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Bastille gets its groove back as Parisian tastemakers return

By Seth Sherwood in Paris ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-13 07:09:39

Bastille gets its groove back as Parisian tastemakers return

Manger restaurant features Asian-accented dishes. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Bastille gets its groove back as Parisian tastemakers return 

An offer too good to refuse 

Bastille gets its groove back as Parisian tastemakers return

Ole Guacamole 

Fifteen years ago, Bastille was the emerging cool neighborhood of Paris.

Then, as the masses discovered the south side of the 11th Arrondissement, the inevitable backlash occurred. The city's self-appointed tastemakers declared the area fini and decamped for points north and west. Bastille descended into a haven of grungy student bars, low-end creperies and charmless fast-food outlets.

Over the last year, however, some of France's most famous restaurateurs, chefs and designers have planted their flags in the neighborhood where the famous prison once stood.

Style-savvy upstarts have done likewise, further elevating the area's profile for epicures and night owls. Little by little, a new crowd is storming Bastille.

Cafe Francais: Gilbert and Thierry Costes, the brothers behind chic Paris institutions like the Hotel Costes and Cafe Marly, hired the designer India Mahdavi (whose credits include the Hotel on Rivington in Manhattan) to overhaul this former tourist-trap cafe. Within the kaleidoscopic melange of art deco sleekness and 1970s glam, tuxedoed waiters stride across the marble floor to deliver steak tartare, French toast dessert and other jazzy riffs on Continental classics.

3 Place de la Bastille. 33-14029-0402. Cafe-francais.fr.

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