December 5, 2003
The boulangépicier store, or "be", opened a year ago in Paris, and is owned by Alain Ducasse and Eric Kayser, the famous restaurant and bakery emperors. The name, as well as the concept, is a fusion of "boulanger" and "épicier" - baker and grocer.
On the grocery front, they sell a range of gourmet goods (unusual spices, condiments, jams, chocolate, candy, pasta...), a small selection of organic produce and dairy products. On the bakery front, they sell the fantastic Kayser breads, made on the premises, an array of lunch items (soups, salads and sandwiches), as well as a few pâtisseries and desserts (tartlets, cookies, chocolate mousse, fruit salad...).
Of course, all this comes at a somewhat high price, but their sandwiches are some of the best I have ever had : to me, it's the bread that makes or breaks a sandwich. Here, you can count on the Kayser magic to get delicious bread, tasty and crusty and fresh and moist, in which interesting combinations of high-quality ingredients are carefully spread and arranged. This is in sharp contrast to what you get in most places - industrial chewy bread, slapped together with barely average ingredients.
Today, I was in that area after a client meeting, so I decided to treat myself to lunch there. I got their "Brochette Riviera" (7.5 euros), an assortment of three mini-sandwiches on a skewer (the Riviera is a posh area in the South of France). I'm a sucker for tasting menus and variety packs, so this was just my thing. From top to bottom, the first sandwich was black olive bread, spread with tapenade and filled with a slice of fresh goat cheese. Then came a tomato bread sandwich, spread with tomato caviar and filled with basil turkey. The last one was basil bread, spread with pesto and filled with fresh and sun-dried tomatoes. I ate them slowly, biting into each of them in turn, relishing the fresh bolt of flavor everytime.
73 bd de Courcelles
01 46 22 20 20
Eric Kayser also has a very good bakerestaurant :
85 bd Malesherbes
01 45 22 70 30
Dinner at El Bulli