“Avoir l’eau à la bouche”, which means “mouth-watering”. This expression assumes its full meaning at 85 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, rightly named “Bouche”. A local restaurant in Paris’s 11th arrondissement – the...
And what if the saying “To live happy, live hidden” could also apply to good eating? This theory is fully confirmed at 13 Villa Riberolle, a secret cul-de-sac in the XXth arrondissement of Paris which has been chosen as the location for the restaurant “Caché”. Founded by Lorenza Lenzi and Gianpaolo Polverino, this delicious place on the map of Mediterranean inspiration is shielded from the bustle of the city thanks to its idyllic and industrial setting, nestled at the end of a secluded alley. It is in this district that our duo – one originally from Rome and the other from Naples – settled down here after their respective carriers in fashion and advertising. In the heart of a former studio which once housed printing facilities and where they gave form to their first catering planner: La “Petite Table”. Their early formative years injected them with discipline and organization skills: two qualities absolutely essential for venturing into the tumultuous world of catering! “The natural evolution of catering”, he tells us. So it is only natural to find that since 2018, they have been running Caché, a place that has recently seen the addition of the Catalan eat-in cellar “Amagat” – which is crystallising its DNA both in its appearance and cuisine. In the kitchen, the two founders are guided by the iodized culinary flashes of their chef Sylvain Roucayrol, whilst in the dining room, Romaine steers the artistic direction, which pays tribute to the decor codes of New York speakeasy bars. Velvet, marble, brass, and caning are the key elements of a warm and inviting decor, which is complemented by certain creations from The Socialite Family collection. For an attractive living space nestled in a cul-de-sac that should soon be accommodating a third address. To follow closely.
Restaurant Caché, 13 Villa Riberolle, 75020 Paris. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 7 – 11 pm. Make a reservation on the Caché website: cache-paris.com or by phone on 06.09.31.61.62.
Lorenza, Gianpaolo: could you introduce yourselves, please?
I grew up in Naples. After that, I studied communication in Rome. Then, in 2003, I arrived in Paris, where I started working for BETC and then Brachfeld. We established La Petite Table in 2008.
I grew up in Rome. Having studied literature, my passion for French literature naturally led me to Paris, where I met Gianpaolo. I immediately started working in fashion at Chloé, and I stayed there until 2011.
What is your background?
We’ve built our business on a complementary relationship. Lorenza has always had her feet on the ground, and I’m a great dreamer. So we take advantage of doing what we do best, and that’s how we bring our plans to fruition.
How do you work together?
I manage our commercial, financial and business development. Lorenza is in charge of the group’s artistic direction; she is the head of catering and manages the restaurants, working in collaboration with the managers and Sylvain.
How have your years in fashion and photo production influenced your approach to hospitality?
Above all, our experiences have helped us to understand the very specific requirements of the fashion and photo world. This has allowed us to design an offer that matches our customers’ requirements perfectly. For the restaurants, we’ve always wanted to create warm, welcoming places where you feel good.
You started with a catering service, La Petite Table, which has now doubled in size with two restaurants: Caché and Amagat. What is the philosophy that links these different experiences together?
Restaurants are a natural progression for the caterer. We wanted to develop restaurant concepts that reflected our unique identity. Starting out in catering gave us a rigour and a level of organisation that has been very important in developing our establishments.
You have one chef at the helm in your two restaurants, Sylvain Roucayrol. Why him?
We met Sylvain through Mathieu Zouhairi and Shirley Garrier (The Social Food). They’ve been looking after our communications ever since we opened. Sylvain started out on rue Saintonge with the Mara concept, where he worked with raw fish. After six months and closure due to Covid, he did a residency at Caché for two months with the Mara concept. It became clear that he should be in charge of the restaurant! His experience, enthusiasm and dedication have contributed to the success of this exciting project. All these factors made him the ideal person for the Caché kitchen.
What kind of food do you offer at Caché?
Caché offers Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, with fish as the main ingredient. It’s also food for sharing, fresh and friendly.
How did you plan the restaurant; it has been evolving continuously since it opened in 2018? And its intimate setting?
We’ve been in the Villa since 2011. It was our first lab for the catering enterprise. When we took over 13 Villa Riberolle, which was a former printing house, everything had to be refurbished. The first floor, which is now the restaurant, didn’t exist. We built everything from scratch. We wanted to create a secret, intimate setting with the feel of a New York speakeasy during Prohibition. So the décor harks back specifically to this period: velvet, marble, brass, canework, etc.
You have been firmly linked to the 20th arrondissement since the establishment of your group. What do you like about this area?
Personally, we’re more connected to this cul de sac than to the neighbourhood in general. We’ve always lived in Paris, and the 20th arrondissement is certainly a place that perfectly represents our lifestyle. I find it more authentic than other Parisian districts! We have a really strong relationship with this place. After 10 years of building up our company bit by bit, we had the opportunity to turn this beautiful hidden lane into a place to live. It allowed us to chart our course and define our identity very precisely.
Where will we see you in the coming months?
We will be opening a third address in the cul de sac. Caché is also expanding, with an additional living space that will make it an even more complete place and a more intense experience!
Photography : Jeanne Perrotte – Text : Juliette Bruneau @thesocialitefamily