Le Perchoir isn’t in the most obvious location. Just around the corner from a ping-pong bar on an unlikely backstreet is where you’ll find this new restaurant and rooftop bar, situated in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. Not even open one month, it’s already causing quite a stir — in fact, Le Perchoir is so popular that it gets too full in the evenings to take walk-ins at the restaurant, and the rooftop entrance closes almost as soon as the clock hits 8 every night.
“We haven’t really communicated on the place,” says young entrepreneur and Le Perchoir co-founder Adrien Boissaye. “We’ve completely relied on word of mouth, and it’s worked pretty well so far.” Indeed it has. The restaurant’s pre-opening private Yves Saint Laurent party during Paris Fashion Week got the right tongues wagging, and Le Perchoir is fast-becoming a favorite spot for the city’s celebrity chefs. Even French model/actress/singer Vanessa Paradis reportedly stopped by in recent weeks.
“Although it’s really cool, really chilled out, I like that it’s not too trendy — we’re getting a good mix of people and of all ages,” Boissaye says. And looking around at the terrace where every table and chair is occupied, it’s true. People from all backgrounds and styles come here, although at 5 euros ($6.76) for a glass of wine and 42 to 48 euros (US$56.75 to US$64.86) for a meal, it isn’t a place for all pockets. Regardless, the food is top notch. Try the Sunday côte de boeuf (beef ribs) accompanied by seasonal grilled vegetables and hand-sliced fries. During the week, the menu changes nightly and diners are encouraged to order different plates to share with the table.
The king of the kitchen is chef Benoît Dumas. As a Ferrandi, The French School of Culinary Arts graduate, Dumas was trained by Alain Senderens and made his culinary scene debut at the iconic Le Royal Monceau — Raffles Paris’ Il Carpaccio restaurant. At Le Perchoir, Dumas has his own rooftop herb garden and only calls upon small local producers to stock his fridge. The wines served here are light and fruity, as well as all-natural and organic — for thirsty groups, the rosé also comes in magnum size.
Thank interior designer Philippe Xerri, lover of Tunisian craft, for the genius behind the cozy and chic bric-a-brac interiors. Aged tiles from Tunis, reclaimed wooden trestle tables (some of which have been scorched for added impact), mismatched colorfully upholstered chairs and early-20th-century square wooden salt and pepper mills contribute to making Le Perchoir cool, not very calm, but collected.
“This entire project is based on emotion,” says Boissaye, who’s delighted by the way things are going. Two years ago, while Boissaye was working as a real estate agent on the ground floor of the building the restaurant currently occupies, he would sneak up to the roof to smoke a cigarette or two. It was as he gazed out over the city’s rooftops and the Sacré-Coeur sitting up on its hill that the idea for Le Perchoir came to him. After roping in childhood companion Emmanuel Collignon and family friend Christophe Talon for the project — not forgetting Marius, Boissaye’s upbeat little dog — the founding team was complete, and after two years of hard work, Le Perchoir is a reality.
“We wanted the place to have a holiday atmosphere,” says Boissaye, and it certainly does. With its tented bar up on the roof, upcycled furniture, hip music and abundant plant life, the terrace’s beach bar atmosphere resembles summer on Barcelona’s rooftops.
As if the whole indoor-outdoor ethnic chic beach affair weren’t enough, the Perchoir team has a whole lot more on the horizon. Come winter, the terrace will be outfitted with a roaring fire, gas heaters and fleece blankets. In the pipeline for the 2,000-square-foot space on the building’s sixth floor is a speakeasy headed by mixologist Luther Werrington, in addition to a cave à vin (wine cellar) on one of the lower floors. The cellar will serve plenty of good wine and one dish — yes, you guessed it, that irresistible côte de boeuf.
Unusual views of the rooftops with those famous Paris terra-cotta chimneys paired with a setting sun behind the Sacré-Coeur and the nearby Père Lachaise canopy are what you see from the seventh floor. And instead of a view punctuated by the Eiffel Tower (as is the norm with most rooftop bars in the city), the vista of Paris’ 1970s graffiti-adorned buildings and courtyard gardens is refreshing. It’s certainly becoming harder and harder to remember what it was like before Le Perchoir burst onto the scene.
Photos Courtesy of Palmyre Roigt