6, rue Bailleul (1)
Steak frites is a ubiquitous dish on every café menu. Traditional French luxury bistros may offer chateaubriand for two, but the classic American steakhouse model (The Palm, Morton’s, Capital Grill, etc.) is unknown in Paris. The ambitious chef, Jean-Francois Piege (see Le Grand Restaurant, 8th; Clover, 7th) has created one model in the form of the year-old Clover Grill in the 1st, two doors from Spring (see 1st Arr.).
Luxurious in a hip and modern way and staffed by an entirely under-30 crew, it has a beautiful, open kitchen, a wine list plus cocktail menu, and a young vibe. How that will succeed with high prices remains to be seen, but the kitchen delivers on the focused menu’s promise. Very good food.
Prime focus is open flame grilled steaks for two, with 3 beef choices: French, Eastern European or Kansas, each served and priced for two with a choice of sauce and roast potatoes.
Entrees (foie gras, grilled romaine Caesar salad, tuna “pizza”, asparagus) and desserts (the standouts: rotisserie grilled pineapple, strawberries with whipped cream) supplemented by grilled fish, smaller steak preparations for one, rotisserie lamb or chicken (at 68€ per person for 2!). Most tables ordered the steak for two.
Young, engaged, bilingual, both waiters and 21 year old sommelier.
Very high a la carte with a small print 69€ 3 course price fixed option.
With a wonderful “trust me” wine recommendation, 261€ for 2. As I said, very high, although not unlike New York for similar food in much larger spaces and less welcoming environments.