The team behind much-loved bistro Le Pantruche has opened a second venue a few streets away from the first, to much excitement from Paris’s gourmet community. The name Caillebotte (after the painter, 1848-1894) hints at an aura of 19th century modernism, and also encompasses chef Franck Baranger’s love for the 9th arrondissement – his father worked as a policeman here when Franck was growing up.
Set up by Baranger and his partner Edouard Bobin on the corner of a calm street, the restaurant is a light-filled space that has its roots in the bistro tradition but also embraces current trends – there's a large open kitchen (it's always fun to eat overlooking the chefs at work), pale wood, modern lighting and a big white marble bar with green accents. The young front of house team is well trained, friendly and efficient.
Diners will find everything on the plate that made them fall for Le Pantruche in the first place: well-thought-out dishes, inventive without overdoing it, pitch-perfect execution inherited from the best kitchens (many of the team trained at the three-Michelin-starred Le Bristol, under Eric Fréchon), and an instinct to feed generously that never loses out to culinary posturing. The proof: steamed Roumégous oysters in lettuce bouillon – all big salty flavours. Beetroot soup with fresh goat’s cheese and fish eggs, bright and earthy. Erquy scallops with watercress mousse and lemon butter, both gentle and sharp by turns. Desserts are distinctive while being barely sweet – roasted figs with coffee crumble and gingerbread ice cream is an autumnal harmony of flavours.
The beetroot and many other vegetables come from the family garden – this is cooking from the heart. Make sure you book ahead to beat the inevitable crowds.