© le sergent recruteur / photography: klunderbie - from rustic eatery to contemporary culinary haven
located in the very heart of paris, on île st.-louis in the river seine, it has hosted many a gourmet for literally hundreds of years. seeking a new challenge, chef antonin bonnet audaciously transformed le taverne du sergent recruteur's worn-out ambiance into a stylish contemporary restaurant with a little help of spanish designer jaime hayón. now bearing the name le sergent recruteur, the abbreviation signals the remarkable transformation from a once very cluttered and overtly rustic interior, to a contemporary gastronomic haven where good taste manifests gloriously on more levels than one. the smart thing about hayón's design, apart from the widely hailed aesthetic side, is the fact that the sense of intimacy of this historic dining spot has been beautifully retained. le sergent recruteur is comprised of three sections: upon entering the premises, the first space you'll come across is the bar. rounded corners are omnipresent in the design and visually set the tone. the modernity is softened by wooden flooring, an abundance of retro elements and a subtle dash of bling, resulting in an ambiance that's inviting, playful and quite timeless.
beyond the doorway with honeycomb panels lies the main dining area where the vibe is a tad more formal. sleek furniture is upholstered in an emerald green balance the austerity of the white marble floor while a mirrored wall with a cut-out not only adds glam but also provides a view of the what goes on in the kitchen. a wonderfully illuminated wooden staircase leads to a subterranean space that's occupied by le sergent recruteur's private dining room. the setting features a chef's table that seats up to ten people below a striking chandelier that was especially designed by hayón. the restaurant's set menu has been as meticulously fussed over as the interior design, and features a refined 6-course or 8-course option brimming with delicacies. aiming to wow refined palates, it lists a fine selection of carefully sourced fish and meats. and in a place like this, there obviously is a savvy sommelier readily at hand who can recommend just the right wine for your every course. location: 41 rue st.-louis en île [île st.-louis].
© le sergent recruteur / photography: klunderbie - good food in a hayón setting, what else could you wish for?