Paris’ Passage des Panoramas welcomes Canard & Champagne

The Passage des Panoramas in the Second Arrondissement, Paris’s oldest covered passageway, has a rich culinary history that just got richer.

Originally opened in 1797 to house stationary and specialty shops, the arcade became a foodie attraction in 2007 when chef Pierre Jancou debuted his popular eatery Racines bistrot à vins, which is known for its contemporary French bistro fare, and organic and un-sulfured wines.

The arcade now houses a huge range of international food such as Paris’s first gluten-free restaurant and Noglu,and the Japanese Gyoza Bar, one of the highest-profile French restaurants run by a Japanese chef (Shimichi Sato). Also drawing crowds is the two Michelin-starred Passage 53, and the Philippe Starck-designed Italian expresso bar Caffé Stern, which occupies the magnificent former premises of a famous engraver, Stern.

According to the New York Times, this winter the area got a new edition that is sure to increase the flock of foodies to the passageway. Canard & Champagne, a Gallic take on casual dining, opened there in February.

Following the trend of single-item-focused restaurants, the eatery basically screams, “Let them eat duck!” It will feature just a few key menu items, namely, duck, and Champagne (as well as steak and salad.) Anyone up for a figurative game of duck, duck, goose liver need only to head to this new hot spot.

“Our idea was to reaffirm France’s gourmet identity through a subtle form of gastronomic patriotism,” explains restauranteur Jean Valfort, known for launching the gourmet burger trend in Paris with his Blend restaurants. “After all, what could be more French than foie gras, duck the way we prepare it most often in France — as a confit, or cooked in its own fat, or as juicy duck breast cooked rare, and Champagne?”

“We also wanted to show people Champagne is a wine that teams beautifully with food,” co-creator Pierre Dutaret, who comes from a famous foie-gras-producing family in southwestern France, adds. “Too many people think of it only as an aperitif or special occasion wine, but the reality is that it’s as varied as all other wines and so deserves a place at the table. We chose our Passage des Panoramas venue, a former stationery shop, now a landmarked historical monument, because of the amazing beauty of the carved wooden shop-front and the white-and-black marble floor.”