PARIS — Ignore Avenue Montaigne. The Les Halles community — the spot in the Very first Arrondissement the moment nicknamed “the Tummy of Paris” for its sprawling food items marketplace — is about to develop into a magnet for French manner.
In April, La Samaritaine, as soon as a person of the oldest department stores in the city, is to reopen as a luxury shopping mall and five-star resort courtesy of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, proprietor of Dior, Vuitton and Givenchy. In June, the Bourse du Commerce, a previous commodities trade having a second lifetime with assist from the celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando, is scheduled to grow to be house for section of the Pinault collection of up to date artwork (Pinault, as in the household that owns Kering, dad or mum organization of Saint Laurent and Balenciaga there also is a museum in Venice). And the Louvre des Antiquaires is to morph into the Fondation Cartier in 2023.
But as the very well-shod hordes put together to descend on this previously considerably less-celebrated part of the town, where, oh exactly where, will they consume?
L’Epi d’Or. A small community bistro near the Bourse, it has been operate by girls for a few generations and retains its unpretentious 1930s décor of copper pots, novice continue to lifes, hydrangeas stuffed into ceramic jugs and, on the zinc bar, a mascot in the type of an owl-formed metallic ice bucket.
It is very little if not authentic — and these times trend enjoys absolutely nothing so much as authenticity.
Even now, L’Epi d’Or may possibly have turn out to be a convenience keep had Elodie Piège not been tipped off that it was in lookup of assistance. She is the spouse of Jean-François Piège, a Michelin-starred chef, previously a judge on the French version of the Tv set clearly show “Top Chef” and the writer of 10 cookbooks.
The few now owned the two-star Le Grand Cafe, La Poule au Pot and the two-restaurant Clover operation, had not long ago began a relatives and had no intention of expanding their minimal empire. But, Ms. Piège explained, “Places like L’Epi d’Or are part of the soul of Paris: it is about what you try to eat but also so lots of other factors. We require to preserve that heritage.”
So she took out a loan, taken care of the decorating herself and asked two girls currently operating for her at an additional restaurant to assistance acquire the lead at L’Epi d’Or on Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Much like a heritage fashion model, reinventing a restaurant can be a complex and expensive proposition. At La Poule au Pot, a historic bourgeois favorite the Pièges reopened in 2018, they poured 3 million euros ($3.26 million) into renovations that would look “the identical, but far better,” Ms. Piège stated.
For L’Epi d’Or, they invested just one-3rd that volume to modify “not significantly, but at the very same time loads of points,” she said. A new kitchen area was installed and the electrical wiring updated, but they left the indentations on the ceiling that were being the vestiges of Champagne corks earlier.
Ms. Piège explained that, for the very first time, she resolved to reference her Portuguese roots in the restaurant, including ceramics to the décor. “It’s the put that appears to be the minimum like us, but in the end, it’s the restaurant that resembles us the most,” she claimed.
Providing the location what Ms. Piège named “a a lot more freestyle and spontaneous” feel also bundled modest price ranges, with set-value menus at much less than €40, and reserving about half the 40 seats for stroll-in diners. As for the menu, the shortlist of à la carte classics features a Croque Madame, the toasted cheese and ham sandwich topped with an egg, and there are traditional household signature dishes like seven-hour lamb and steak tartare. On a new Friday, the established menu was pot-au-feu vegetables with vinaigrette, cod à la Normande, and chocolate mousse the clientele provided the shoe designer Christian Louboutin and his staff.
“I know the put by coronary heart. I knew it even prior to opening my shop in the Galerie Véro-Dodat,” Mr. Louboutin claimed, referring to a nearby arcade. “I know some incredibly elegant people today who seldom leave the Seventh Arrondissement, but they’ll arrive in this article, and they notify me how fortunate I am to be up coming doorway.”