In 1986 Jean Paul Gaultier opened his Philippe Starck-designed flagship store in the listed Galerie Vivienne – a covered arcade built in 1823 between the Palais Royal, the stock exchange and the Grands Boulevards – to much fanfare. But when the space became too small, the boutique closed its doors and relocated to plush belle époque headquarters on Rue Saint Martin in the third arrondissement. Now, that much loved original space reopens in May as Daroco, a 180-seat Italian high-end trattoria from Alexandre Giesbert and Julien Ross (pictured), which follows the success of the duo’s Roco pizzeria, Rococo néo-kébab and Roca bistro.
The restaurant will be on two levels, with contemporary decor by architects Olivier Delammoy and Francesca Errico. Because Giesbert and Ross like their addresses to tell a story, and Daroco’s theme is art, the duo called on SuperKitch, the French contemporary artist and tattooist, to create a glass installation between the two levels, the funky wallpaper, the cocktail menu – and the restaurant logo. (“The logo doesn’t mean anything unfortunately, but we like it,” says Ross.) A further wink to Gaultier comes in the form of staff uniformed in JPG’s signature striped sailor-marinière T-shirts.
Chef Giesbart – son of charismatic, award-winning author and journalist Franz Olivier Giesbert – met his business partner at Daniel Boulud’s NYC restaurant, Julien Ross, after graduating from the prestigious Ecole Ferrandi (the Harvard of gastronomy) and working in top kitchens such as Pierre Gagnaire and Christian Etchebest.
“Our beautiful classic Italian cuisine includes luscious bucatini alla carbonara made with pasta from Gragnano, a little Neapolitan hillside village; the sauce is accented with crispy diced pork cheeks – guanciale – that have the texture and consistency of bacon but a greater depth of flavour,” says Giesbart.
“We bring culinary ideas from our travels,” he continues: “Tender Cetara anchovies, tomatoes from San Marzano sul Sarno, nduja salami from Reggio di Calabria, burrata and fior di latte from Sanza.”
The wine card will be mainly Italian, while the cocktails more exotic – celebrated mixologist Nico de Soto (formerly of the Experimental Cocktail Club) will concoct quirky drinks such as Green Alligator – combining Pernod, absinthe, coco milk, pandan leaves, syrup and egg (€15). Santé!