Very early in my life, I entered the universe of luxury hotels and embraced their vision of French haute cuisine – a school of thought that taught me the value of rigor and tailor-made service and shaped me into the person I am today.
As time went by, my roots and childhood brought me back to the kind of cooking that is typical to our suburbs. Today, my wish is to strike a balance between stringent requirements and simplicity through a restaurant that is both elegant and affordable. This place imbued with freedom, the true melting pot, the focal point for the neighborhood. Characteristic of the large cities of France, it had to be a brasserie.
The brasserie… the famous French brasserie and its imagery. The thought conjures up an almost oversized menu bursting with iconic dishes and much awaited daily specials in their inset. It also means a décor that is grand, yet casual; a style, an appeal no one really pays attention to because it makes you naturally comfortable. The checkered floor, the perfectly aligned chairs, the white tablecloths and the promptness of apron-clad garcons are so many references I wanted to come back to.
With STAY Faubourg, my intention is to pay tribute to all the aspects of this popular, lively cooking while reinterpreting them in a very modern way. An energetic approach that involves an unchanged freedom sometimes bordering on casualness, which is packed with surprises and adapted to today’s craving for lightness, comfort, immediateness and, primarily, for guilt-free indulgence.
To give a new lease of life to this institution, so that everyone can find what they want – this is what I intend to do.
The modern brasserie, is an affordable, simple yet refined restaurant open to all guests and on any occasions, a place where service is given its due importance, with a stylish and modern setting that lends itself to exchange and friendliness.
The modern brasserie, combines the traditional art of hospitality with the realities of our time in a place for sharing, for meeting other people and cultures at the very heart of Paris and its life.
The modern brasserie is also about having the freedom to take your time or to make the best out of a gastronomic meal in a limited time window. It is about rediscovering iconic dishes through the modern approach of a visionary, multi-starred chef whose priorities are taste and subtleness; a menu enriched with classic, but also feminine wines selected by female winemakers for the female Epicureans of our times.
Last, the modern brasserie aims at celebrating the ultimate, guilt-free indulgence of a tailor-made dessert that seduces whoever looks through the Pastry Library’s shop window.
STAY Faubourg by Yannick Alléno offers a creative and refined cooking. The menu is rich with iconic dishes brought into lines with the current tastes with complete freedom. Pastry comes into its own and gives rises to delicacies that allow themselves the luxury of a last-minute assembly in the dining area.
The elegant menu, purposely oversized to reflect the wide choice of dishes, gives pride of place to lavish mixed salads, soups of the season, choice cuts selected by the butcher, fine fishes and pastries. A wide range of tastes are available so as to satisfy everyone’s desires – this is the generous spirit of the brasserie.
At first, the menu seems to be structured around the traditional "starter, main, dessert" trilogy. In reality, it leaves ample room for improvisation, allowing guests to opt for a mere main course, to order two starters in a row, to go for a quick snack or to ask for a different side dish. Absolute freedom is the key word, with an offer designed to make this neighborhood restaurant a daily address, suited to all formats and appetites.
Sophisticated and creative, the cooking draws freely on iconic brasserie dishes in an attempt to adapt them to the current tastes of Parisians: more lightness, elegant tastes, painstaking attention to detail. It is also the art of surprising, for example by sacrificing the density of a conventional sauerkraut for the finesse of a salmon trout and its Colmar turnip kraut.
The trout, poached after being seared briefly, is placed atop a fine julienne of salt-baked turnips enriched with white wine, cilantro, pepper and cloves. The little sauce, a hot emulsified butter sauce made with a reduction of Riesling wine, serves as the indispensable binder of this bold proposition.
See, though the essence of the sauerkraut remains unchanged, it is revisited in a spectacularly modern key, with the fermentation process completely rethought.
The menu, studded with gourmet recipes, voluptuous, subtle and rich with flavors, also features a number of dishes that echo Yannick Alléno’s personal background, such as the “real steak cooked in a cast pan Zelie style and its French fries”. Aniel Zelie was his grandmother. Ambassador of the kitchens and queen of the oven range, this level-headed woman had made the steak and chips her specialty.
Here, the tenderness of the meat lies in the choice of the cut, a beef shoulder top blade cooked to perfection in a skillet in order to preserve the juices and enhance the flavors thanks to the slow distribution of heat. On the side, a smart purée of shallots, garlic and parsley deglazed with wine vinegar gives the dish its unmistakable twist.
The daily suggestions one would still think of as loose sheets retrieve their due importance and come to the table through the mastery of the maître d’, whose unobtrusive presence will accompany you throughout your meal. And should you suddenly have a craving for a steak tartare, it will be prepared on the fly, right before your eyes.
Understanding your contemporaries also means being able to adapt to the appetite of the day. It implies providing women with dishes that will delight them without making them feel guilty, some entirely vegan and others devised to bring comfort. It involves offering generous servings or allowing guests to pick the S or XL size depending on their hunger. Breaking with convention to focus entirely on enjoyment. This reasoned, reasonable pleasure is, as a matter of fact, the guarantee that one respects their body and needs - even if your hidden agenda is to do justice to the dessert!
The “real steak cooked in a cast pan Zelie style and its French fries
Cut the potatoes into large fries, blanch them and fry them at 250°F.
Peel and mince the shallot,
Wash and chop the leaves of parsley.
In a saucepan, brown the meat on both sides, put it aside and cook the shallot in the cooking juices until it gets transparent. Deglaze with Sherry, reduce the sauce and add the veal jus and the parsley.
Fry your potatoes again at 350°F.
Garnish the steak with the seasonings.
Arrange the fries in a basket.
The wine list is the fruition of a particular approach, as a culinary experience is often associated with the wines tasted on the occasion. At STAY, just as for dishes, you will find an extensive choice of wines. Reasonable or singular, they are available by the glass, half and standard bottle and in magnum.
Modernity is also evidenced in the way the floor is given to women, to passionate winemakers who express their sensibilities through a bright selection of vintages. Women who talk to women and to the Epicurean Parisian lady.
Pastry is the expression of sweetness and oftentimes the final flourish to a meal. That is why STAY Faubourg by Yannick Allénocelebrates it through a dedicated space.
The Pastry Library
Within the Pastry Library, a splendid shop window that opens onto the restaurant and delivers a modern interpretation of the tiny glass windows of traditional brasseries, the pastry chef showcases his unique wonders. Like so many masterpieces manufactured in a fashion house, the desserts are the object of all desire and evoke the finesse of a work of art, the preciousness of a tailor-made preparation. In here, window shopping proves to be an appetizing experience.
After dithering, wondering, you just have to face the hard truth: you will have to try them all.
It is the rite of passage of the end of the meal, a rare ceremonial that cannot be overlooked.
The ‘S’ Pies
In the shop window, the surprise comes from the pies, meticulously assembled, of all shapes and sizes, providing a modern interpretation of iconic desserts: charlottes, shingles, meringue puffs, palet biscuits, cakes, blancmange and melted fruits – nothing has been forgotten. Each of them comes with its own pastry, either short, sweet, flaky, chocolate-flavored, made of semolina or gluten-free, and each dessert has its own aspect. Obeying the sole rule of style and detail, all of them transform, without renouncing their characteristic traits, into a proposition at the same time elegant, beautiful and terribly attractive.
The pear, generously coated with a paste made of brown sugar, rice flour and finely-ground hazelnuts, is baked in an oven. During this process, the fruit releases its juice which is saved and used for the confection of an irresistibly crunchy tuile biscuit. The result, stunningly delicious, is then turned upside down to house a generous scoop of sea salt caramel ice cream.
As for the Apple Charlotte, it takes the form of a compote of apples, cinnamon, candied apricots and lemon peel that tops a loaf of butter brioche and is surrounded by another strip of brioche in an attempt to replicate the pattern of the traditional dessert. During the baking process, the juices of the compote soak in the brioche, which caramelizes the bottom of the dessert along with the rest of it. The ultimate expression of delicacy and gourmet pastry.
Following the same spirit of permanent adaptation, the desserts are available in full and half servings!
The Designer’s look
Interior designer Didier Gomez imagined STAY Faubourg as the symbol of Parisian style and the spirit of the Saint-Honoré district. His primary inspiration stemmed from the history of the site, a former private mansion who played a prominent part in the city’s life, in the world of luxury and fashion, to such extent that it became the headquarters of the highly iconic magazine Marie Claire. As soon as the visitor crosses the door of the street side entrance, the details inherited from the town house come into play. The high door opens onto a unique location. A bull’s-eye window, a lantern, Corinthian pilasters, then the yard that became an inner sanctum and, ultimately, in the restaurant, an enlarged 18th century charcoal drawing on the ceiling and a spectacular checkered floor. “I wanted people to feel like they entered a private mansion that had been refurbished over time. I wanted something eclectic. Luxury is not about gaudiness or grandeur. The way I see it, luxury is about having access to a very special place. And I trust this is precisely what our guests feel like when they set foot here.”.
The Faubourg yellow
As a counterpoint to this highly graphic style, an intense yellow shines on the ceiling. While blue had come to be the signature of Jeanne Lanvin and her nearby fashion house, STAY Faubourg opted for a yellow that radiates a vital, solar, zenithal energy. A saffron yellow, bursting with pigments the way spices do, changes into a golden buttercup on the velvet chairs and assumes the acid tones of lemon on the elegant wrap dresses sported by the hostesses. The place is radiant with yellow, the color of light!
Those who wish to enjoy the urban setting, to see and be seen, might prefer the new terraces that extend along the Rue Boissy d’Anglas, an amazing semi-pedestrian street at the very heart of Parisian life. A rallying point for the inhabitants of the district, who come from the neighboring offices and luxury stores. Among them, the shopping lovers wearing purses in the colors of the most prestigious brands of the Faubourg enjoy cosmopolitan conversations peppered with the capital’s latest rumors. Occasionally, their eyes fall on the horseman who, from his outpost by the Hermes shop, seems to be standing guard over the street, or maybe over the works of art and fashion exhibited in the hotel’s window shops. In the shade of the canopy or in the sun, the terraces are the inevitable meeting point in the Saint-Honoré district.
The Bar’s interior decoration is a variation of the themes one finds at STAY. In here, the pristine elegance of black and white is enhanced by more subdued, golden and sparkling yellows. Louis XV chairs and exquisite Louis XVI settees go side by side with a very modernist design. The abstract geometric graphics bring life, in a very arty style, to the refined Makassar Ebony of the walls. Haute couture lies at the heart of the décor, not only through the wealth of fabrics in store, but also through fashion photography. Iconic pictures from magazines of the 1960s and 1970s imbue the place with an atmosphere mingling fashion, glamour and extravaganza. They celebrate a self-assured, bold woman who affirms her choices, dares to wear miniskirts, futuristic makeup and flat shoes or even to walk barefoot, a woman who turns to designers such as Courrège, Cardin or Saint Laurent to purchases dresses created like works of art – in short, the Parisian lady enamored with fashion, culture and freedom. At any hour of the day, this welcoming lobby is at the heart of the life of Faubourg Saint Honoré, humming to the sound of conversations and secrets.
A secret terrace
Between La Concorde and Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city, the garden is a heaven of astounding charm and quiet. The tall palm trees, the arborescent ferns, camellias and clematises, the murmur of water flowing from the fountains amid the white and yellow flowers, instill this garden with a holiday feeling that invites our minds to take a break while having lunch or to enjoy the romanticism of a one-to-one dinner. As an ultimate nod to the world of haute couture, the chairs have been upholstered with elegantly braided black-and-white houndstooth tweed that hugs their curves and is buttoned down the back, just like a dress of the 1950s. Here, all is but luxury, quiet and delight...
Who frequents the place?
STAY Faubourg is the meeting point of the Parisian woman, a confidently elegant yet inconspicuous ambassadress of tasteful class and audacity. This is where she schedules her appointments or takes a break between two exhibitions at the Louvre, the Jeu de Paume, the Grand Palais or an auction sale. She comes here knowing she will rub shoulders with prominent figures of the neighborhood, leading fashion designers, boutique managers, editors of magazines, renowned journalists and entertainers relaxing here after an interview in the contiguous lobby. She likes to work out the latest trends by observing the sophisticated style of international models and journalists during Fashion Week. She tries to catch bits and pieces of the conversations of political figures, diplomats and businessmen from the nearby institutions. She appreciates the freedom and diversity of the menu that gives her the opportunity to order two starters instead of a main course so as to do justice to the gourmet pastries. As a modern woman, she might yield to the temptation of a vegan dish or a gluten-free dessert or, conversely, opt for a traditional course paired with a glass of red wine. On sunny days, she calls early in the morning to book her table in the garden.