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)

Le Review

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.

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