By Caroline J. Photos by Caroline J. Posted May 3, 2022, 4:14 PM
If you like unusual gourmet concepts, then head to the mythical Place Saint-Michel in Paris to push the doors of La Ultima. It’s here, at the back of a pizzeria worthy of those of Little Italy, that hides La Ultima, a speakeasy restaurant showcasing the rich and tasty Italian gastronomy every evening. Are we visiting you?
Want to discover a Italian restaurant double-sided in Paris? Direction the St. Michael’s Square, in the 6th arrondissement of the capital, to get to know a gourmet address that is worth the detour, both for its concept and its cuisine. And it is at No. 6 Place Saint-Michel, where until March 2021 the sign Gibert Youngthat this one-of-a-kind restaurant opened its doors. At first glance, we discover Tony’s, a pizzeria worthy of those located in Little Italy, across the Atlantic. With its beautiful banquettes, wooden bar, multiple frames hanging on the walls and checkered napkins, this pizzeria plays the vintage card. On the menu ? homemade pasta, polpette della nonna without forgetting the essential Neapolitan pizzas.
But in the evening, Tony’s tidies up his tables and the room empties, giving the impression of a deserted restaurant. But don’t be afraid. On the contrary, it would be a terrible mistake to turn around. In reality, the customer is taken to the back of the pizzeria room to discover, behind a mahogany door, The Ultima. This speakeasy restaurant by night, resembling a clandestine casino, offers us a real and incredible dive out of time. With its brass fountain in the entrance, its black marble, its crystal chandeliers, its armchairs with animal prints and its subdued lights, The Ultima takes us back in time thanks to its intimate and cozy 70’s atmosphere.
Once comfortably seated, it’s time for tasting with an enticing menu and plates that smell good of Italy signed Manuel Castro. Passionate about Italian cuisine since his childhood, the chef was notably second in a 2* Michelin restaurant in Sicily, before joining several French starred establishments, such as Penati al Baretto.
On the menu? Tasty, generous and colorful dishes like in the land of the Dolce Vita. Side antipasti, make way for the famous veal carpaccio, a Milanese-style fried egg with its gorgonzola fondue or even a Mediterranean octopus salad. To start, we finally let ourselves be tempted by the essentials truffle arancinetti : two generous and delicious croquettes of risotto with truffles and 24-month-old parmesan that offer a great starter to start the tasting!
We continue the trip to Italy with a beautiful colorful plate made up of tender and tasty gnocchiwith his pistachio pestoits tomato sauce and its fried prawns. Opposite, place at octopusperfectly cooked, accompanied by a tomato sauce and of potatoes. A real delight that only confirms our first impressions!
For carnivores, here too there is something to tickle their taste buds with, for example, a fillet of beef with truffles or even a rib of beef to share for two, and accompanied by a gorgonzola sauce.
For sweet tooths, The Ultima pulls out the big game with in particular the Pistacchiomisu (pistachio tiramisù) or the cannolo siciliano (crunchy pastry stuffed with ricotta cream, vanilla, dark chocolate and pistachio). Otherwise, if you still have room, we strongly recommend the rum baba with limoncello cream and red fruits. A classic of the genre that still has its little effect.
To accompany these tasty dishes, The Ultima suggests some wine – especially Italian – or some cocktails. Your choice of 7 creations and 4 classics, all made by the talented mixologist Roberto Pino. We were amazed visually and tastefully by the ” Smoked negroni », which harmoniously combines Campari, Martini Rosso, gin without forgetting smoked orange zest, to sublimate the whole. Otherwise, discover the Pacino Spritz (Limoncello, Belvoir, prosecco, soda and lemon) or the Tony’s (gin, vodka, crème de cassis, Italicus and soda).
With its unusual concept and its ode to Italian cuisine, The Ultima hits hard and brings a breath of fresh air to Place Saint-Michel. So, are you ready to live a gourmet journey out of time?
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This test was carried out as part of a professional invitation. If your experience differs from ours, please let us know in the comments.