I am going to tell you about a wonderful new spot in the Haute Marais quarter. Open since Novemebr 2012, this place offers something rare in the old parts of Paris : space. It’s called Beaucoup, and it has beaucoup d’espace for a Paris restaurant. It’s the third Parisian restaurant by the duo Ludovic and Julien. They seem to have a knack for opening trendy chic spots. But what I find so delightful about Beaucoup, besides it’s décor, menu and atmosphere… is that it’s right around the corner from the well known spot Merci. To me it seems to be the obvious suite to the installation of Merci. Merci… Beaucoup. And I hope someone opens a place just down the street from Beaucoup, and calls it « De Rien »! It could be a cute little place that serves up something different every day according to what they have available. It would be like they are making something from nothing! Get it? « De rien »? Every meal there would be a surprise! But… I digress with my little Paris restaurant fantasy.
Back to Beaucoup. I headed there for lunch with Kasia Dietz (see her blog here) several weeks ago (yes, I know it takes me forever to post things, but we can blame it on my full-time day job). And as I was saying above, it is the natural conduit after Merci. I even walked by Merci on my way to 7 rue Froissart in the 3rd. They are not the owners of Merci mind you, although they do have a couple other restaurants that I should test…
Let’s talk about the décor, since that is always my inspiration for choosing a restaurant, although, I didn’t choose this one, Kasia did. And I’m so glad she did, as I had not yet heard about it! (There’s nothing like the Paris expat blogger community to discover and share the best new(ish) spots in town!) The ambiance is très New York without any of that ever trending burger-bistrot-kitsche happening all over Paris (and yes I do indulge in it!). The venue has a surprising amount of square footage for a Parisian restaurant which is the first thing that caught my attention. Second was the gorgeous blue velvet seating which when juxtaposed with the pseudo industrial chic interior decorating, gives a warm and comfortable balance that was more than inviting. I felt I could spread out and speak with my lunch date without sharing our conversation with the table next to us. Usually in Parisian restaurants you are practically brushing elbows with your table neighbors.
Long tables and giant windows on one side of the dinging room and at the front bring in an abundance of light and and convey an airy atmosphere that is accentuated by the contrasting colors : asphalt gray ceiling, pale wood tables, blue velvet, white walls and table linens. It creates a harmony as natural as Merci beaucoup! »
As for the service, I was pleased to find a restaurant where we were served with grace and style that was neither ostentation nor snobby but that offered us exactly what you need from a server : someone who knows their menu, inquires with the kitchen when unsure, offers proper service of wine and plates, and allows you all the space and time needed selection.
The menu offers a nice variety of entrées and plates. I appreciated how the menu states where the meat is from (France, Ireland etc…). For a population that is becoming more and more food conscious, it is important to know where our food comes from. The prix fix menu for lunch offers an option at 17€ and an option at 21€. We took the former with only an entrée and a plat and then each took a coffee after the meal. We also accompanied our meal with a glass each of rosé wine which was quite nice. For my first dish (the entrée) I had couldn’t have the risotto as it contained dairy so the kitchen improvised and made me a lovely vegetable dish with marinated tomatoes and shredded radish. Not only was it nice of them to accommodate me and my intolerance, but the dish was delicious, pretty and healthy. For my « plat » I chose the Bavette (beef) and it was absolutely succulent and tasty. I enjoyed every bite. It came accompanied with roasted mini potatoes and braised radicchio lettuce. Kasia had the salmon for lunch which I will select next time as it looked so juicy. I would go for the prix fix menus as à la carte can quickly get a little pricey for servings that are not necessarily « beaucoup », but as for quality, you will not be disappointed.
And if you like to get a glimpse of the magic that happens in the cuisine, there is an open window into the kitchen and you also have a full view of the rotisserie at the back of the restaurant.
I enjoyed my experience at Beaucoup entirely. Everything seemed harmonious, and I recommend this address for anything from a professional lunch (there did seem to be quite a lot of professionals lunching there) to a leisurely meal amongst a few friends be it lunch or dinner. For something a little more exclusive (aka trendy) there is the small bar upstairs, Démon Bar. It has a sort of turn-of-the-century cozy Industrial/apothecary style, and is a bit small, but if you head there with a small group of your friends, you could perhaps have it all to yourselves! Just get there before everyone else. 😉
7 rue Froissart 75003
Reservations : 01 42 77 38 47 or firstname.lastname@example.org