With historic and legendary Haussmann roofs, the glamorous Eiffel Tower, and Sacré-Cœur, Paris is one of those cities that you do want to see from atop once in a while. Newcomer Au Top is the most recent rooftop addition in the bobo neighborhood of Le Marais. Coveted seats at the new gem are reservations-only, opening up a panoramic view of the city to be enjoyed with some hefty cocktails and an open-grill kitchen.
Owner of Café Foufou and nearby Café La Perle, Jean-Philippe Nikoghossian decided to create some competition for Le Perchoir Marais — the other rooftop in the neighborhood — known for long lines and strict bouncers. Nikoghossian’s location, on the other hand, is quite discreet. At 93 Rue Vieille-du-Temple, you are directed through a garage door and to the very back of a square where an elevator to the fifth floor awaits. Down a hall of wine and up one more staircase, you’ve arrived au top. An XXL-sized print of artist Philippe Ramette marks the spot.
Decoration is clean and minimalist. Black stools line the straight bar with a single shelf lining accessorized by a single deconstructed palm tree-shaped lamp. As it is still quite cold in Paris, the roof is covered with a tent for the winter.
The kitchen is helmed by Christophe Rousseau and Loïc Clee, whose open-plan kitchen is one of the main attractions. Unless served raw, everything else is grilled. Oysters from Oléron go for 6€ for a dozen and a roasted artichoke (a French specialty) with olive oil and fleur de sel for 9€. Prime rib, smoked tuna, or grilled sea bass are shareable main course dishes wrapped up with a roasted pineapple dessert. It might not be your cheapest Parisian meal, but surely not a Michelin-priced one either. With weekend brunch for 28€, you’ve scored yourself the perfect afternoon.
A simple Instagram search shows only a handful of postings from Au Top — meaning it’s yet to be discovered and loved. So get ahead of the curve, reserve a spot, and enjoy a secret little rooftop apéritif before the tourists and all alike swarm over too (and with views like this it’s guaranteed to become popular in no time). Perfect for friends’ gatherings, a classy birthday celebration, or an intimate date, you can’t go wrong with this Parisian roof.
AU__TOP is located at 93, Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris (01 43 56 50 50)