Grazie has all the trappings of a buzzy hybrid pizza joint – test tube beakers as wine carafes, dark, distressed wood furnishings and bona fide Italian ingredients you’ll almost certainly need to translate. But really, we shouldn’t expect anything less from the family behind the inimitable concept store Merci. As well as sharing similarly gracious names, the two addresses are ten doors from each other on boulevard Beaumarchais.
Despite tables being a hair’s breadth apart, reserving one for evenings would be wise - the place gets rammed. Alternatively, sit at the bar for a front row seat on some serious mixology and a closer look at the zany ingredients. Save yourself for the post-dinner blend Morning Manhattan (€13); rye whisky, amaro (a bitter, herby liqueur), vermouth and homemade biscuit liqueur. Not one for the faint-hearted.
As for the pizza, you’ll smell it before you see it (you might need an IPhone torch to read the menu though). Wood-fired, with a super-thin base, the Diva (€13) came piled high with finely sliced raw mushrooms and crispy ham, while the margherita had the cheese-tomato balance spot-on. There may have been a queue out the door, but waiters were nothing charming – particularly when we were dithering over desserts. Panna cotta with raspberry coulis was gloriously simple (€10), and I’m pretty much still salivating over the black fig and pistachio ice cream. Look past the slightly intimidating furnishings and the hype, this is the sort of place you’ll want to linger long after your last spoonful. Grazie mille, Grazie.