The Faubourg Saint-Antoine area has been making waves on the food scene for quite a while: Rue de Cotte, Rue Trousseau, the Marché d’Aligre and lots of other little streets offer an excellent range of good things to eat, and since the Rue Charonne's latest makeover, the area is more than ever on the up. Graphic arts bookshops and trendy boutiques proliferate, so it’s no surprise to fine Bertrand Grébaut’s latest restaurat venture here. A former pupil at Penninghen design school, the décor reflects his background: huge mirrors, industrial installations, antique flooring and furniture, reinforced concrete and bare wood, all designed by Julien Cohen & Co.
The cooking is direct, pure, and serious. Raw horse mackerel with yoghurt and red cabbage was superb, as invigorating as the velouté of eggs, mushrooms and chicken foie gras was comforting. Saint-Jean mackerel with sweet and padron peppers was perfectly cooked, Iberico ham and pumpkin was tender and delicious. Dessert was a lovely mixture of apples, fromage blanc, honey and thyme. It's all topped off with charming service and a lunch menu at €26 including a glass of wine (when we visited, Romorantin 2010 by Frantz Saumon or an Argentinean Malbec, Amalaya 2009). Evening menu at €55.