Picture this: a cold autumn day, black ominous clouds threatening to drop cascades of rain or hail, and a hungry couple is looking for a warm, friendly place in Paris to have a bite to eat. Mission accomplished when they discover Pessic on the rue du Temple in the Marais district.
Serving Spanish Mediterranean cuisine, Pessic was opened in June 2017 by El Tast, the restaurant group behind the popular El Tast cave à bière et charcuterie in the 18th arrondissement. In a formerly vacant space, the restaurant team undertook an impressive top-to-bottom renovation, preserving historic features like ancient timber ceiling beams and a vaulted cellar. The tables and bar are made of black marble from Alicante, exclusively imported for the restaurant.
Three of El Tast’s team hail from Valencia, and it is these sunny Spanish flavours that the group is showcasing at Pessic. Think glorious platters of melt-in-your-mouth bellota ham, croquetas made with jamón ibérico, and tapas to share like grilled cuttlefish with marinated artichokes and a pea purée. Did we mention the killer Spanish wine list (including Valencian Bobal and Monastrell), plus the house-made rum infusions? (Beer lovers: never fear. El Tast is committed to craft beer produced in the Paris region, and offers up to 120 references from 25 different producers.)
“The idea is to export Spanish gastronomy, using local products and recovering traditional recipes to modernise the concept of tapas,” says El Tast. What this means is you’ll also find Paris’s most authentic paella, served on Saturdays in copious quantities. El Tast partakes in the annual international competition for paella valenciana, and their chefs happily share tricks of the trade. Ingredients actually change seasonally based on what’s available in the markets.
On a recent autumn day, we warmed up with a lovely lunch; tasty tapas and a generous platter of bellota ham were followed by a delicious gluten-free cake made with almond flour and topped with lavender-scented cream and roasted pineapple. Note that there’s a daily lunch menu priced at 15 euros (two courses) or 18 euros (three courses)– a great deal.
Come evening, Pessic fills up with a happy crowd of locals who appreciate the vast wine selection paired with tapas. It’s a convivial scene and staff are happy and helpful.
We are often asked about restaurant picks in the Marais district– one of the most popular tourist quarters in the capital– and we’re happy to recommend Pessic.
Pessic, 102 Rue du Temple, 75003. Tel: +33 (0)9 54 33 10 11. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 12- 2:30 pm for lunch, and from 7 pm to 10:30 pm. Tapas start from 11 euros. Fixed lunch menu from 15 euros. Ham platters from 14 euros. Website: www.eltast.fr/pessic