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The hottest table in Paris this year was arguably Hidden Kitchens, an “underground” restaurant inspired by Naomi Pommeroy’s Sunday Supper in Portland, Oregon. Braden and Laura (they keep their last names a secret), a superyoung Seattle couple, moved to Paris and started cooking Sunday dinners in their apartment for 10 to 12 privileged guests at a time, mostly expats and food-obsessed, restaurant-blog-reading visitors. An e-mail would be sent the day before the meal revealing their address. The 10-course feast centered around dishes showcasing American ingredients and flavors and French techniques. Chef Daniel Rose of Spring and star chef Guy Savoy were among their first customers.
After serving 1,287 people and more than 12,000 courses, Braden and Laura are spending the summer road-tripping through the U.S. before returning to Paris to move into a larger, more grand space on the Palais Royal, right near the Louvre. The new restaurant will open in December with the same menu concept, and Braden says they’ll keep the name Hidden Kitchens even though this new restaurant won’t be a secret. One tip: Start booking now.
Braden updated me from the road as he and Laura ate their way through Minneapolis, Chicago, Buffalo, New Haven, Boston, New Hampshire and New York City. So where do expats eat when they come home? Next week, he will give F&W an update on his cross-country eating itinerary. His one clue: “We are testing our cholesterol limits with big greasy breakfasts, hot dogs, buffalo wings, huge stacks of pancakes and giant deli sandwiches.”