Last Friday, December 5th, French businessman Guillaume Ryon and his wife Ludi held the grand opening of their newest entrepreneurial endeavor, Le Parfait Paris. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp, the French eatery aims to break the stereotypical mold of the traditional French café by dishing out decadent, authentic French cuisine in a modern Parisian fashion.
“We wanted to open something contemporary, chic, and relatively cheap without sacrificing the authenticity of our food,” said Ludi Ryon.
Although this “best of both worlds” concept is much easier said than done, Guillaume and Ludi have indeed created an authentically French restaurant that doesn’t break the bank.
Food and Drink
According to Guillaume, the most important component to genuine French cuisine is the chef. After interviewing 63 candidates, Guillaume decided on talented fellow Frenchman, Jean François Fays. Fays, an understudy of the famous Chef Calderom, has created a collection of dishes that capture the rich flavors of traditional French food while maintaining the restaurant’s modern appeal. Chef Fays prepares each dish using all natural ingredients, made from scratch, with no artificial aromas or sweeteners.
The menu, broken up into three subsections of baked goods, drinks, and desserts/pastries, embraces the communal experience of French dining. The bakery produces traditional French sandwiches, freshly baked breads, quiches, and salads. And to embrace the San Diego scene while also keeping the wine menu traditional, Le Parfait Paris serves local beers on draft along with several varieties of French wine and champagne. Finally, the impressive list of richly flavored, bite size pastries such as cheesecakes, parfaits, and macaroons really display the authenticity and talents of Head Chef Fays. The blend of traditional French cuisine and drinks, along with popular San Diego brews, makes Le Parfait Paris a great spot for all occasions; from a quick morning coffee and bite to start the day, to a sweet dessert and glass of champagne after a night out in the Gaslamp. At the restaurant’s grand opening the Presstive team sampled some bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, Le Royal (the restaurant’s signature chocolate parfait), some bite sized cheesecake, and French champagne with Hibiscus flower. While the full menu was not available during the event, everything we tried was unique and delicious.
Located in the heart of downtown, Le Parfait Paris’ venue gives customers a small, yet intimate setting to enjoy the restaurant’s culinary creations and various beverages. Inside, the eatery is tastefully decorated and most notably features square display cases allowing customers to see the delectable pastries from all angles. The venue also includes a small outside patio with heaters that allows diners to sit amongst the everyday hustle and bustle of downtown San Diego.
Before leaving we spoke with Stephanie Cherqui, a Frenchwoman and regular customer also attending the event. Cherqui claims that after several years of searching for some “real” French cuisine, she has finally found some at Le Parfait Paris. “This is the first time that I have found pastries that actually taste like they do back home in France,” states Cherqui. Furthermore, Cherqui feels as though Le Parfait Paris is exactly the type of eatery that you commonly find in Paris giving American customers a unique look into authentic French dining.
A trip to Le Parfait Paris offers San Diegans a cultural experience that most other eateries cannot. After speaking with Stephanie Cherqui we realized that Guillaume, his wife Ludi, and Chef Jean François Fays have succeeded in providing San Diego with a truly authentic, yet affordable night out in downtown.