Nouveau cook pour une nouvelle vie

Restaurant Fripon (Paris)

© @samylafamille

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By some masterful sleight of hand, Fripon had made the former Top Chef France contestant Pauline Séné disappear and handed over the keys to a clever couple from Cape Verde: sommelier Crislaine Medina, who used to work at Le Rigmarole, and chef Luis Andrade, who’s already been spotted toying with magic at Clown Bar, Au Passage and the We Are Ona pop-up. These days, you’ll find him whipping up cheeky plates by candlelight at this hideaway decked out in black and white streaked marbled. Take the other night and our selection à la carte as an example: a duo of oysters splashed with ponzu sauce and candied kumquat – like a nod to Pauline’s n°3 oysters with fish sauce and kumquat; a delicate chickpea hummus topped with dandelion greens dressed in pomegranate molasses; a graphically pleasing patchwork of flash-seared squid, white bean purée and sliced grapefruit; before a dashing lemon mousse dotted with licorice oil. Other skillfully concocted options included: steak tartare with radicchio and raspberries, gnocchi with bolognese sauce and cauliflower, chocolate with cocoa nibs and olives…. And if you don’t know where to start, the seven-course carte blanche menu is worth your time. // Gwen Jacquère 

FEELING THIRSTY? Well-traveled wines that have been chosen with care (Akoibon, a Grenache-Mourvèdre from the Roussillon estate Yoyo at €46 a bottle, Molinarosa, a Venetian rosé from Il Roccolo di Monticelli at €50…), including a dozen references served by the glass: Ruby, a gang bang of Czech varietals produced by Krasna Hora (€7), Hey, a Catalan orange wine from Amós Bañeres (€8), Le Chemin des Salines, a red Gard blend from Le Mas Mellet (€7)… 
PRICE: À la carte €46-54, tasting menu €75 (7 courses). 

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