Paris dining: Silencio is making big noises in Parisian gastronomy

Copyright Silencio Des Pres CREDIT ©Yann Deret

In our latest Paris dining article we look at the opening of a third part of a food trilogy.

On 7th October 2021, Silencio des Prés opened in Saint-Germain-des-Prés as the latest launch from iconic Parisian brand Silencio. The venue is a chic new restaurant and 360degree cinema and event space with a terrace for sunny days. The restaurant is spearheaded by celebrated chef Guillaume Sanchez and the cocktail menu has been created by Remy Savage, one of the biggest names in bars right now. The space has been designed by Studio KO.

The buildings have a rich history, connecting nouvelle vague, bohemia, intellectual exchange, all strands of creativity and political advancement. Silencio des Prés is the third corner of a trilogy which has seen the Silencio philosophy encourage the pace of Parisian hospitality to lead on the world stage for over a decade. First came Montmartre. Then Ibiza. Now des Prés.

Like its two immaculately idiosyncratic predecessors, Silencio des Prés will offer something more than food, drink, service, entertainment and prestige. Silencio buildings are fashioned as factories of ideas. They are places to meet surprising strangers, to strike inspirational ideas, for accidents to turn into inspirations, business to feel like pleasure and to make the seemingly impossible closer to reality.

Opening in the 6th arrondissement at Saint-Germain-des-Prés has been a dream of Silencio founder, Arnaud Frisch, who says: “When we move into an area, we honour the history while looking to the future,” he We don’t want to be nostalgic. It is about keeping the spirit of a building alive and then doing something innovative with it, for now.”

Silencio des Prés is made up of one cinema and one restaurant. The cinema began life in 1969 and was brought by Saint-Germain-des-Prés local, Frederic Mitterrand in 1979. The picture house was known to be his favourite and has in the interim variously been utilized as a cabaret space and bar under previous owners, the family Henochsberg. Like the Metrograph, the East Village, New York cinema with which it shares some pared back aesthetic, the ghosts of great cinema live in the ether here. If Belmondo and Truffaut have touched the walls, why reconstruct them?

It is in the restaurant where the major changes have occurred, under the instruction of the finest Parisian design minds of their moment. The mighty interiors duo Studio KO, Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty have brought back home to Paris their vertiginous skill for defining a city’s most prestigious yet relaxed social space. The talents they’ve honed at the intersection of elevated comfort and sophistication in Los Angeles, during the ongoing reconstructions of the Chateau Marmont, and London, at the Chiltern Firehouse, now finds a brand-new home tucked below the Seine.

At the heart of the vision for the restaurant is the food, under the progressive thinking of classically trained radical chef, Guillaume Sanchez. The restaurant will feature a permanent menu with ingredients that will change based on the stock of Silencio des Prés ten small-scale produce providers.

PARIS DINING SILENCIO DES PRES silencio-P1-copyright Ilya KAGAN @ilyafoodstories-export-28
silencio-P1-copyright Ilya KAGAN @ilyafoodstories-export-28

“For Silencio des Prés, and everything related to it, the goal is simple,” says Sanchez. “How can we do better? How can we have an establishment that brews a lot of covers a day, while passing messages, respecting the planet and the people who cultivate it? At what price and under what conditions?”

He has thought long and hard about this while developing a kitchen fit for purpose in the direct challenges of production.

Just because it is ethical in spirit does not mean it is not delicious. He says: “This is about respecting the man or woman who cultivates, reinventing the model of volume catering and giving pleasure to people”.

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