Our last full day in Paris started off with Brunch at Le Mary Celeste. David told me all about this place that is renown for their scrumptious cocktails, spicy kimchi , slow-grilled beef jerky and 1 euro oyster bar at happy hour. They also happen to serve brunch on weekends. Perfect!
Le Mary Celeste gets its name from an American-British merchant ship that was found completely abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872. The boat had been at sea for only a month when her crew of seven went missing leaving their valuables and the ship’s cargo untouched. It remains one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time.
Even in the heart of Paris, Le Mary Celeste transports you seaside with its rope wrapped columns and white washed bricks. The interior is light and bright with large open windows and stained glassed transoms but also boasts some quirky touches- like the chain saw behind the bar and a large mural of a toucan on the restroom door.
In addition to their innovative cocktail menu, they also offer a selection of Brooklyn Brewery beers on tap and an impressive list of wines.
Our meal began with cocktails. It’s no wonder they are lauded as much as they are. I had the Beverly Hills Brunch, a concoction with Nardini Bitters, a brilliant orange flavored and scarlet colored bitter, pamplemousse (grapefruit), agave, romarin (rosemary) and champagne. Slightly sweet, but tangy with a mildly earthy, savory flavor. Just WOW! And such a gorgeous color!
The Garden Fizz featured Aalborg aquavit, sirop de cumbawa maison, a house made syrup prepared from a type of Asian lemon, citron vert (lime), blanc d’oeuf (egg whites) and topped with ginger beer. This was a seriously sassy beverage! It was spicy, full of citrus and exceptionally creamy. Simply delicious!
Watching the bartender create this beautiful blend, the Snowden, a mixture of Laphroaig Single Malt whiskey, pureed peaches, lime and mint with a bit of fizz, was like watching an artist create a masterpiece. Such intensity and care! It tasted even better than it looked.
Our food was just as creative and bold. Each dish was so bright, colorful and utterly impressive. They had contrasting textures and flavors. Unlikely partners on the plate that actually worked in harmony with one another.
I had the arepa (galettes de mais), haricuts au four, pickles de jalapenos, oeuf au plat (corn cakes with baked beans and pickled jalapenos topped with a fried egg). This was so good and I am still trying to recreate this at home because I am craving it still! I love how the sweet, tomato sauced beans were given a lively kick from the jalapenos. The crunchy peppers complimented the crispy arepa, whose center was soft and creamy and the egg was perfectly sunny side up. Such a fresh, flavorful dish.
Who would ever think to pair French toast with mushrooms and fresh tomatoes? Well, this dish was just that-pain perdu de brioche maison, ragout de champignons, gremolata (french brioche toast with sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes with lemon zest, garlic, and parsley). Taking a traditionally sweet breakfast and turning it savory instead. Delightful!
For dessert (Dessert after breakfast/brunch? Why, YES!) we all shared a creamy panna cotta a la vanille, casseilles confits, chocolat blanc caramelise (vanilla infused panna cotta with caramelized, candied white chocolate and a gooseberry blackcurrant hybrid called casseilles) served in a funky chipped enamel bowl.
I loved everything about this place and it’s on my list of “must return to’s” for the next time I am in Paris. I can’t wait to try their other creations- bold and beautiful cocktails and fresh innovative dishes.
Reservations can be made for weekday dining but for the weekend brunch you can just show up.