Derriere Review, Paris
- Restaurant: Derriere
- Location: 69, rue des Gravilliers, Paris (3rd)
- Zagat Food Score: 15/30
- Jelly Good Food Score: 7.5/10
- Ambiance: Hipsterville
- Interesting fact: a creation of Mourad Mazouz (Momo, Sketch, 404)
Dinner with friends during a weekend trip to Paris.
Walking through a discreet archway off rue des Gravillers, you are stepping inside a portal transporting you into a micro universe that is restaurant Derriere. You will then find yourself in a convivial courtyard, cosy and relaxed, perfect for enjoying hot Paris whether (when you can get it) and just beyond, there is what looks like someone’s living-room – a ping pong table, shelves of books and records, kitsch art and knick-knacks. The furniture is lovingly mismatched and it all feels a bit like Shoreditch hipsters had a interior-decorate-off with a retro aficionados. While it is all of course, deliberately contrived to appeal to a trendy crowd by experienced restaurateur Mourad Mazouz of Momo and Sketch fame, I buy into it.
The food itself, scored rather less well than the Derriere’s interior, in fact, in this writer’s opinion it was just “ok”. Let’s start with the positives – many of the dishes on Derriere’s menu are innovative or at least interesting. There are “black” carrots for example served with coriander maple syrup and sesame oil and a starter of artichokes – served cooked, halved, with a mustard dressing – the former I have not seen before and the latter was surprisingly simple yet delicious. The negatives were that our main courses (we mostly ordered fish) were presented somewhat carelessly and were all a quite oily. The desserts were hit and miss –floating island was tasty but this orange/biscuit combination was unbalanced and the giant macaroon was just dry.
In terms of service, expect surly, trendy, charming yet arrogant young men – they fit the mood here rather perfectly, so I’m not complaining.
Should you decide to visit Derriere, I insist that after dinner, you explore upstairs. The ladies bathroom contains a huge bathtub – I suggest you climb inside with your friends and take photos (as my friend M is demonstrating above). Next, there is a closet at the end of the corridor: open it and you have found an entry to a secret lounge room, complete with a foosball table, antlers and a curious bric-a-brac items.
Jelly Good Food bottom line:
Despite its misérable Zagat rating, and only “ok” food (though still interesting options), I still recommend a trip to Derriere if you are on mission to have a good time. Its just designed for fun.