October 03 2009
Paris’s Rive Gauche and the Marais are all very well. But for sheer style, it is still the Huitième that draws me – especially that part of the 8th arrondissement triangulated around the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Place de la Madeleine. The problem has always been finding somewhere to eat, the choice largely confined to tourist dives or palace hotel restaurants with prices to match.
Now I have discovered a recently opened solution. 114 Faubourg is a theatrical brasserie that’s part of the new wing of the Hôtel Le Bristol on the corner of Avenue Matignon. The exterior is pure Haussmann, the interior and menu best described as “Nouvelle Belle Epoque”. Cooking is superintended by the triple Michelin-starred Eric Fréchon, but prices are less than half those prevailing in his gastronomic restaurant in the hotel (lunch for two with wine is typically €200-€230). Remarkable, considering the amount of gold leaf gilding the magnificent iron staircase. A Carla Bruni sighting is momentarily anticipated.