Godfather

Cinema, what a brilliant invention that gives you an opportunity to live a thousand lives without moving from your sofa. I do enjoy a good contemporary art-house film for a slow-burn watch, but I also love old classical movies – a bit more direct in their narrative, they always tell you a beautiful story

One of my top favorites in this category is of course The Godfather. I love the obscure atmosphere and slowness of interaction, I love Sicilian landscapes with its romantic veil. But the most fascinating are the characters of this movie and their relationships. People with paradoxically clear and strong values, with a sense of respect, with an actual family institution as a ground base of everything. Despite being criminals, they stand one for another, despising cowardice and hypocrisy… Look at the ambivalent Don Corleone – this handsome man inspires fear, admiration and trust at the same time. Such a paternal figure: you want him to like you, you want to hide behind his shoulder…and God save you from upsetting him, because you never know!

So Don Corleone is who I thought of when I met Philippe Pinoteau in Le Baratin, the best Parisian restaurant of giblets. Open since 25 years! A quarter of decade, Karl! In a city where restaurants open and close faster than the spread of Covid! Obviously this place has nothing to prove you. Therefore, you don't feel particularly welcome, the servants are not here to make a friendly small-talk… But when you come to Don Corleone's home, you feel grateful he opened his door for you and kind of happy you are still aliveJ Same feeling you get under the rigorous gaze of its patron Philippe. You are a guest in his family's place and you should pay your respect. However, if you get to hear Philippe talk about wine, your heart would melt pretty quickly. Truly passionate about natural wines, he can generously talk about it for hours uncovering the history and metamorphosis of wine-making in France. He's a true treasure trove, one of those rare people who touched the wine-revolution with his own hands. So is the Baratin itself – it is rife with history. The dignity and pride of this small place makes you want to sit straighter. Very classical and almost historical Bistro design without showoff reminds you that serious things are happening here. And when you get your plate you realize that next to a strong and strict Godfather there is of course a warm and caring Godmother, a well-established chef Raquel Carena. She was the one who opened Baratin at the first place and brought the contemporary public to Belleville. The presentation of her plates is simple, classical and direct, straight to the point. Yet you feel the warmth, generosity and character behind every dish. And talking character - this woman masters all parts of animal from brain to guts. The plate as simple as vegetable stew and beef cheek will surprise you with its tenderness and precision. And the veal sweetbreads are legendary here. Essential ingredients, aromatic seasoning, the mastery of cooking. Excellent products, exceptional wine card.

No wonder this place is always full, attracting lots of professionals both of the gastronomy and wine world. So… book in advance, visit, but make sure you show no disrespect!

27.07.2020
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