick Alleno—though to locals she’s better known as a jury member on the massively popular French version of MasterChef. On the menu is a Parisian take on laid-back contemporary cooking (i.e., vaguely Anglo): Caesar salad, iceberg wedge with steak, and skate tempura. Just because it’s a day place doesn’t mean tippling isn’t important. Joining Chaignot is the star sommelier Jérôme Moreau, formerly of the Crillon and Lucas Carton. Now that L’Adjugé is finally open, we are likely to be going once, going twice...
Is it possible to make the resolutely unsavory intersection of boulevards Barbès and Chappelle/Rochechouart cool? If anyone can do it, it’s the team behind the Pigalle hot spots Le Sans Souci and Le Mansart. The revamped venue, under renovation for more than two years, is major: two stories and a large terrace are done up in white tiles and industrial-style exposed piping. Open since the first weekend of May, it’s now serving friendly comfort food and booze from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. No matter what happens, it beats the KFC that was originally destined for the spot.
Le Bon Saint Pourçain
David Lanher, owner of hipster natural wine bistros Racines, Vivant, and Vivant Cave, and partner in the posh Venetian Caffé Stern, continues to indulge his appetite for expansion. His latest project at 10bis rue Servandoni is an overhaul of this well-loved lace-curtain bistro around the corner from the Jardin de Luxembourg, due to open in June. The area, formerly something of a culinary wasteland, has shown signs of an exciting, casual food culture popping up in recent years in the form of Semilla, Jean-François Piège’s terrific bistro Clover, and the sainted Le Relais du Comptoir and L’Avant Comptoir. With his vast network of creative young chefs, Lanher will be a welcome addition to the party.
Adeline Grattard became a star when she first opened this Franco-Chinese fusion table in 2009. (Side note: why aren’t there more of those alongside the wonderful ongoing wave of Franco-Japanese?) It’s been closed for several years and in the interim, Grattard and her Hong Kong-native husband have developed a savory bun joint and a teashop on the premises. Now they’re almost ready to reopen the mother ship in a larger space, which should please the throngs of frustrated diners previously unable to gain access to creative concoctions like XO shrimp on semi-raw potatoes and rice-wine-poached foie gras. It’s set to open in summer 2015; stay tuned for details.