©Andrea Aversa

Secret, or discreet, addresses are sometimes the best. This is the case of the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation café-restaurant, in the Marais, very close to the BHV. You enter through a carriage entrance which opens onto a paved courtyard. Without paying attention, we have just entered the kingdom of the brilliant fashion designer who died in 2017 at the age of 82.

To the left of the courtyard, on several floors: the creative workshops where the brand's stylists still work. At the back of the courtyard: the Azzedine Alaïa museum occupies the entirety of an industrial building. There, we visit the master's workshop and his personal collection of dresses by Balenciaga, Grès, Vionnet, etc.

On the right, finally: our final destination: the bookseller-restaurant – the two spaces become one – with beautiful books dedicated to fashion and, right next to it, the room with the cobblestone floor where we enjoy the cuisine by Italian chef Ivan Schenatti.

Restaurant of the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation, photo: Axel G

This native of the Italian Alps has references. He worked with Gualtiero Marchesi, probably the greatest Italian chef in the world, unanimously considered the founder of “new Italian cuisine”. Schenatti also worked for ten years at Café Armani, on the left bank of Paris, in the 7th arrondissement.

Even more important: the fifty-year-old chef is the grandson of a winegrower and nephew of four butchers. Suffice to say that his contemporary cuisine based on seasonal products is not formal even if it is indeed creative.

Here, we taste Spaghetti Classico Alaïa with tomato (€19) or ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, apple mustard sweetness, slice of duck liver and pearl of balsamic vinegar (€27) or even a plate of scallops , prawns, squid white, zucchini, accompanied by a sweet and sour emulsion (€32).

But there is also the “Small plates” formula, which consists of two (€19), four (€37) or six (€56) starters of your choice to share – a perfect light meal for two people that gives an overview of the chef's talent. At lunchtime, the latter also offers a starter-main course-dessert formula for €33. In the evening, count on €50 per person, excluding wines (excellent and Italian).

©Andrea Aversa

But what is even more important is that this house has a soul. It is that of the couturier Azzedine Alaïa, a smart mouth who received at his table his muses Naomi Campbell, and Farida Khelfa but also Robert de Niro, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Michelle Obama. Arriving in 2023, chef Ivan Schenatti's team perpetuates the spirit of the place and the energy of master Alaïa, known for his generosity, his simplicity and his love of beautiful things.

On the walls and in the room, the works from his private collection are still there. There is a sculpture by César, lighting by Le Corbusier, a table by Jean Prouvé and even a monumental portrait of Alaïa by the American painter Julian Schnabel. Wherever you look, including on the plate, everything is good and delicious. This haute couture restaurant – and yet not snobbish – is undoubtedly one of the most interesting addresses in Marais.

Azzedine Alaïa Foundation
18 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris

Restaurant
The kitchen is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 14:30 p.m. and from 19 p.m. to 22 p.m.
Closed on Mondays
Tel: +01 87 44 54 56 XNUMX

Café
Every day from 11h to 22h

Foundation
Every day from 11h to 20h
Tel: +01 (87)44 54 60 XNUMX XNUMX

©Andrea Aversa

Text: Axel G

20.03.24

IT’S TIME TO TO TASTE !

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