Le Camondo, a Slice of History

Le Camondo, a Slice of History

A secret garden, an eponymous museum and the extraordinary history of a family of bankers, Le Camondo restaurant has only just opened and is already one of those places you need to try without delay. Located just by Parc Monceau, the restaurant has taken up residence in the former garages of the family mansion. The interior has been created by Agence Favorite, whom we met at the superb C.O.Q Hôtel, and the talented Pauline d’Hoop and Delphine Sauvaget. With a joyous mix of seventies sofas, vintage rugs, original concrete floor, and ceramic bar, they have created a decidedly contemporary space here, that is also welcoming and elegant. The lighting above the bar is a masterpiece of line and light that dominates this focal point. It was designed by the pair in response to this highly distinctive space within an architectural jewel. In the kitchens, we find Alexis le Tadic, a highly gifted young chef who has worked in the kitchens of Ducasse and Jouvence – amongst others – who is revisiting bistronomy style, blending Mediterranean flavours and French classics con brio and great delicacy. For the sweets, it’s the talented Christophe Michalak who’s behind the Pavlova, Millefeuilles and Paris Brest. Hard to resist, at any time of day, Le Camondo is guaranteed to offer a delicious interlude.

Le Camondo : 61 bis, rue de Monceau – 75008

Salle de restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Le Camondo, a Slice of History
Bar Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Bar Tapis et siège Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Le Camondo Paris

What’s the story behind this place, Pauline and Delphine?

Pauline & Delphine

Le Camondo is the old garage of The Hôtel Camondo. The basement, which has now become the restaurant’s kitchen, was a mechanics’ workshop and the apartments above it used to house the drivers and mechanics. The Hôtel Camondo, which was left by its owner, Moïse de Camondo, to Les Arts Décoratifs, is a mansion built in the early 1900s. The building has been preserved in its original condition and houses a large collection of 18th century objects and paintings.

Alexis, what’s your background and how did you become involved in the Camondo project?

Alexis

After graduating, I decided to head to Paris and start looking for a job immediately. As soon as I arrived, I was lucky enough to be able to work with Arnaud Nicolas, who had been awarded the title of Best Charcutier in France. He is still my mentor. Next, I went to work in the kitchens of Alain Ducasse and Ronan Kervarrec at The Chèvre d’Or. It was in these prestigious establishments that I honed my knowledge of Mediterranean cuisine. After that, I helped a friend with the opening of his restaurant: Jouvence, where I was in charge of the kitchen. It was actually during a dinner there that the director of Le Camondo spotted me and offered me the chance to join him in this new venture.

How did Agence Favorite design this space? What did you want to achieve with this project?

Pauline & Delphine

We looked at this place as a link to the mansion and endeavoured to make reference to that via a range of signs. We were struck by the modernity of its kitchens and bathrooms (the ceramic finish of the bar, made to measure by céramiques du Beaujolais, is a nod to that), we reworked it all in a contemporary style, with a graphic motif on the bar to create a focal point in the centre of the restaurant. Another thing we wanted to do was to echo the materials of the furniture in the mansion: the caning of the chairs, the marquetry on the tables, the velvet cushions, the wooden panelling on the walls, the old carpets, once again reinterpreted in a modern way. Of course, we had to preserve the things that make this outbuilding so majestic: its size, its raw attributes (concrete floor, basement lighting via glass blocks, metal girders, concrete walls), inhabit it without the interior design overtaking the place, and approach it with humility. The brass structure and the ceiling light accentuate its verticality.

Portrait Alexis Le Tadic Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Plat Alexis Le Tadic Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Bar Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Le Camondo, a Slice of History

Which part are you most proud of?

Pauline & Delphine

We concentrated essentially on the bar, to make an element that would structure the space. It inhabits it to its full height thanks to the ceiling light and its structure in brass and coloured glass, designed for the place.

Is there an Agence Favorite signature?

Pauline & Delphine

There is always that same preoccupation with creating a liveable, personal space (most of the fittings are specially designed for the place (tables, benches, ceiling light, ceramic finish on the bar, mirrors, etc.), to design public spaces as private spaces. That same desire to use beautiful raw materials as they are (linen, velvet, brass, etc.), to create contrasts between those materials but also to bring them together.

Alexis, when and how did your passion for cookery begin?

Alexis

When I was very young. Already as a child, I loved eating good food, well cooked and was very aware of the authenticity of products. I think my grandmother had a big hand in feeding my passion. She was born in Spain and cookery had always been an integral part of her culture. She passed on her taste for good things to me. So I decided to get into catering college as soon as possible to learn this amazing profession.

Portrait Agence Favorite Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Plat Alexis Le Tadic Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Plat Alexis Le Tadic Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Miroir Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Le Camondo Paris

The world of Le Camondo is a contemporary version of the mansion, both noble and raw. It is intended to be both stylish and welcoming, without unnecessary flourishes.

Menu Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Portrait Alexis Le Tadic et fils Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Lampe Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Toilettes Restaurant Le Camondo Paris

Tell us about your cuisine, your influences and preferences.

Alexis

I’ve learnt a lot from the various encounters I’ve had during my career and they inspired me to establish my own culinary signature. Obviously, charcuterie has played an important part in my work, although there are also a lot of Mediterranean influences that I discovered at The Chèvre d’Or. I try to bring these two styles together as much as possible in my recipes. And my everyday source of inspiration is, quite simply, my wife.

What kind of dishes do you offer at Le Camondo?

Alexis

I offer a cuisine that reflects my personality 100%. Charcuterie, of course, with the chicken pâté en croûte, and the Mediterranean aspect can be found in my recipe for lobster boudin blanc with braised fennel au gratin, for example. And lots of seafood products, such as my salmon confit at 48 degrees served with an onion compote with lemon caviar and leek and wasabi foam, which has just been added to the menu.

How would you describe the world of Le Camondo in a few words?

Pauline & Delphine

The world of Le Camondo is a contemporary version of the mansion, both noble and raw. It is intended to be both stylish and welcoming, without unnecessary flourishes.

Motifs Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Applique Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Salle de restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Jardin d'hiver Terrasse Restaurant Le Camondo Paris
Jardin d'hiver Terrasse Restaurant Le Camondo Paris

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