In the heart of the Marais lies a wonderful Breton restaurant that’s as popular for its food as it is for the rotating exhibitions of artwork by a cadre of international graphic artists that line its colorful walls.
Page 35, located just opposite the quaint Square Leopold Achille about two blocks east of the Musee Picasso, is a hugely popular neighborhood destination for locals, including many families with children in tow. It’s also a hit with Paris’s LGBT community, often drawing a large crowd of trendy gays and lesbians attracted to Page 35’s funky, contemporary vibe and artistic atmosphere.
And despite its prime location near several prominentsight-seeing destinations (the Picasso museum, Place des Vosges, the Musee Carnavalet and the many trendy boutiques on the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, to name a few), the restaurant is rarely visited by tourists. So if you’re hoping to experience Paris as a local, you’ve definitely come to the right place at Page 35.
You’re also in luck if you’re a history buff, as the gorgeous 17th century building that houses the restaurant is steeped in French history.
The mansion was built in 1620 by Jean Thiriot, the royal architect to the court of Louis XIII. The building’s most famous occupant was Theophile Gautier, a 19th century romantic poet, novelist and art/literary critic noted for his admission to the prestigious salon of Princess Mathilde Bonaparte—Napoleon III’s cousin—and his chairmanship of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
It was in the Marais mansion where Gautier penned what’s deemed his most famous work, the novel Mademoiselle de Maupin, a somewhat shocking (for its time) tale of sexual deception in which a noble woman uses her beauty to captivate a young poet and, while disguised as a man, the poet’s mistress.
Art lovers, too, have made Page 35 a favorite destination as the restaurant hosts an ever-changing exhibition of drawings and paintings by international artists, including recent pieces by Asagi Otawa, Haruko Murata, Kan Shishino, Phuong Vu Manh, Andre Baldet, Niloufar Naraghi, Viviane Monteau and others.
But it’s the Breton cuisine that is the real star at Page 35.
Of course, the most famous Breton dish is the buckwheat crepe, and Page 35 offers a wide variety of dessert options that includes such choices as caramel with salted-butter; caramelized apples flambéed with Calvados; chocolate, bananas and passionfruit sorbet flambéed with rum; white and dark chocolate with coconut; and such classics as butter and sugar, strawberry or apricot jam, Nutella and banana, and melted chocolate.
A number of savory crepes (called Galettes) also are available, such as ham, cheese and mushrooms; tuna, tomato and Emmental cheese, and a vegetarian composition of tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms.
Other menu options include such starters as poached eggs with marinated cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese; fish soup with garlic and Emmental cheese; goat cheese salad; smoked duck breast and gizzard salad; and smoked salmon with dill cream. Main dish choices include chicken breast stuffed with olives and Parmigiano cheese; Andouillette sausages with mustard sauce; duck confit; beef tartare; steamed cod fish; grilled tuna steak; and tenderloin with blue cheese sauce or shallot butter.
Page 35 is open Tuesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 7-11 p.m. for dinner. Saturday and Sundays, the restaurant operates continuously from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
4 Rue de Parc Royal
Metro: Chemin Vert