Grand Coeur, Paris

When I heard that the Michelin two-star chef of the acclaimed Mirazur Restaurant, perched high above Menton on the Riviera, had opened a brasserie in the Marais section of Paris, off I went like a shot.  Even in chilly January, it was infused with a warm Mediterranean joie de vivre, clearly reflecting “un grand coeur” (a big heart).  However, this also has to be a bit of tongue in cheek as the restaurant is off of a cobblestoned courtyard, or “une grande cour” (a big courtyard).  In the summer, there is terrace seating as the restaurant spills out into this former coaching inn entryway.  As this entry also houses a theatre and a dance school, there is a hum of dancing feet both above the restaurant and across the way.  The resulting esprit is fun, fanciful, and beguiling.  The Grand Coeur occupies an 18th-century beamed space; decorative tiles of hanging Spanish hams give a nod to Argentina, where Chef Mauro Colagreco was born.  At the Grand Coeur, he has given the reigns of the kitchen over to Brazilian born chef Rafael Gomez who executes a constantly changing inventive menu of Mediterranean inspired dishes, all paired with the freshest of vegetables and herbs.  The cuisine is light, imaginative and tasty.  Youthful waiters arrive with ginger infused olive oil for the bread, and you immediately know you are in for a delicious evening.  The young and very Parisian clientele add their own verve to the beat of the kitchen and the overhead dancers.  If you need a break from formal restaurants, and are looking for a cheerful and happy time in Paris, the Grand Coeur is the address for you.
Grand Coeur 41 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris 33 1 58 28 18 90