Byline: Alison Beckner / Brid Costello / Laurent Folcher / Chantal Goupil / Robert Murphy / Jennifer Weil
Celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one busy man. Late last month he rechristened Jo Jo, his famous town house restaurant on East 64th Street, and on Oct. 8, he’s slated to inaugurate his first Paris outpost, Market. Located in the Christie’s auction house building at 15 Avenue Matignon, the 120-seat restaurant will bear French decorator Christian Liaigre’s hallmark warm, minimalist style and feature a cross-blend of French, Italian and Asian cuisine on the menu. Vongerichten’s partners in Market are filmmaker Luc Besson and French retail and luxury tycoon Francois Pinault, who controls Christie’s and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.
Market, 15 Avenue Matignon, (331) 184.108.40.206.
Yves Saint Laurent couture boss Pierre Berge has finally lifted the curtain on his landmark caviar restaurant Prunier. Berge shuttered Prunier, renowned for its Art Deco dining room and bronze panels designed by the late Harper’s Bazaar creative director Alexi Brodovitch, late last year after buying it from Japan’s bankrupt Sogo group.
Berge solicited celebrated Paris decorator Jacques Grange to spruce up the dining room. Berge described the first-floor result as “part Russian dacha, part Salzburg. As for the ground floor, we changed a lot — but one wouldn’t be able to tell.”
Prunier is not merely a decorative affair for Berge, however. It showcases the caviar he cultivates in the Gironde region of France.
Maison Prunier: 16, Avenue Victor Hugo, (331) 220.127.116.11.
Coffee to go in Paris? The dream has become reality as American-style coffee bars pop up around the city. The most ubiquitous among them is Columbus Cafe, which — alongside a large menu of coffees — boasts freshly made muffins in flavors such as blueberry and apple-cinnamon. Columbus has more than 10 Paris-based cafes, including 25 Rue Vieille du Temple in the 4th arrondissement, 15 Rue Vavin in the 6th and 21 Rue Soufflot in the 5th. There’s also The Coffee Company, which recently opened at 64 Rue Mouffetard in the 5th.
Two new boutiques near the Madeleine church suggest concept and lifestyle stores are still in vogue.
Resonances, a French purveyor of beauty products and hardware, gets down to the nuts and bolts of both areas, mixing bath salts, aromatherapy oils, doorknobs, paint and measuring tapes. The 3,300-square-foot store is divided into several sections that include products for the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. Prices range from 70 cents for a candle to $1,395 for a leather sofa.
Just a stone’s throw away on Rue Boissy d’Anglas is Omio, showcasing a range of wares for an East-meets-West home decor. Slated to open Thursday, the 3,600-square-foot store is organized to resemble a house with everything in the various rooms for sale, including the flower arrangements. Beyond furniture, Omio offers a range of private label cashmere apparel.
Omio, 22-24, Rue Boissy d’Anglas, (331) 18.104.22.168; Resonances, 3 Boulevard Malesherbes, (331) 22.214.171.124.
My Dinner With Dave
The film and fashion flock’s favorite Chinese restaurant in Paris, Dave, has moved after 20 years on Rue Saint Roch to slightly larger, glitzier digs four blocks away on Rue de Richelieu. The red lacquer chairs are new, and the high ceilings offer more wall space for Polaroids of owner Dave Cheung mugging with his famous clientele, which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Alexander McQueen and Helmut Newton.
Why move? Well, the lease ran out and Dave’s feng shui expert only gave his blessing on the old space for 20 years. But you’ll find the same lemon chicken, the same fish tank, the same phone number and the same gossipy, friendly atmosphere. For once, fashion is standing still.
Dave, 12 Rue de Richelieu, (331) 126.96.36.199.
His and Hers
Isabelle Ballu, who shows Friday in Paris, has inaugurated a boutique in the 11th arrondissement in partnership with men’s wear designer Moritz Rogosky. Ladies & Gentlemen showcases their signature collections, including pieces from previous collections.
The interior, by designer Marc Humblet — who collaborated on the Lagerfeld Gallery — has a theatrical feel, with effects like light boxes in the ceiling and the presence of male mannequins throughout the store, positioned on furniture.
The store also sells clip-on hairpieces, jewelry by Benjamin Lignel, Japanese sweets and Ballu’s own expanding line of accessories.
Ladies & Gentlemen 4 Passage Charles-Dalery, (331) 47.00.86.12.
Sounds Like Fred
Known for providing the tunes for fashion shows, Frederic Sanchez has taken his musical inclinations beyond the runway. The so-called “sound illustrator” has launched his first self-titled album. It features a slew of his favorite tracks, from Mirwais and Chilly Gonzalez to Chicks on Speed and Mina. “It’s a very personal album,” explained Sanchez, who has a deal with Saint George, a division of Sony, to compile three more such albums. “It’s a sort of manifesto of my musical taste.”
Frederic Sanchez, 5 Rue Anastase, (331) 188.8.131.52.
Ofr, the force behind Paris’s edgiest newsstands, has a new mecca: a greatly enlarged location at the popular Paris boutique Kiliwatch at the corner of Rue Tiquetonne and Rue Etienne Marcel. It’s destined to be a top destination during fashion week and year-round.
“Kiliwatch is an interesting place, frequented by 10,000 people a week,” said Alexandre Thumerelle, who founded Ofr with his sister Marie. “Everyone in the fashion industry goes there to look around, as do trend seekers, media types…even the surrounding cafes are packed with good-looking people hanging out.”
With neighborhood traffic on an upswing, due to an influx of new shops and restaurants, chances are that the Ofr press corner will continue to benefit from its placement. Denim giants Replay, Diesel and Energie opened flagship stores on Rue Etienne Marcel this year and men’s and women’s designer boutique L’Eclaireur just moved into a space around the corner on Rue Herold. A Costes restaurant is scheduled to open before the end of the year.
One To Watch
It’s not his out-and-out debut, but this season is symbolic for Laurent Mercier. He will use money garnered from three separate accolades — a prize each from Yves Saint Laurent haute couture and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton as well as the prestigious government-sponsored ANDAM grant — to stage his first ready-to-wear show. It is scheduled for Oct. 12 at the Carrousel du Louvre.
No fashion neophyte, Mercier spent four years designing costumes for rocker Lenny Kravitz, worked three years as an assistant for Jean-Paul Gaultier and spent another three pitching in with the women’s and men’s lines at Escada.
Last year he launched his eponymous ready-to-wear line — Laurent Mercier Deluxe — with an Eighties-inspired collection. This season, Mercier describes his all white collection as “very spiritual and exotic. There’s a strong travel influence.”
France’s electronica set has a new stomping ground: Nouveau Casino. Located on trendy Rue Oberkampf behind the Cafe Charbon, this new concert hall also functions as an exhibition space for contemporary art and installations, a bar and a nightclub, depending on the evening. The interior features spaced-out futuristic architecture and an elaborate sound system.
October’s musical menu includes a concert by Franco-English indie-rockers Stereolab, one of Paris’s few two-step and big-beat nights and an easy listening costume party.
Nouveau Casino. 109 Rue Oberkampf, (331) 184.108.40.206.
A recent addition to the ready-to-wear lineup this October is a runway show to raise money and awareness for the mentally handicapped.
More than 70 fashion brands — including Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel and Christian Dior — will donate clothes to be worn by celebrities and models at the event called Creer Ensemble (Create Together). UNAPEI, an association of some 750 French activist groups for family and friends affected by mental disabilities, is its organizer.
The show is scheduled to take place on Oct. 9 at 8:30 p.m. at the Theatre de la Mutualite, 24 rue Saint-Victor in the 5th. Tickets can be purchased for $21 at the event or over the phone through UNAPEI. (331)220.127.116.11.
Ghislaine Arabian, one of France’s most celebrated female chefs, has unveiled a signature restaurant in the 16th arrondissement. Arabian, who earned her reputation during a six-year tenure at Ledoyen, is influenced by the haute cuisine of northern France and Belgium.
Menu highlights include a shrimp souffle topped with a parmesan wafer, peppery fois gras, langoustines with smoked tomato vinaigrette and oven-roasted turbot flavored with beer.
Restaurant Ghislaine Arabian, 16 Rue Bugeaud, (331) 18.104.22.168.
How do Left Bank fashionistas keep up their energy for an all-day shopping spree? Based on the long lines snaking out of the new Pierre Herme pastry shop on Rue Bonaparte, they fuel up on lemon tarts, mint macaroons and praline millefeuille. Herme, who educated his sweet tooth at teahouse La Duree, enlisted designer Christian Biecher to create the interior, all sleek and modern in dark woods that make one think of — what else? — chocolate eclairs.
Patisserie Pierre Herme, 72 Rue Bonaparte, (331) 22.214.171.124.
Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots have a new neighbor in Saint-Germain des Pres: a loungey restaurant called Dedicace Cafe, which holds a torch for the area’s literary roots.
Located on Rue Saint Benoit next to the Bel Ami hotel, Dedicace features light and tasty cuisine prepared by chef Stephane Foray in concert with Philippe Groult, previously at the famous Amphycles. Patrons can enjoy a quick lunch at the raw bar or feast upstairs in the dining room on creamy cauliflower and crab soup or a langoustines risotto.
Dedicace Cafe, 7 Rue Saint Benoit, (331) 126.96.36.199.