First Bite: Les Enfants Rouges
When Yves Camdeborde’s long-time Chef Dai Shinozuka left Le Comptoir to open his first restaurant last week in NoMa (North Marais) – Dai’s restaurant industry friends couldn’t have been more supportive, including Yves.
Dai and his wife Tomoko (former La Regalade) having been saving for their dream restaurant for a long time now, and his moment to finally shine in his own kitchen is here.
We were there on opening day last week to wish them well – and the dining room was packed with loyal pals excited to be eating in “Dai’s house” – including our friend Dany Bertin-Denis whom he bought the restaurant from and kept the name of her popular wine bar-bistro. Talk about continuing the positive vibes.
It is a fun little space adjacent to the Enfants Rouges market – albeit a bit sparse so the noise level is high, but that isn’t going to change anytime soon because it is that friendly kind of neighborhood place where everyone knows everyone.
Although he is Japanese, Dai’s superb cooking is French (served on gorgeous earthenware plates) such as smoked haddock caviar mousse (something he picked up at Le Comptoir and dare I say is better?), poached eggs and Girolle mushrooms, salmon filets in beef bouillon, and braised veal or chicken with pickled red onions. The cheese platter, baba au rhum and chocolat praline desserts are also terrific. Thierry Breton is delivering the bread daily – also another good sign.
The wine list and cave is still growing. Thankfully, our natural wine making friends Foillard, Villemade, etc. can be found – with more producers and large format magnums on the way. We encouraged a nodding Dai with a little selfish advice – when he has a dining room filled to capacity with other restaurateurs and wine growers who are all friends – large format is key. He’s on it.
I’m waiting to go back to give it a proper & fair review. Writing on opening day is cruel and unusual punishment since they’ve got some glitches to work through in terms of pacing service … and getting a credit card machine installed (cash only for the moment) but after their combined years of restaurant experience, I’ve no doubt they’ll be on top very soon.
Right now, they are amazingly open on Sunday AND Monday – a rare, rare thing in Paris. The word is out – so make your reservations sooner rather than later.
A la carte Lunch: 26-51€. Dinner: 35€.
UPDATE: They now have the credit card machine installed and service is much more even.