Caffè Stern in Paris. A 3 stars experience between taste and interior design

Massimiliano (Max) and Raffaele (Raf) Alajmo, owners of Le Calandre restaurant in Padua and Gran Caffè Quadri in Venice, have teamed up with David Lanher, the Paris-based restaurateur (Racines, Racines 2, Racines NYC, Vivant, Noglu), to create an Italian-style coffeehouse or “caffè” in the former home of Stern, the historic French engraver and printing company.

Architect Dominique Averland carefully carried out the renovation and conversion of Stern, while Philippe Starck designed the magical interiors of the historic French landmark.

“The coming together of Stern and the Alajmo brothers is magic,” explains Starck. “Like the engraver Stern, the Alajmos cultivate excellence and originality. To honor this union, we barely transformed the historical landmark: we just improved the existing magic. The resulting environment is fantastic, probably the nicest and most enjoyable bacaro in the world. A visit to Caffè Stern by Alajmo is a journey through time, history, culture, and an invitation to create and strive for excellence. Our contribution is magic, poetry, surrealism and, of course, food.”

Located in the heart of Paris at 47 Passage des Panoramas inside one of the city’s famed arcades, Caffè Stern offers a wide variety of authentic Italian coffee preparations made with coffee selected by Gianni Frasi, roaster and owner of Laboratorio Torrefazione Giamaica Caffè in Verona. Freshly ground beans are used to prepare everything from a classic espresso to “Lì per lì,” a mini-cappuccino originally from Trieste, or “Senza fretta,” coffee prepared in a Neapolitan coffee maker.

Open from 8:30 am to midnight, Caffè Stern serves guests continuously throughout the day, beginning with a gourmet breakfast of croissants and extra- virgin olive oil brioches, followed by a mid-day aperitivo of cichetti (Venetian- style tapas) like whipped salt cod with fried polenta, saffron and ragu arancini, or pappa al pomodoro.

The lunch and dinner menu includes Alajmo classics like hand-chopped Piedmontese beef with smoked olive oil, spaghetti alla carbonara made with extra-virgin olive oil, fried langoustines with bottarga sauce, and Max’s signature steamed pjzza; all served in a series of connecting rooms that date to the 16th century.

“Caffè Stern is an informal place intended to make people feel at home, and the menu – simple, yet meditated – is a reflection of this,” Max says. Alajmo hired Sergio Preziosa as executive chef of Caffè Stern after he spent four years with Max in the kitchen at Le Calandre.