PARIS – Does Paris get its answer at the Chiltern Firehouse in London (minus hotel rooms)? The seafood establishment Le Divellec, long a sanctuary for politicians thanks to its location a stone’s throw from parliament, ministries and embassies, is back with a new name and a fashionable atmosphere.
Now known as Divellec, the restaurant has had a makeover and doubled its surface area. Behind the renovation hides a trio made up of chef Mathieu Pacaud, 35, and Isabelle Saglio and Philippe Grach, co-owners of the neighboring Esplanade with the legendary hotelier Jean-Louis Costes, also involved in Divellec.
The space has been completely revamped by the architectural firm Studio KO Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, who designed Chiltern Firehouse and the Balmain boutique in New York, and was selected by Pierre Bergé for the future Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech. . The artistic direction was entrusted to Atelier Franck Durand, which carried out campaigns for fashion houses such as Isabel Marant, Mugler and De Fursac.
Located between venues such as the Grand Palais and the Rodin Museum, the restaurant is slated to open on September 20, in time for Paris Fashion Week, which kicks off the following week.
“It’s an institution, sheltered from fashion,” said Marty, one of the architects. “You are eating very well, but there is life and energy.”
“The story that we invented to create the place was a gastronomic restaurant in the provinces which had its heyday and is taken up by children or grandchildren,” Fournier added. “This is the restaurant revisited by the new generation.
The 2,690 square foot space can accommodate 80 inside, plus 20 on the terrace with a view of the Esplanade des Invalides. It has several rooms and atmospheres, reminiscent of Chiltern Firehouse. On the left, a winter garden with celadon green hues and walls in wickerwork and mirrors.
“There is a Madeleine Castaing atmosphere,” said Saglio, an elegant and soft-spoken Parisian who is the mother of Vogue Paris fashion editor Geraldine Saglio, referring to the famous French interior designer. “It’s a place that I imagine Yves Saint Laurent could have loved.
A bar with a pink marble counter takes center stage. To the right is the dining room with bench seats and padded cabins. Once past the glass screens and heavy curtains, there are two smaller living rooms with wooden floors and wool rugs, one of them with a fireplace.
Pacaud, who has a penchant for fashion (his apron for Divellec was made to measure by Berluti), this year won two Michelin stars in his restaurant Histoires on avenue Kléber, whose clients are Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman, plus another star in France. He and his father are co-owners of L’Ambroisie, three Michelin stars, where former guests include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mick Jagger and Catherine Deneuve. The chef is preparing new outposts for L’Ambroisie in Macao and Hexagone in London.
Pacaud said he wanted to involve his father in developing the Divellec menu. “It’s a multigenerational place, with a four-handed menu,” he explains.
The emphasis is on seafood and vegetables. Shellfish are served fresh or refined (think poached oyster with watercress sabayon and golden caviar, or blue lobster and vegetable salmigondi in a Nepita butter nage). Corsica, where Pacaud was in residence this summer.
The catch of the day is made to order using a variety of cooking methods such as poaching, roasting and milling. For dessert, options include French toast with roasted apricots and thyme ice cream. The cellar contains 1,000 bottles, including rare Romanée Conti and Château Margaux bottles and fifty varieties of Champagne. The menu is a la carte, with average meal prices ranging from 50 to 150 euros, or $ 56 to $ 168.
One of the two lounges can be transformed into a karaoke bar. “It’s classy karaoke, with woodwork,” Pacaud said with a smile, noting that he really cared about it.
18, Rue Fabert, 75007
Phone. : +33 1 45 51 91 96
Open daily from 12:30 p.m. to midnight.
From 8 am for breakfast from January.