An elegant hole in the wall is the Abri (shelter) restaurant which used to be a sandwich shop and not to forget its roots has kept a lovely unfinished washed stone look, the kind of place from the outside you ask: “Is this it or are they still working on it?” There’s no name on the blue door, blue frame entrance so you’d have to know; Richard knew and led me there, just a short block from the metro Poisonniere (if you head in the right direction, Richard, mince, alors!).
The chef is Katsuaki Okiyama, one of a growing number of Japanese chefs who have been wowing Paris lately with their new ways of cooking old recipes, and always with some startling dash of beauty that makes a dish a work of art.
Inside the narrow dining area there are twenty small tables with an open stainless steel kitchen in the middle of all. One of the sous-chefs told us the ingredients are as close to “terroir” as possible, seasonal and often organic. The menu has two four-course “formules,” one at 22e, the other at 32e. We chose the one at 22e trying to stay as close to “Lunch with Lynn” guidelines as possible.
The Japanese waiter asked us to choose between fish (maigre) and meat (chicken) and everything else was a surprise. What wasn’t a surprise was that it was all delicious. The word was out, which is why we went there.
First course, a perfectly cooked miniature leek with a divine trace of pistou sauce squeezed along its length and a skin thin petal of white radish on top. Next, a superb pumpkin soup, topped with lavender and apple mousse that added mystery to a classic French recipe. For his plat, Richard had the maigre (croaker), a white fish served with a perfect cream sauce surrounded by small various colored turnips, and I loved my chicken with a bump of mushroom sauce to the side as thick as chestnut cream and, for inspired decoration, one tiny yummy roasted ratte potato, which for a long time I thought was raté meaning “failed” – a name that in my nutty Irish American mind made perfect sense because these potatoes are so unnaturally small, as in stunted. Oh, my. Dessert was a wedge of chocolate tart and an egg shaped dollop of chocolate sorbet (roll eyes towards heaven).
Just so you know, the restaurant turns back into a surprising sandwich shop on Mondays and Saturdays. Not impossible for a golden carriage to become a plain yellow pumpkin, but that pumpkin soup we had sure tells the whole story.
92, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière , 75010
Tel +33 1 83 97 00 00
Open Monday and Saturday lunch from 10am-7pm with sandwiches only. Four-course tasting lunch menu Tuesday through Friday, and six-course tasting dinner menu Tuesday to Saturday.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.