Jean-François Piège, the Parisian-based chef who rose to Michelin-starred fame thanks to his work at Le Grand Restaurant and Brasserie Thoumieux, has ventured into new territory with the opening of his latest restaurant, Clover Grill. From the inspiring decor to the innovative menu, it is an absolute must for lunch or dinner when visiting Paris.
Tucked away in the 1st Arrondissement, close to the recently revamped Les Halles and soon to re-open La Samaritaine, the space was conceived and designed by Jean-François himself, along with his wife Elodie. They fashioned the interiors to include chestnut-colored leather banquettes, distinctive green marble tables from Italy and botanical-patterned wallpaper. The duo scoured antique markets for items like the deeply-worn butcher block tables where the breads are sliced and the hammered copper pots that hang decoratively from the walls. Also on display is an impressive range of dry-aged meats—some from the Aquitaine region in southern France, others from as far away as Kansas—which are stored in a gold-rimmed refrigerator and overseen by butcher Olivier Metzger.
The seasonal menu is centered around an open-flame grill situated in the center of the expansive kitchen—everything from the meats and vegetables to the desserts is touched by the white-hot coals. Begin with the Clover Salad, a vibrant dish that includes grilled romaine, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella garnished with micro basil leaves; or opt for the chef’s specialty, the Pizza Soufflé, an airy pocket of dough, similar to a pita, filled with spicy chorizo and olives and topped with peppery arugula and mouth-watering slices of tuna. The meats steal the show here, so for a main, consider the filet de boeuf served with decadent, butter-laden mashed potatoes whipped to creamy perfection. When in France, you’ll naturally want to sample dishes that are authentically French, especially when it comes to desserts. A soufflé is always a safe bet, but at the Clover, Piège is a true magician when it comes to transforming fruit. Order the beautifully presented grilled pineapple coated with aromatic vanilla bean, Piment d’Espelette and served with a scoop of their house-made lemongrass ice cream—a luscious ending to an unforgettable meal.
For more Parisian goodness, check out 'The Art of Traveling Solo' in the newest issue of R&I.
The Clover Grill, 6 Rue Bailleul, 75001 clover-grill.com