This little restaurant lies on the corner of rues Claude Bernard and Berthollet within a five-minute walk from the popular market street rue Mouffetard. It is run by a husband and wife team, Cédric and Rebecca Tessier, with Monsieur cooking in the kitchen and Madame serving the customers. Because their menu lists starters and main courses that are novel compared to the selections that we have seen in other small establishments, we recently stopped in for lunch.
We both ordered the Soupe de châtaignes, tartine de foie gras de canard confit. The hot chestnut soup was smooth and creamy, adding a touch of warmth to a chilly autumn day. Alongside were served three slices of toast, generously garnished with thin slivers of foie gras, mi-cuit (foie gras, cooked medium-rare). The silkiness of the foie gras matched the smooth texture of the chestnut soup, and the lightly-toasted bread gave crunchy counterpoint.
Our main course was Braisé d’épaule d’agneau, endives au miel “toutes fleurs.” The substantial portion of braised shoulder of lamb was pleasingly fork-tender, however we both found the cooked endives overly sweet.
Fresh, sliced baguette was served alongside in a basket. Apart from the texture and taste, we knew that the bread was fresh because we saw Madame Tessier run next door to the bakery to buy it!
We forewent the dessert because of the sweetness of the endives and the size of the portions of soup, foie gras, and lamb. We were tempted by the crème brulée, however, when we saw one with a beautifully caramelized crust served to a diner at the next table.
My espresso was served with two small meringue puffs, which, I am guessing, probably came from the bakery next door, as well. We have often passed by that bakery, admiring the cakes, bread, and meringues displayed in the window.
The bill for two, including a glass of champagne, two starters, two main courses, two glasses of wine, and an espresso, came to 69.50€.
Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first traveled to France in 1975. A native of northern California, he moved to France permanently in 1992. Reeves’ love of French language and culture inspired him to create Discover Paris!, a travel planning service that caters to Americans interested in cultural travel to Paris. His book, Paris Insights – An Anthology, has been called “the kind of insider’s view of the French capital…that first or even second time visitors pine for.” He publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Paris Insights about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light, and posts daily information about the French capital on Facebook.