Forget seaside restaurants – Villa Corse is a destination for businessmen, with clubhouse sofas, a library and a cosy ambiance. But don’t let it worry you – if English is the lingua franca at the neighbouring tables, the staff’s accents don’t lie – this truly is Little Corsica.
The menu is an ode to the local produce of the Island of Beauty: artichokes with brocciu (a whey cheese made from sheep’s milk), farmhouse-style lentils, ravioli with mustelle (a local fish), and a range of aged hams. Those are the starters, and the mains keep up the standard: fillet of Corsican sea bass, Centuri rigatoni with wild prawns, cannelloni with brocciu and fresh mint.
We started with the charcuterie, smoky and flavoursome and worth the €18 price tag. Then the scallops, only just shown the heat, with a tian of gnocchi, olives and basil – beautifully cooked and seasoned. The cannelloni are well-made and the brocciu excellent quality – the only slight gripe was over the excessivley thick layer of gruyère covering the pasta. The tour of Corsica finishes with high quality patisserie: a chocolate and hazelnut crunch from Cervione, white chocolate ice cream and giant millefeuilles with myrtle-scented cream. And talking of myrtle, the meal would be incomplete without the local myrtle digsetif.
When an exiled islander finds themselves at the Villa Corse, the place has to live up to their expectations, and it always succeeds. The bill can sting (allow €50 to €60 for a full meal), but is it really so bad when you’ve done Paris-Ajaccio in the time it takes to have dinner?
This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.