After a successful round of crowdfunding, youngsters Julien and Pierre have founded Papy aux Fourneaux (which means something like Grandad in the kitchen), a new kind of restaurant where the products are both locally sourced and responsibly cultivated, and the dishes on offer are for sharing, just like a meal at home!
The interior design of the restaurant is pretty surprising, but what about the food? Check out our review…
Papy aux Fourneaux opened just recently in a neighbourhood behind Montparnasse railway station, and one not particularly known for its outstanding restaurants. The evening we visited (admittedly, a weekend which included a public holiday), it was very, very calm.
The restaurant has an unusually large space for Paris , spread over two rooms, allowing it to include not only a host of tables and chairs, but also a area with a sofa, board games, table football… The idea is that after your meal, you are free to relax, enjoy and chat.
Although in a modern building, the playful interior design uses all sorts of old school elements, like flat caps turned into light fittings, vintage furniture, traditional French serviettes…
You’d best know about the concept of Papy aux Fourneaux before going – “here, it’s like being at home” says their menu, but that means that – if you play along – the members of your group will all have to eat the same dish. Not only will you have to agree on it and share it (each dish is served in a big Le Creuset pot and made for two people minimum), but there are actually only two dishes on the menu (which changes every week).
If that all sounds a little complicated (or excessively simple, depending on your point of view), the idea didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s all part of the restaurant’s concept – Papy aux Fourneaux sources all its ingredients locally, form responsibly-run businesses. Their objective is to produce zero waste, and any dishes left over are donated to local charities.
After having ordered some wine and sparkling water, we thus started with parsnip soup with bacon, served with sesame seeds and red onion whose sweet taste worked well with the slightly bitter taste of the parsnip.
The mushroom and broccoli tart was also good, with lovely light pastry and a very colourful side salad.
For the main dishes, we went for the only two choices on the menu (which changes weekly) – veal and risotto.
The veal was tendre and melt-in-the-mouth. The red ride was cooked to just the right softness and carrots and mushrooms added even more taste and consistency, all wrapped up in a generous amount of sauce. Not bad at all.
The spelt risotto wasn’t very creamy (but deliberately so, it was explained to us) with hazelnuts that added a bit of a crunch. We added a little bit of salt, but otherwise, a very proficient dish.
And for dessert we decided – finally! – to play along and share something, a lemon-orange tart that was very creamy, but with a little too much pastry for our liking.
(We only actually managed to eat one of them, but the other was very kindly packaged up so we could take it home).
A little espresso was the final touch to the meal, and – how kind! – the restaurant offered us a little shot of alcohol to finish everything off. Papy really is adorable!
And don’t forget, after your meal, feel free to take advantage of the games on offer in the lounge area, maybe even chat with someone…
We liked the idea behind Papy aux Fourneaux, but the restaurant may not be for everyone. Deciding on a dish together and having to share it will sound great to some and nightmarish to others, for example if they are vegetarian (but don’t worry – Papy will always find a solution if you’re having trouble).
Also, in an area where restaurants have a hard time taking off, offering almost no choice is daring (borderline dangerous) and 50€ per person will be above some people’s budget – 10€ for a first course, 19€ for a main course, 8€ for a dessert, 5€ for a beer (!)… the total can go up very quickly, even though the price of each dish is reduced (a little) starting from the third person in the group.
Papy aux Fourneaux (here) is open Tuesday-Saturday fro lunch and dinner
Tel. +33 (0)1 45 49 06 12
Online booking here