10, rue Alexandre Dumas (11)
This small, brand new restaurant in the young, Brooklyn-like emerging 11th is difficult to review, primarily for its concept. In my words, it is a permanent pop-up. There is a permanent space and address, and a permanent infrastructure staff, but by design a temporary chef, style and menu.
The idea is to hire a chef for six months or so, someone in between emerging prominence on an established team, and having his/her own place. This “ownership internship” gives the chef practice and experience (on someone else’s investment). The risk is that it becomes an entirely new restaurant every six months.
In its first iteration with a former sous chef from Septime (see 11th Arr.), the three choice menu (3 entrees, 3 plats, 2 dessert choices and cheese) was weak in entrees (crab bouillon, steamed oysters), stronger with what came after (beef, fish and wonderful breast of pintade baked en croute in a pita-like crust).
This is both new and intentionally casual, almost seat-of-the pants in style. And it works perfectly for its target audience. On a spring Saturday night, young couples, a few with strollers, waited for the 24 seats.
44€ fixed price. A short wine list. With a 50€ Bordeaux, 130€ for two.