Just outside the Marché des Enfants Rouges on the narrow Rue de Beauce is the very trendy bistrot “Les Enfants Rouges”. The talented Japanese chef Dai Shinozuka, who is a “graduate” of Le Comptoir du Relais, owned by celebrated chef Yves Camdeborde, is at the reins of this small bistrot where his wife acts as maître d’hôtel. As previously noted in other “Coups de Coeur”, the sign of a really top bistro in Paris these days is the presence of a Japanese chef in the kitchen “equipe”. Here, a whole Japanese family is running the show, and the hospitality is superb. Les Enfants Rouges is typical of a recent trend called “La Bistronomie” that was pioneered by Yves Camdeborde when he left his post with Christian Constant at the three star restaurant of the Hôtel de Crillon to open his own bistrot. The idea was to lighten traditional bistrot cooking and have fun with spices and ingredients, often pairing modest cuts of meat or fish with more luxurious garnishes and fresh herbs. Products come fresh from local markets – thus, a location next to the Marché des Enfants Rouges is ideal.
Although “la bistronomie”, a combination of bistro cooking and grand gastronomy, is no longer new, or as seemingly revolutionary as it was in the 1990s, it remains light and playful, with refreshing new tastes, or from time to time, some real flops. At Les Enfants Rouges, this cuisine is at its very best.
Following the prevailing fashion, Les Enfants Rouges is decorated in a minimal style. Spot-lit contemporary paintings add punch to the white walls while bright flowers add color to the tables. Tiny cups of a tantalizing soup (what exactly is that flavor?) are served as a welcome “amuse-bouche”. Instantly, the meal takes off on a happy note. Whether you begin with a “Poêlée de girolles et oreilles de cochon” (a sauté of wild mushrooms and pig’s ears) or a carpaccio of bar (white fish), you are in nouvelle bistro cooking territory. While the “paleron” of beef may not be the fanciest cut of prime filet mignon, it is extremely flavorful. Baby clams add a briny flavor to a roast fillet of cod. To conclude, order a favorite bistrot classic, Baba au Rhum, which is doused tableside with excellent rum from the French island of La Réunion. For a dessert with a new twist, order Cheesecake au thé vert – a far cry from a dense New York City cheesecake of its own legendary fame. Les Enfants Rouges is a hot new destination place – reserve in advance and enjoy both its warm hospitality and the trendy cuisine of today’s Paris.
Les Enfants Rouges
9 Rue de Beauce, 75003 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 48 87 80 61