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Contact info

5 rue du Nil75002 Paris
T+33 140399619




Chef's personal info

Name: Grégory  Marchand
Date of birth: Unknown
Gramercy Tavern - New York Jamie Oliver - London 

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When it opened among the wholesale clothiers of the Sentier district in the Second Arrondissement last April, Frenchie was welcomed for its affordable menu and casually correct food. The young chef Grégory Marchand has spent most of his career abroad, working at Jamie Oliver’s 15 in London (where his kitchen nickname was, yes, Frenchie) for three of his eight years there, and at Gramercy Tavern in New York for a year and a half before returning to Paris. As a result, his food speaks several languages fluently — slang included.

Mr. Marchand’s French training was enhanced by ingredient-driven Italian and American market cuisine. There are no rigorously built sauces — frankly, he doesn’t have time. Not only is he the sole cook, he’s also the reservationist and the lunchtime dishwasher. The restaurant’s popularity means he now answers the phone only at prescribed times. Please do not leave a message.

The menu maps Mr. Marchand’s influences, as well as his desire for sweetness and acidity in each dish. A recent lunch yielded a rectangle of delicate house-smoked trout on a horseradish-spiked edamame purée. Pickled red onions aligned on top, while rogue edamame sprinkled the plate. Eaten together, the combination was oddly, deliciously burgerlike in its savoriness.

A rustic salad of caramelized roast pears, earthy lardo, walnuts and salty pecorino di Fossa was a last look at winter, presented as simply as cuttings in a garden basket. Thick slices of charred pork on celery purée were joined by dark roasted brussels sprouts and brightened with pickled mustard seeds and a rough swirl of jus spiked with Xérès vinegar. Even a rainy-day bowl of gnocchi with wild mushrooms and Parmesan was shot through with acid in a vain attempt to cut the richness. Skip dessert in favor of a 6-euro glass of wine.

While the feel and food of Frenchie wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn or London’s East End, Mr. Marchand has the advantage of French training underscoring his seemingly informal offerings. It’s like watching professional ballet dancers in a basement club: there’s style, sure, but their joy comes from being able to let loose.

Frenchie, 5, rue du Nil; (33-1) 40-39-96-19; Lunch, 21 to 25 euros; dinner, 31 to 35 euros.

Published: April 18, 2010



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