3rd October 2019

Because having one great restaurant in Nottingham City Centre isn’t enough, the owners of Petit Paris recently opened Paris Bar and Restaurant in the Lace Market and we were lucky enough to be invited along to try it out.

From Valentino Ross’s motorcycle behind glass and the flower-lined swing in the main foyer, to the blossom-filled ‘avenue’ in the restaurant, the authentic Parisian streetlamps and blue velvet seating, Paris exudes a warm and cosy, yet sophisticated ambience.  The restaurant was busy for a dull October Thursday evening but we greeted by our lovely server, Alice, and quickly escorted to our table. 

After taking our drinks orders very efficiently (big tick) we were left to peruse the menu, which was substantial enough to offer a wide range of traditional and not-so French dishes but not too large to be overwhelming.  The dishes on offer are varied and range from French Onion Soup and Camembert Fondue starters, to Steamed Shellfish, Slow Baked Celeriac or a range of dry aged 28 day steaks for the mains.

For our entrée, we chose Pate De Saumon Fume Avec Caviar de Saumon (citrus infused smoked salmon pate with crème fraiche and sourdough toasts at £5.95) and Parisienne Moules Mariniere (steamed mussels with white wine, shallots, garlic, cream and parsley at £6.50).  Both of our starters were impressive.  The substantial block of salmon pate was well seasoned and slightly salty but served with the crème fraiche and sourdough toast, it was perfect and incredibly moreish.  The mussels were large and succulent and served in just the right amount of creamy sauce.

Despite the good-sized menu, it still wasn’t easy to choose our main courses and we flitted between the Poached Free-Range Chicken and the Slow Cooked Pork Belly.  After much consideration,  we decided to go off-piste and chose the Canard a L’Orange (Honey Roasted Duck Breast, served with salsify, salted cherries, pomegranate and orange jus at £17.95) and the Eglefin Fume (Wood Smoked Haddock with crushed new potatoes, baby leeks and breaded hen’s egg at £12.95).

Presentation here is obviously very important and our mains arrived in artful arrangements on the plates.  The duck was nothing short of delicious.  I am not a food expert but, to my untrained palette, it was well-cooked, juicy and tender.  I’ve eaten plenty of cherries over the years but these were salted and an unexpected delight.  The salsify (a Victorian root vegetable) was an interesting addition, as was the pomegranate and orange.  The mix really worked and, although you can order sides separately (including salad, macaroni cheese and chunky parmesan chips), there was more than enough on my plate to fill my boots.

My husband’s Wood Smoked Haddock was another successful choice.  Once again, perfectly cooked, the fish was full of flavour and ideally paired with the potatoes, leeks and a breaded hen's egg.  He also ordered a bowl of steamed seasonal vegetables (£3.95) which again, were a delight, with sliced courgette and mangetout, as well as a bowl of sweet potato fries.

The Dessert menu was in sight but I was full to the gills and couldn’t manage one to myself, although the pannacotta and the raspberry martini with champagne and mint ice were incredibly tempting.  As we were on a kind of date night, we decided to share the Mousse Au Chocolat (dark chocolate mousse with white chocolate cookie at £6.50).  This work of art was almost too pretty to eat but we dug in to the thick, gooey chocolate centre and thoroughly enjoyed the mix of the sweetness and the fruit.  Needless to say, we ended up consuming the lot!

I didn’t realise that Paris is not just a restaurant.  The front of the venue is a bar and lounge area and it would make a nice stop on an evening out.  The bar is ultra-modern, with lots of gorgeous blue lighting and some quirky touches, including gold framed pictures on the ceiling and, of course, the motorcycle and flowery swing, so there’s plenty of look at and it’s certainly cheaper than catching the Eurostar if you fancy a bit of ohh la la. 

Our verdict?  I think Paris is a great addition to Nottingham City Centre – it’s different and the food is excellent and reasonably priced.  Well worth a visit.

PS.  If you eat in the restaurant, look out for the table lights, which also double as a ‘call for service’ for the staff – turn the cylinder over and it changes to red! 

Paris is open between 12noon and 2.30 pm Tuesday to Saturday lunchtime and 5pm to 9.30pm Tuesday to Saturday evening, as well as 12 noon to 5pm on Sundays.

parismotorbike parisswing parisbar

paristrees parisduck parisfish

If you'd like to know more about Paris Bar and Restaurant, please visit the website here.

Thanks to Mike Douglas for the photos.

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