19 January 2011

kind of sort of open! les trois seaux, 75011

Olivier Aubert on left. 

When I first met Olivier Aubert, he and Nath Acroft were behind the bar at the scrappy Spanish-toned natural wine bar they'd recently opened near the Centre Pompidou, La Bodeguita du 1Vème. They were headbanging along to "Bohemian Rhapsody." In the months since, M. Aubert has evidently been on kind of an entrepreneurial tear, first opening La Bodeguita du IXème near Grand Boulevards, and now, as of last week, a work-in-progress restaurant called Les Trois Seaux on rue de la Fontaine au Roi in the 11ème.

"Les Trois Seaux" translates to "the three buckets," and at the other Friday night's quiet opening party, as my friends M, B, and I surveyed in the fresh red and yellow splotchwork on the walls, I couldn't help wondering whether the bar's new name perhaps derived from a happy afternoon spent with some paintbrushes and numerous bottles of wine. As evidenced by the pace of his restaurant openings, Olivier doesn't seem to be the type to overthink things. I can only hope everyone else in the neighborhood finds the basic ideas as charming as I do: natural wines, informal service, simple tapas...

At least, that's what's there at Les Bodeguitas. I'm told Les Trois Seaux will be serving more bistro-style fare. At the pre-opening everything was sort of hypothetical, however. We all sat on piles of chairs around one big Pangeia-table sipping 2005 Château Les Peyrrissolles Côtes du Blaye and eating paté en croute.

There's no use going into what the wine was like. It's a passable cru Bourgeois Merlot-driven Bordeaux, not exceptionally natural (to my knowledge), with a few years' age on it. I think Olivier had chosen it because it's from where he's from. I hadn't actually known how intimate the event was going to be. It was kind of like a baby shower for a newborn restaurant. I felt sort of bad for not having brought a gift. I met some nice Croatian ladies though.

Later I chatted with Olivier in the kitchen-in-progress, and he explained to me that one interesting feature of the Les Trois Seaux space is that it was evidently built by maniacs, who for unknown conceptual purposes designed it to have neither 90-degree angles nor level surfaces. Everything tilts roughly 11-degrees in cockeyed directions.

I said it reminded me of the Shirley Jackson novel The Haunting of Hill House, and the subsequent film(s), wherein the titular house is meant to have been built by a deranged old patriarch along similarly crazy blueprints. As a result, people get lost, doors slam shut of their own accord, etc. In the case of Les Trois Seaux, the space was formerly a deserted music-themed bar called "Le Mange-Disque," whose owners evidently had a sense of humor or were on drugs when they designed the place. Kitchens in particular are such necessarily pragmatic knife-wielding places that I'm kind of shocked anyone would take their fanciful formal innovation all the way to the cutting surface.

It's a good thing the new owner has a sense of humor, anyway.

Update: in the time between writing this post and getting around to posting it, Les Trois Seaux has properly opened. Olivier says he plans to host jazz evenings, starting tomorrow.

Les Trois Seaux
58, rue de la Fontaine au Roi
75011 PARIS
Metro: Goncourt or Parmentier
Tel: 09 54 27 86 86

Related Links:

La Bodeguita du IVème, 75004, a fine way to survive fashion week
More chilling at La Bodeguita, 75004
An apero at the also-recently-opened La Bodeguita du IXème, 75009

1 comment:

  1. I love this place too! http://www.we-paris.com/resto-paris/qu%E2%80%99il-est-beau-le-bistro-des-3-seaux
    I also enjoy to read your blog, great comment!