Some might think you'd be a bit mad to nurture gastronomic ambitions in the middle of Stalingrad, tucked between a métro station, a sketchy kebab stand and an evangelist mission. But for a year this has been the successful home of Louloucam, and its young chef Jean-Matthieu Frederic – a graduate of La Tour d'Argent and Le Meurice.
The bistro is neat, with a subtle decor, despite the dozen or so photos of American film actors from the 80s that are somewhat strangely pinned up around the grey walls. The menu, written on a large slate, has pride of place among these fallen idols, honouring the great classics of French cuisine with some added twists. Leeks in vinaigrette with lemongrass, for example, or crispy pigs' feet, veal's liver à la lyonnaise, scallops à la provonçale, poached pear with salted caramel, or the 'Parce que vous le valez bien' ('because you're worth it') – a crispy praline feuilletine, covered in a handsome chocolat ganache.
The set menu is €31, and there's a trimmed down €16 menu at lunchtime. On our visit, it started with salad of delicately flavoured crayfish tails, followed by a subtle, well-balanced salmon fillet with cuttlefish ink tagliatelle, and a Lyonnais sausage with green beans and parsley – perhaps less refined, but no less accomplished. All in all, excellent, if a little safe – a great bet for faultless execution at very good prices.
264 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin
|Transport:||Métro : Louis Blanc, Stalingrad ou Jaurès|