Upon first glance, you’d be forgiven for confusing the industrially chic Partisan Café for another could-be-anywhere cosmopolitan, third-wave coffee joint. But like most things coffee, the devil is in the details. In this, financial analyst-cum-café owner, Georges Karam spares none. Combining a historian’s appreciation of coffee culture and Paris architecture with a physicist’s approach to fluid dynamics, Georges’ coffee geekery caters to a distinctly French sensibility.
La Poule au Pot is a looker. It's wonderful to walk in and witness the vintage wallpaper, the globe lighting, and the silver-plated serving chariot wheeling between Pepto-Bismol colored tables. It is at once a little elegant and also a touch cheesy. One can almost picture the 80s pop stars who used to slouch into these red banquettes, the mirrored pillars reflecting their manliner and sprayed hair. Today's Poule au Pot, having been recently rebooted by star chef Jean-François Piège, reflects something different - a desire for traditional cuisine bourgeouise and also the willingness (by some) to pay for it.
French food magazine Fulgurances opened L’Adresse in 2015 as a culinary incubator featuring a rotating cast of guest chefs. In 2016, we were blown away by the food of Israeli chef Tamir Nahmias. More recently, we returned for Mariana Villegas, a young Mexican chef who previously passed through Cosme and Union Square Café in New York. Her cooking is bright and inventive. Here's an update on what's happening at Fulgurances.
A key charm of the Marché des Enfants Rouges has long been the discrepancy between the surrounding Marais’ chic tourism and the humid food-hall atmosphere of the market itself. Les Enfants du Marché – a frankly luxuriant, avant-garde dining counter tucked in the rear right of the market – is arguably the first establishment to bridge these two cultures.
Former Au Passage bartender Löic Martin opened his eponymous bar-restaurant in late 2014 in the shell of a former PMU betting parlor, placing his money on sincere small-plates, a populist booze program, and a boldly central location. Over the course of a few years and a few conceptual tweaks, Martin the bar-restaurant has blossomed into a booming shabby-chic nightspot, the social anchor of the haute-Marais, one of the few wide terraces in Paris offering truly excellent cuisine at accessible prices.
Le Rigmarole opened in October 2017 and delighted me more than any other restaurant that year. A recent return visit confirmed my feeling that Le Rigmarole is honest, inexpensive and delicious. It's casual and a bit chaotic, and it deserves to be packed every night.