Every time I step foot at Radio France, the large 1960’s building near the Eiffel Tower where public radio stations and their auditoriums are housed, I feel a slight emotion from the twenty years I spent working at France Culture with Jean Lebrun. And this was a particularly fun lunch shared with former colleague Marc Voinchet, now super successful director of France Musique, at the very trendy and pretty restaurant RadioEat facing the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.
Eric Wapler, the owner with chef Thierry Bassart, used to run Tokyo Eat at Palais de Tokyo. He now is the very charming host of this restaurant, open for lunch and dinner every day before and after the concerts and he has added a bar, the Belair, which stays open late. The view from the dining area is stupendous with the forest of trees planted a few years ago, letting the Seine appear through their foliage. Le “front de Seine” as the high rise buildings on the left bank are called, is a remembrance of the 70’s when Paris wanted to look like New York… and when you come out of the building at night they all glitter away. It is as romantic as a scene in black and white from Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”.
I was worried to be in a fashionable spot with bad food and was very happily surprised by delicious “Olives panées with yogurt and a purée of herbs and green pepper”, a light starter, and a “souris d’agneau” with mashed potatoes which were completely homemade style. My friend took the Bouillon Miso au kombu with lots of vegetable and carrot juice with ginger.
We could also have picked boeuf tartare with saté, piccata de veau or gravlax from Scotland. There are many different desserts including carrot cake, cheesecake and macarons of course.
Lunch was a complete success and quite modest in price. We ran into Laurence Bloch who has very successfully run France Inter for many years and there were a few non radio customers who were mesmerized by the decor. The restaurant is located at the level of the first balcony of the auditorium and is a fabulous way of ending a musical evening.
Marc Voinchet announced the new English website (France musique.com) for France Musique where all concerts and reviews will now be bilingual. But also a “Scarlatti 555″ festival he initiated for the summer in Aveyron, Gers and Tarn. The 555 keyboard sonatas will be performed in churches, private castles and concert halls starting in Château d’Assas near Montpellier, where Scott Ross recorded them thirty years ago, on July 14 th, and travelling to Saint Céré on the 18 th, Bournazel on the 17 th, Sorrrèze on the 20 th… Thirty keyboard players will perform 35 concerts in ten days. A crazy adventure which shows how adventurous and daring France Musique has become.
Radio Eat is an ideal spot to go after a concert in the auditorium, my favorite in Paris for its wooden decor and the beautiful music. The Belair bar stays open till 2 am and is decorated in a 1970’s style. And France musique can be heard everywhere…
(Radio Eat is open seven days a week at 116 avenue du Président Kennedy and bookings can be made at 01 47 20 00 29 or on line at.)
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