The hottest Parisian reservation of the moment is
Inaki Aizpitarte's new spot right next door to his other joint, Chateaubriand.
Snared a reservation. Felt special. Went with friend. One of the big deals here is the design by Pritzker prize winning architect Rem Koolhaas and Clément Blanchet. The space, girded in Cararra marble and dotted with silvered mirror might look great in the daytime, but at night it seemed to be missing a disco ball, I had the uneasy feeling I was floating on a birthday mylar balloon that ended up in some 1970's concept of cool and elegant and brought be to a caffe on Mulberry Street in Little Italy.
The best site line in the place goes to the bathroom and the kitchen. Quite amusing to watch everyone there go into the coat closet, mistaking it for the WC. Then there's the subway tiled bathroom itself. Taking a leak made me feel oddly as if I was in a an albino rubric cube.
This time of year France seems like NYC, anonymous is not possible, so in walks the resto critic, Alan Richman in the corner with a table top of edititrices. Next was a photographer from Sweden who I met in Brooklyn. Then there were the waiters who I remembered from the next door spot.
The food: The bread is great, the butter is better. I don't get the idea that this is tapas, back to his roots. No tapas, just small plates from 6 -12 euro. Hate to break it to the press, but this ain't tapas. Food gets slapped down like a cafeteria.
Top choices for me, great cucumber broth, intense! But the cerviche inside was too chewy. By far the best dish was a simple smashed purple potato.
I just adore a well placed potato.Then there's the wine list, nice selections if a shallow selection of the usual suspects --even if I love them. They're in the vin de soif category. At the low end 30 euros for a appetite whetting Puzelat Petite Buisson (savignon), at the high end, '09 Dard & Ribo St. Jo white for 67 euro. Many of the wines are t 2-3 times retail for a spectacular gouging, especially with the current 1.36 dollar to the euro. Here is one spot where by the glass at 5 euros seems a great deal that by the bottle. I had a great gamay which was sold to me as a grolleau, La Mule 2009 from Gregory Leclerc. 30 euro for the bottle, 5 euro of yum btg. Remember when French wine lists were a joy because they were cheaper? like maybe 50% above retail? Maybe even 25%? I do. And paying New York Prices is a drag.
- 131 avenue Parmentier