Celebrity chef Eyal Shani has opened a new restaurant in Paris. And although Miznon fuses French and Israeli flavors, the city’s Jewish community and Israeli ex-pats are flocking to the restaurant for a taste of authentic food and atmosphere.
Miznon specializes in pita, stuffed with all kinds of filling. But the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the spot serves up such untraditional pairings as “ratatouille with hummus, beef bourguignon with fried eggplant or a whole head of roasted cauliflower.”
Head chef Shani says he wants “to take Paris’ energies, its groove, its longings, its limitations, its beauty and its food, and express all of that in one pita.”
On the other hand, co-owner David Moyal (a Paris native) emphasizes that the boisterous atmosphere in the bistro embodies “balagan,” or Hebrew “hullabaloo.”
Shani is well known in Israel, both for his food and his uncensored personality, which sometimes lands him in trouble. He operates several restaurants, including a Miznon in Tel Aviv, and was one of the judges on Israeli MasterChef.
Paris’ Miznon is located in the Marais neighborhood, which was the epicenter of Jewish life in the city in the early 20th century, until World War II. The area has since become a fashionable place full of galleries and clubs, and has even seen a revival of Jewish life since the 1990’s.
Miznon is not the only Israeli food in the neighborhood. The nearby L’As Du Fallafel (Falafel Ace) has been open for 35 years, and has a devoted following. But as it focuses more on traditional Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and shwarma, it seems like there is room for both restaurants in Paris.