In Paris, a place for coffee, cocktails and small plates


In Paris, premium coffee, craft cocktails and Mediterranean small plates would have been an incongruous combination not that long ago. But Bonhomie, the first dining venture from the group behind the Parisian cocktail bars Little Red Door and Lulu White, brings those elements together harmoniously. 

The restaurant may sit in a hip section of the 10th Arrondissement, but nothing about the space smacks of the typically unpolished Right Bank style. The décor employs an earthy color palette and sizable dining room, including a row of seats at the kitchen’s marble countertop, which put diners in eyeshot of Nicolau Pla Gomez, the Catalan chef (and an alumnus of the beloved restaurant Frenchie), and his team.  

When they opened Bonhomie in November, owners Timothée Prangé and Dotan Shalev imagined it as a hybrid space where guests come anytime from 8:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. and experience food and drink menus built around the pillars of the Mediterranean diet — small portions, sharing and simple, spirited cooking — in an inviting setting.  

“People think Mediterranean food is hummus and tabbouleh and Greek salads,” Prangé said. “We took a range of Mediterranean influences and show how diverse they can be.”  

The concept comes at a time when small-plates menus are proliferating at Paris restaurants but remain focused on French, produce-driven cooking, and foreign cuisines tend to exist in isolation.  

“I’m half Moroccan; my wife is Lebanese,” he said. “This cooking is a big part of our lives.”  

The night of my visit, the menu journeyed from Naples to Tétouan, in Morocco, and Tel Aviv. We started with the Panarima, a sumac-infused cocktail, and the house craft beer before ordering one of every dish on the menu. The roasted cauliflower spiced with Kashmiri masala and charred kale was perfectly crisp and paired beautifully with borek stuffed with Kombi cheese and pumpkin.  

Tender, slow-cooked lamb was served with chickpeas and preserved lemon and nicely offset the briny octopus salad, earning “best-ever” praise from my companions. If only the pumpkin crème caramel, which the server herself billed as divisive, due to its fleshy texture, could have ended the meal on as high a note.  

——  

Bonhomie, 22, rue d’Enghien; 33-9-83-88-82-51; bonhomie.paris. Average meal for two, without drinks or tip, is about 80 euros ($85).


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Taking laps of luxury at a Vail resort
Taking laps of luxury at a Vail resort

On a bright, Colorado bluebird day in January, I found myself slaloming through an evergreen forest at high speed on skis, madly chasing my husband, who was pushing his own gear to its limits. Every muscle in my body burned as we flew through Beaver Creek Resort's Royal Elk Glades, an expert-only zone that demands tight turns, the occasional jump off...
Japan's Byodoin temple all aglow
Japan's Byodoin temple all aglow

The Phoenix Hall of Byodoin temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Uji, Japan, glows at night during a trial illumination on Friday. The luminous hall, a national treasure, and colorful autumn leaves of Japanese maple trees are reflected on the surface of the water. Monsho Kamii, the temple's chief priest, said: "With the recent drop in temperatures...
Family travel: Planning for year ahead

It’s that time of year when we review recent adventures and plan for the year ahead. Here are five ideas to inspire your family’s travels:  1. Travel for adventure. Stoke your family’s passion for new experiences with Lindblad Expeditions and partner, National Geographic, through their recently launched Global Explorer&rsquo...
7 Cyber Monday travel deals
7 Cyber Monday travel deals

Cyber Monday, on Nov. 27 this year, isn’t just a day to score discounts on retail goods — in the world of travel, it means attractive deals on hotel stays, safaris, group tours and more.  But buy with caution, said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and the founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “Travel brands discount...
Holiday gift guide: Travel
Holiday gift guide: Travel

This year's gifts will help the travelers in your life stay charged, organized, caffeinated and sand-free - and document their every move, of course.  Aspinal of London: Multi Currency Wallet   The sleek wallet has four deep pouches - two per side - to separate cash and coins from different countries. You can match the colored zipper...
More Stories