This review refers only to the brunch menu.
Star pâtissier Sébastien Girard is famous for the pillows of crème Chantilly, delicately caramelised chouquette pastries and towering Paris-Brest concoctions sold in his Rue des Martyrs bakery. His second venture is tucked away under the arches of the Rue de Rivoli, and includes a salon de thé serving an exquisite brunch menu. Once inside, take the stairs at the back to the slightly dark dining room on the second floor. Apart from the billowing mouldings on the walls, the décor of little wood and marble tables, delicate sofas and armchairs is straight out of Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ – luxurious without overdoing it, comfortable but not exactly cosy. It works mostly because of the service, which is low-key but friendly.
Anyway, any aesthetic considerations evaporate with the arrival of wave upon wave of delicious pastries at the table. Start with a perfect café au lait or an unctuous hot chocolate, perfect for dipping your tartine of artisanal bread slathered in butter and home made apricot jam. Then there’s the array of gorgeously crunchy, flaky, sweet and fluffy pastries. Not to mention the freshly squeezed juices, boiled or poached eggs, smoked salmon, brioche and fruit salad. At €35, it’s definitely for a special occasion – so since you’re splashing out, why not add in a speciality pastry for an extra €5.50 – a millefeuille, perhaps, or a Paris-Brest, or a vanilla religieuse. You just have to make room.
TRANSLATION: ELLEN HARDY