By Hervine Mahaud
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A new address that is well worth the detour. Since Wednesday, May 25, 2022, Restaurant Chez Marinette offers comfort food combining traditional cuisine and ingredients from around the world. Charlotte was inspired by grandmother’s recipes and his many trips to concoct tasty and original dishes.
The former lawyer opens her own restaurant
Remember at the start of 2021, we presented the beautiful project of Charlotte, a Lille resident who had just made a 360° turn in her career. The former lawyer specializing in commercial real estate had decided to abandon her files to put on an apron. She was then looking for a place to open Chez Marinette, her restaurant and tea room.
His idea: to delight Lille residents with comforting dishes, inspired by the recipes of his grandmother Marie-Antoinette, nicknamed Marinette. And add a touch of originality thanks to spices, vegetables and other ingredients from around the world. “When I visit a new country, I am first interested in the culinary culture. And it shows up in my recipes,” explains the young woman.
The opening of her restaurant, which she planned for the spring of 2021, finally took place at the end of May 2022. Because, in the meantime, Charlotte has become the mother of a little boy. It was also necessary to tackle the works of the premises, an old apartment which had to be entirely transformed to be able to accommodate a kitchen and a room accommodating 26 place settings, supplemented by an 8-seater terrace.
The restaurant is located at 2, place Jeanne-d’Arc, not far from Jean-Baptiste Lebas park and at the junction of rue de Solférino. Despite the skepticism of those close to her about the location, Charlotte is “delighted. There is a neighborhood life, a real emulation. I absolutely do not regret being here. »
Only midday on weekdays for the moment
The young woman offers a very short menu, with three dishes and three desserts, which favors local and seasonal products. “Except certain condiments such as spices that are not produced in France, but I limit their use to reduce the restaurant’s carbon footprint,” she promises.
For its first week of opening, it has put on its menu a vegetable blanquette with vanilla, or roasted cauliflower with harissa and maple syrup, dates, candied lemon and bulgur tabbouleh, as well as a sweet potato and blue cheese quiche or a cheddar au gratin with its organic fried egg and leek beer fondue.
Of course, everything is completely homemade by Charlotte. “I want to do everything myself, I don’t want to do assembly, that doesn’t interest me. But, the first week, she let herself be a little surprised by the magnitude of the task. “For my first two dishes, for example, I needed 15 kilos of carrots. I spent a night cleaning them, and it was just one ingredient. »
She also had to adapt to a clientele very fond of take-out sales. “It wasn’t what I had originally planned. I quickly suggested a Marinette-style ham and butter with roast pork, Brie de Meaux AOP and mustard. Charlotte intends to test the deposit system for those who do not have lunch on site.
Supported for the service by Yelyzaveta, a young Ukrainian who is doing a Master’s degree in law, Charlotte has only excellent feedback on her cooking. Open only for lunch for the moment, it will soon set up the tea room offer. “I also hope to be able to develop and eventually offer a Sunday brunch. »
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