With its gorgeous historic buildings, inspiring street style, plentiful art scene, and incredible gastronomic experiences, Paris is surely on everyone’s bucket list. While the arrondissements near the River Seine tend to get a lot of tourists in and out, it’s the neighborhoods that spiral away from the river that exude that artsy, local vibe that should be at the top of your travel agenda.
Set in the vibrant area of Pigalle, a haven for Bohemians, artists, and trendsetters, Maison Lautrec is a café that’s as cozy and welcoming as your neighborhood restaurant, but a much cooler, Parisian version. If spending an afternoon sipping champagne and eating tarte tatin dripping in caramel sauce in a cooler-than-classic Parisian bistro is on your bucket list, this place is your dream come true.
Founded by a group of four friends who love the artsy café and bar culture of Pigalle, Maison Lautrec is one of those classic Parisian neighborhood spots that’s as good for a four course meal as it is for just grabbing an afternoon cocktail. The crew of founders has been making their way through the Paris restaurant scene for years, dipping into mixology, management, cooking, ownership, and the like. Yet, Maison Lautrec feels less like a stuffy dining establishment and more like the kind of spot where you can spend a few hours on a Sunday chatting politics, art, literature, and music with a handful of old or new friends. And if that’s not the whole point of jotting out a brunch bucket list, we don’t know what is.
Art Deco Meets Down Home
A corner spot with giant windows and plenty of sunlight, the interiors have that chic Parisian Art Deco vibe with a dash of modern prep school style mixed in. Timeless but with a touch of new, the restaurant is filled with plush velvet seats, leather and wood banquettes, green marble tables, brassy fixtures, and no shortage of bright greenery. Tables for two allow for intimacy, while larger groups can dine back-of-house at a chef’s table. Whether you’re in it for an outdoor brunch overlooking the colorful neighborhood, or prefer a cozy seat inside for your midday Parisian indulgence, there’s plenty of eye candy to crunch on indoors and out.
From Pasture to Parisian Plate
Specializing in small plates meant for sharing, the menu at Maison Lautrec focuses on seasonal, sustainable, ethical, organic, delicious foods cooked using traditional French methods. And as far as locality goes, these guys pick a good chunk of their herbs and veggies from their gardens outside Paris, where they also raise their own honeybees. Expect classics like oysters on the half shell with lemon rind and foie gras with apple jelly and pickled onions to be served alongside basil ginger cocktails or the palest blush rosé.
Historically known as the red-light district of Paris, with famed Moulin Rouge nearby, Pigalle has seen a surprising rebirth over recent years. Abundant in daytime cafés, boho hangouts, wine shops, and specialty boutiques, Maison Lautrec is nestled among establishments that cater to locals and tourists alike. If wandering around an area once called home by the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh is on your bucket list, make sure you add a stop-by at Maison Lautrec to fuel up for the excursion through this artsy, outlandish, bustling arrondissement.
Photos + Venue: Maison Lautrec