Restaurant Report: Rosemary

31 August 2015

The dining buzzword in Paris in recent years has unequivocally been neo-bistrot, which describes well-priced, market driven restaurants, but few food entrepreneurs have explored its (big) sister concept from across the channel: the gastro pub. The two are very similar, blending gastronomic quality ingredients and dishes with a more laid back atmosphere and kinder price points but some of the signature dishes may vary. At Rosemary, Paris’s first gastro-pub, both the interior and the menu lean English but doesn’t forget the French twist.

Ambience: Casual. The front of the space is reserved for craft beer, wine and cocktail drinkers and bar goers, setting a more animated vibe, while the back dining room is intimate for concentrated conversation during lunch or dinner. The addition of vintage, floral wallpaper and small flowers centered on each table adds a feminine touch to the wood and brick space.

In the kitchen: A Franco-English duo: Aurélien Sérugue and Joseph Rawlins, trained at Gordon Ramsay’s school and at Jadis, the 15th arrondissement restaurant. Fun fact: the very first Rosemary menu was tested in Josh Eggleton’s Michelin-starred country pub in Bristol, Pony & Trap.

What to expect: Gastro-pub, English-inspired fare (beef wellington, beer braised lamb shanks, roasted quail or monkfish) in a comfortable space with great craft beer (like Deck & Donohue, BapBap & Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or) and solid service.

Strengths: Rosemary shakes up what we think we know about more traditional English cuisine by using top-shelf ingredients (cheeses and meats from Leeds, ciders and juices from Devon farms) executing with refined precision. What’s more, every stage of the meal is spot-on, right through to dessert which you should definitely plan to order (during my visit, I ordered the tea sablé accompanied by a caramel mousse and rosemary yogurt sorbet and nibbled on the carrot cake which was fancied by slivers of whiskey-imbibed popcorn). Specialty coffee thanks to Terres de Café single-origin beans completes the meal beautifully. Bonus: a lunch and dinner formule option

Penalty point: There is not much they can do about it but a large space means that when it is not filled to capacity, the vibe suffers.

Overall: A great value in a sleepy section of the Marais and a welcome addition to the Parisian food scene!

4 rue Crillon, 75004
Metro: Bastille (1,5,8), Quai de la Rapée (5)

*All photos courtesy of Petits Béguins 

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