I love a good pop-up. Enter stage right, Les enDimanchés, organized by Michael Isaac, sommelier at Le Perchoir. “Endimanché” means “in your Sunday best”, and the events are described as “pop-up parties highlighting the talents of Paris”.
The whole idea is to get talented chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, musicians and artists, along with those who are passionate about eating and drinking well, to come together for such food and drink, in merriment, one Sunday per month.
Le Perchoir swung its rooftop doors open wide at 4pm for cocktails, oysters, and tapas. They have a beautiful rooftop terrace, which thankfully has an enclosed tent in the winter.
My friends and I arrived around 5:30pm, ordered cocktails and sat outside for approximately 3 minutes before freezing and swiftly returned to the warmth of the heated tent. We then passed the second hour by sharing a bottle of natural sparkling Jura and played “Find the clean shaven man”. An impossible task in such a sea of beards.
Once inside, we sipped Persian lemonade while eyeing the two long communal tables, considering which colorful chair to choose as our own.
Michael led us in a round of the wave and then gave both tables the breakdown of how the evening would go – They would start serving the other table (enemy table) first, and then our table would get served. Magnums of natural wine got passed around, and everything was just fine.
The starters included hummus, fish roe taramasalata, and some beautifully spiced roasted cauliflower (one of my favorite dishes of the evening).
Followed quickly by bowls of hot crispy fried kibbeh (fried croquettes stuffed with bulgur, minced onions, & finely minced beef or lamb)
Up next, tender duck hearts coated with Za’atar. Let me tell you something about James Henry. He makes you love organs. He’s done it. It’s done now. I’ve eaten so many different animal hearts at Bones, I wouldn’t think twice about popping those duck hearts in my mouth like Cheetos.
I did actually use a knife and fork, but I would do that if no one was around.
Also, I haven’t had a Cheeto in years, I don’t know why that was my example, but they are pretty pop-able. I don’t even think I’m spelling Cheetoh right. Let’s move on.
I feel like I keep leaving Shaun out, but I’ve only eaten at Yard once, compared to would-never-want-to-total-the-amount-of-money-I’ve-spent-at-Bones. Ever. So I have more points of reference.
Quail wrapped in vine leaves & topped with pistachios. Another favorite of the evening.
Shaun Kelly is cool, and a great chef. Just wanted to mention that, in a non-favoritism, equal chef talk sort of way.
Merguez served with tabouli (with pomegranate seeds, which should be a required addition to all taboulis) and labne, a Middle Eastern yogurt-based cheese.
At this point, I was beginning to think the feast was coming to a close and dessert would be arriving soon – and then I nearly teared up with excitement when this got delivered in its gleaming copper vessel…
Did you take a long hard look at that braised meat with its glorious browned edges and juice? It was meant to be mutton shawarma with grilled flat bread, but I dove into the mutton and prunes and never looked back.
Except for when I did look back, to eat the flat bread afterwards.
The shawarma was served with a giant copper pan of traditional Middle Eastern rice & lentils with fried onions & pomegranate seeds.
For dessert, olive oil cake with blood orange, and almond milk sorbet with olive oil. I ordered 4 gallons to go.
The evening was a huge success. Not only on the food and wine side of things, but on the people side. The best thing about communal tables is that you’re forced to make friends with strangers. To our left, we made friends with two Ozzie foodies and an American writing an article for Saveur magazine about food-related things to do in Paris, and to our right, a couple ladies from Girls Guide to Paris. Food lovers, Paris lovers, these are my people.
Thanks to Les enDimanchés for bringing us together. Looking forward to the next Sunday best.