22 Rue Desnouettes (15)
There has been a drift in this Diary over its brief history toward more expensive, more high-profile restaurants. Maybe it is because of the leads we receive; what we hear and read about is new, changed in ownership or otherwise noteworthy.
Biscotte brought us back to our original mission. Perhaps that might be why we liked it so much.
Deep in a middle-class residential neighborhood in the pleasant, but undistinguished 15th. A small unadorned storefront with a handful of small tables, a tall eating bar in the center surrounding a partly glass-covered completely open kitchen. A chef assembling plates at a small open pass supported by a sous chef and dishwasher, his wife the pastry chef behind the bar preparing desserts, and 2 servers. A neighborhood crowd, 100% French, filling every seat until well past 10:00 p.m. A small menu, reasonable prices. A perfect model, and a fortunate one for us.
3 – 4 a la carte choices in each of 3 categories also offered as dinner for 37€. Or 6 courses for 49€ (smaller versions).
Durade carpaccio, gnocchi with clams, roast pork, merlan (fish), steak or vegetarian option; chocolate mousse, fruit or another chocolate dessert. Each carefully plated with refined accompaniments, all finished to order. The kitchen on top of its game. Good choices, good food, good value. A small space, happy, local people all seem to be enjoying themselves on an April Thursday night.
Two helpful servers with good English. Service appropriate to low key style of the restaurant.
37€ for 3 courses. Ample wine list with generally low prices. With a 39€ Graves, water and coffee, a fair and highly satisfying, 128€.