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Sep 30, 2011 06:04 PM

Out of hiding: Hidden Kitchen/ Verjus

We will be interested to hear reviews and reaction to this, opening soon:

see also:

(We assume this will mean the end to HK as we've known it, though; how could they possibly juggle three balls -- wine bar, separate restaurant, and HK in their home -- all at once? If so, it's bittersweet.) -- Jake

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  1. Wow! We have a reso at HK for the first time in November. Haven't heard that it is cancelled, but in light of this story, now I'm wondering. Thanks for the story!

    1. They'd need flawless logistics to run these three places at the same time. I hope they're not biting more than they can chew.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Ptipois

        I'm guessing once open they plan to convert reservations over to the new resto. Not sure how I feel about that. I'll post back when I hear something from them.

        1. re: DaTulip

          It doesn't look like that from the websites as they are still taking HK reservations. Why not give them a call rather than assuming the worst?

          Interested in who is in their network: Juan from Fish and Dernier Gout; Mark from Willies Maceo; and, Tim from Juveniles. They are also well located around the corner from a couple of them. They all have great pedigrees and lots of experience of running successful restaurants and bars in Paris so no doubt Brad and Laura are not short of very good advice and support.

          Looks like another new wine bar to add to the list. Is the new Fish open yet?

          1. re: PhilD

            I wrote them last week for an HK reso for Dec 10th and they said they were opening a new restaurant (Verjus) and taking reservations for December. They offered me Friday the 9th (which I took). They didn't give me an option for HK--or for Verjus--on Sat but I didn't push b/c it was convenient to go after the ballet at Opera Garnier.

            In any case, I look forward to trying it and am glad I have 1 of 6 meals for my 3 days in Paris set:) BTW--they also said they'll have a community table.

            1. re: PhilD

              At this point I don't think it's worth pushing the issue. I still have a month and a half. I'll check in closer to date as I would have anyway. By then I'm sure they'll have a plan.

              1. re: DaTulip

                Happy to report that we just received a lovely email that our HK reso is being transferred to the new Verjus. Nice to have it honored in the new venue & thrilled to have the chance to be part of the first waves at the new place. I'll be sure to report back...sometime after the 25th.

        2. Maybe I can shed some light here.

          First our original intention. A friend of mine from Seattle is an incredible chef and butcher. He had spent almost a year in France and Spain working with top butchers before moving back to Seattle. He and I have cooked together and I suggested the idea that Laura and I would finance a new restaurant in Paris if he would take on the role as the chef. Laura and I would continue working between Paris and the US and continue Hidden Kitchen when we were here in France.

          My chef friend was supposed to be in Paris this September, but as of today, is still going through VISA drama. Surprise, surprise, France.

          Verjus, the restaurant, is going to improve upon and expand upon everything we were doing at HK. In addition to the names listed above, Juan, Mark, Tim, who have been helping since the beginning, Greg from Frenchie has given us spreadsheets of contacts, introduced us to all his food purveyors and continues to lend ingredients and help whenever possible. Daniel Rose of Spring has sent a cook in our direction who will be cooking for the opening of the Verjus wine bar.

          Hidden Kitchen -at this point- we are continuing on a week-to-week basis. Ideally, I would like to be the architect of design and menu construction at Verjus. Then continue other my other business pursuits and Hidden Kitchen separately. The variables that have been thrown at us so far has translated into countless hours dedicated to Verjus.

          I feel as though our ability to dedicate the time and energy to Hidden Kitchen and keeping it as top notch for you as we always had, is waning. Rather than present a fraction of what Hidden Kitchen should be, we are going to be scaling back.

          We are both young and happy to be putting in every hour that is required so that we can create a dining experience at Verjus that can exceed in every way the expectations of a sophisticated and knowledgable cliental. Hopefully we can do all this without losing any of the countless friends we have gained along the way through Hidden Kitchen.

          We sincerely apologize for any plans we have disrupted, but we will be canceling some Hidden Kitchen dinners in the coming months. We cannot thank you enough for your support and understanding.


          P.S. The new Fish (Simea) is not open yet as they are going through construction delays. The new kitchen staff for Simea has taken over the kitchen at Fish in the meantime as Matt and Hayden have left for a new venture. Expect a new menu at FIsh from the new team starting next week.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bradenp

            Braden - thanks for the update - do you know where Hayden and Matt have ended up? Hayden was our "Friday night" barman when we lived in Paris and it would be great to seek him out when we visit. He, and Juan, helped develop our taste for good French wine...and Matt wasn't too shabby in the kitchen either.

            1. re: PhilD

              I have heard that Matt and Hayden are opening a restaurant/wine bar near Sentier. I don't have many details though.

            2. re: bradenp

              Braden, Yes, thanks for the update, and best of luck to you, Laura, and your Seattle butcher/chef friend. You certainly have your hands full. We look forward to visiting your new places and the others mentioned. It seems there's been quite a proliferation of wine bars recently, but the more the better. -- Jake

            3. PS: A friend who was at HK tonignt (Oct 2) wrote to me that "it was fabulous and Braden and Laura so nice" and: the "waitress, Barbara, said that our dinner was possibly the last dinner to be served." -- Jake