You might remember reading here two years ago about the delightful pizzeria “Marzo” on rue Paul Louis Courrier which was run by Pandora Pearson. It had a happy atmosphere, the food was excellent and one left the premises with a light heart. It still exists but Pandora has moved on, not too far, to rue de Lille where she took over, with her associate Jean Baptiste Varenne, the old La Calèche which definitely needed a clean up. The old beams have been painted white, the bar serves as a counter and the modern decoration with a soft lighting at night is cheerful.
I was not very hungry and could not face a heavy winter dinner so it was a great surprise to discover the whimsical menu at La Calèche. My first question was for what is “Cecina de boeuf”? and the answer was dried meat, which was delicious with a very fresh Burrata. There was a plate of vegetable or sardines, I finally had a sashimi of daurade with an exceptional spinach salad sprinkled with little surprises. And we drank Chiroubles on the hostess’s recommendation. But she could have advised us anything, her smile and swift style are totally convincing.
Her grand-mother, Marina de Brantes, used to run in the late seventies, a fancy restaurant in Manhattan called “Le Coup de Fusil”. La Calèche is the extreme opposite. It is very welcoming, moderate in price, and only becomes noisy towards the end of the evening. What makes dinner so confortable is that the decor is totally unpretentious and the salad dressing is perfect yet, you don’t quite know why? The coarse bred is fresh, the service is brisk and everyone has a smile on their face. Including the customers who are happy to chat with each other.
You don’t have to book three weeks in advance like at Ogata in the Marais, where you are only offered a waiting list and asked first for your credit card number! I can’t stand these manners invented for spoiled nouveau riche customers. Here you do need to book, because the place is small (appr. 35 seats) but every effort will be made to welcome you even with your dogs. (Our neigbor had two!)
Who goes there? a few celebrities who happen to also be neighbors, the 7 th arrondissement’s chic and young crowd, but also normal people who just like their food. The main courses were a choice of salmon, Angus beef or pintade (guinea fowl) but the menu changes slightly every fortnight. It is straight French cuisine with a modern twist. Desserts are the classical chocolate cake and apple rhubarb compote.
For lunch, the menu is at 32€ for three courses. Dinner is around 70€. La Calèche, 8 rue de Lille, tel: 01 40 20 94 21. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Share this Post