83, rue Laugier (17)
On paper – and in place, mostly – this restaurant possesses all of the elements needed to merit the highest possible evaluation: exceptional, refined food from a blackboard menu; a small, attractive space; very low prices. We will return. The misgivings are hard to nail down. Somehow it lacks energy or buzz. Maybe it was the rainy Friday night. The second (back) room was dark and empty. The cozy front room with 8 or so tables, six occupied (disappointingly, half by Americans – us included) was nearly full, but without energy. Could it be the composition versus the size of the crowd?
Classic small storefront bistro on a quiet street. A hike, but convenient metro ride from central Paris.
Outstanding formula menu which appears to change every day. A sophisticated hand in the kitchen (about which there must be a back story – he has a cookbook on display).
Warm white asparagus with poached egg, shredded beef slow cooked in red wine and laced with minutely minced vegetables between top and bottom layers of macaroni; pissaladière (lightly cooked vegetables over sublime flaky pastry), cod over smashed potatoes. A wedge of goat cheese and perfect Grand Marnier soufflé.
One server (wife?) manages front, serves, handles the phone, clears, pours. All efficiently and with a smile, perhaps too quickly with no attempt beyond getting the job done.
A bargain. 36€ with two 2€ supplements (asparagus and soufflé). Moderately priced wine list.