Fichon, a Fish Cellar

Fichon, a Fish Cellar

A palette of blues on the walls and delicate flavours in our plates: no doubt, sea food has the place of honour at Fichon. You’ll be able to eat smocked pollock, skipjack tataki – but not only -, but the other great star here is the wine. When he opened his fish cellar, Matthieu Dewilde, a wine merchant and restaurant owner, had one desire in mind: sharing his passion in a warm and lively place. And as luck would have it, he met Charles du Pouget, a young and passionate interior designer. The encounter between the two men was obvious and their collaboration was more than successful. The smiling duo offers us a light cocoon with no fuss, a neighbourhood fish restaurant where we like to spend time. Sitting on chairs that remind us of the fishermen nets, we discover biodynamic produces directly coming from the wine producers while tasting smoked tuna. A taste and visual pleasure which makes us feel really good at Fichon. And to spoil us even more, the street artist Jordane Saget put the final touch, with a chalk stroke. An ephemeral work for a place which will surely be here for a long time.

Fichon, 98 rue Marcadet – 75018 Paris.

Comptoir Zelliges bleues Fichon restaurant Cave à poisson Paris
Salle restaurant Carrelage Fichon restaurant Paris
Plat de poisson Fichon restaurant Paris

Matthieu, Charles, who are you?

Matthieu

 

A wine lover I think! I have been working in this for more than 10 years. Before opening this restaurant, I was a wine merchant and a purchaser of 15 cellars in Paris, the Nysa cellars. I had the idea of Fichon for a long time, a place that would be friendly and where you could drink wine and eat fish.

Charles

Some time ago, I was a political adviser. I got tired of it, so I stopped. By chance, the year after, a friend asked me to decorate his loft and it went well. At the same moment, he was investing in a restaurant called le Mordant, rue de Chabrol, and he naturally asked me to decorate it. Then, one thing leading to another, I had other projects. I’m a complete self-taught man and I spent entire nights learning 3D and drawing. I was lucky enough to meet people who trusted me. I’d never imagined becoming an interior designer two years ago!

How did you meet?

Charles

A friend, during a yoga lesson, heard Matthieu talk about the opening of his restaurant. She didn’t know him, she went to talk to him and there we are.

Matthieu

It’s actually funny. I was with a friend at that lesson by chance! He then called me and it matched straightaway. He had a lot of ideas, and even if I had doubts, I’m glad I followed his pieces of advice because the result is great. People feel good here, it’s all that matters. I like the customers from the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It’s a mix of regular costumers, neighbours and people from the all neighbourhood.

Portrait créateurs Fichon Matthieu Dewilde Charles du Pouget Salle du restaurant Paris
Suspension Luminaire Fichon restaurant Poisson Paris
Salle de restaurant Fichon Cave à poisson Paris
Comptoir vins restaurant Fichon cave à poisson Paris

Matthieu, can you tell us about your restaurant?

Matthieu

The idea was to democratise the fish, with one common theme: wine. I had a warm place in mind, like a cellar where to eat. First, I like sea food, and I think wine pairings are fascinating. I have a wide selection of wines – about 60 references -, beers and spirits. I try to limit myself a bit! I work at 90% with biodynamic productions, directly coming from wine producers. It’s the same for the fish shop. The chef adapts the menu to the products we selected every day. We also offer cooked smoked tuna made by a producer in Paris region, which is a delight. Actually Fichon is a neighbourhood restaurant, with fresh and well-cooked producers and great wines!

Which wines would you suggest we drink with what’s on the menu today?

Matthieu

With the skipjack tataki and its marinated beetroots, I advised a Romorantin. An old grape variety we only have 50 hectares left. This wine estate is run in a biodynamic way and the wine is taut and sharp. For the pollock fillet with cockles and yellow courgettes, an Anjou called “Le Bastingage”, from a Chenin grape, aged in barrels, which brings some fat and a slightly honeyed note. Although the two-thirds of my wines are white wines, I also serve a lot of red wines and I choose some which are quite fresh, with the taste of fruits, which leaves a fine taste. It’s pleasant, people are really receptive. Some informed amateurs, curious people who liked to be guided.

Charles, how did you think this project?

Charles

I had a pretty clear idea from the beginning, and I saw it as a kind of sea shop already existing, in which everyone could come have lunch on the fish stall. At the beginning they didn’t want to hire an interior designer, but they let a lot of space to proposals and were very open. We play with the codes of the fish shop, the nets of the chairs and lamps, the blue walls, the bar and the handmade Moroccan zelliges. There is also cork on the walls and the texture of the walls. I like when there is something intriguing, when you want to touch, when there is some originality. We also wanted a timeless place, a place that would have been here for a long time.

Plat poisson Restaurant Fichon Paris
Comptoir Restaurant Fichon Cave à poisson Paris
Salle Fichon Restaurant Comptoir à vin Paris
Comptoir bas Sièges Zelliges Bleues Cave à poisson Fichon Paris

Do you also design the furniture?

Charles

Yes, I do, and it’s true that these days I tend to draw more than I bargain-hunt. Here, I’ve drawn the hook-lamps, chairs, solid oak tables, shelves and a great part of the furniture. The blue ceiling lights are from the Portuguese brand Mambo Unlimited. I care a lot about light, which entirely determines the atmosphere of a place. Here, at night, it’s very sweet, with a warm light which contrasts with the cold of the tiles.

What does influence your work?

Charles

Everything, I’m passionate, almost crazy, the very least little thing influences my work. From a project to another one, I try not to reuse anything, when it comes both to drawing and to furniture. It enables me to renew and question myself. Even when the project is more or less already approved, I keep looking for new things or drawing. I have a lot of Art Deco influences and I love the XXth century Italian designers such as Gio Ponti, Fornasetti and Carlo Di Carli’s incredible and sophisticated line. I like the mixes of styles and influences. Mixing more contemporary pieces with old objects is actually like finding a balance. A project like this one is a success when everything is harmonious. Decoration, service, the food quality: everything is related so the place is really pleasant.

Last question: why Fichon?

Matthieu

It’s simple. We were thinking about “fish” but we wanted it to sound more typically French. Fichon sounds good, we thought it was funny!

Salle restaurant Fichon Cave à poisson Paris
Tables salle restaurant Fichon Cave à poisson Paris
Salle restaurant Fichon Cave à poissons Paris

Credits : Eve Campestrini @thesocialitefamily

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