Naoëlle d'Hainaut, the winner of the 2013 season of Top Chef, is a talented chef who opened her first restaurant L'Or Q'idée with her sommelier husband. It received its first Michelin star in 2019.
Now she is taking part in the great vision of the legendary Samaritaine by opening a restaurant on the ground floor, named Ernest as an homage to the founder of the vast Parisian store. In this dining area, which mixes bakery, restaurant and bar, you can start the day from 7 a.m. with a real breakfast consisting of pastries and gourmet treats, or even sandwiches and quiches to eat on-site or take away. Upstairs, the Brasserie d'Ernest serves contemporary cuisine from midday to midnight. From 7 p.m. until midnight, it is converted to a wine and tapas bar.
The décor by Constance Guisset combines deep blue with iridescent mirrors and golden feathers, a symbol of Art Nouveau and Paris in the Roaring Twenties. It is a pleasure to lounge on the soft banquettes, while taking advantage of their handy USB charging outlets.
Early in the morning, it's Eric Kayser who kneads the bread and turns out the original pastries and tarts. At lunchtime, he also whips up delicious sandwiches and salads to take away or to eat on site.
In the kitchen, chef Naoëlle d'Hainaut offers a gourmet bistro menu with Parisian brasserie classics revisited and family dishes to share. Fresh, seasonal products and names that make your mouth water. There are starters such as aubergine confit enveloped in rosemary bread served with preserved lemon pesto and fresh burrata flavoured with lemon and basil served on a carpaccio of beetroot. Follow those with a tasty mushroom risotto and aged Comté cheese foam or a crispy fish and chips accompanied by tzatziki sauce and crunch vegetables.
For carnivores choose between the crispy chicken burger with pickles and sauce, Asian beef tartare with green beans and pequillos peppers or fries or a savoury sirloin steak with caramelised onion butter and pommes frites.
As for desserts, Naoëlle d'Hainaut puts a twist on the classics with verbena panna cotta garnished with strawberries and lemon crumble; brioche French toast à la Suzette" with citrus and spice ice cream; flourless chocolate cake served with popcorn and caramel ice cream; white chocolate mousse with raspberry and kaffir lime; or pineapple with a touch of Szechuan pepper and coriander foam. A delicious, original menu!
The kitchen is open all day, with a light menu in the afternoon. An aged cheese board, caesar salad, gravlax salmon served with yuzu cream, prosciutto board with a side of balsamic drizzled melon, grilled bresaola and aged Comté sandwich and Asian beef tartare are all there to tempt you if you take a break before finishing up your shopping.
From the bakery to the kitchen, gourmet indulgences await you at La Samaritaine!