The name of his new restaurant, Aux Verres de Contact (‘contact lenses’) might lead one to suspect that Guillaume Delage, the former chef at Jadis, is getting short sighted. In fact, it’s a reference to the famed writer, journalist and bon vivant Antoine Blondin, who used to write off his bar receipts as ‘verres de contact’ on expenses claims forms. Just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame, the restaurant has a modern yet welcoming décor, with deep red and cream walls and dark wooden furniture.
On the starter menu, there’s a good selection of charcuterie and high-quality cheeses, but also some more original things that really show off the talent of the young chef. For instance, an innovative croque-monsieur composed of layers of bread in cuttlefish sauce, mozzarella fondue and grilled vegetable. It’s a surprisingly effective reinterpretation, though the balance of bread to cheese could have been more generous to the cheese. Then there was a fresh and crunchy celeriac remoulade with whelks, followed by an exotic fruit jelly baba. It’s all just about right for a light lunch.
For bigger appetites, there are also lunch menus (€22 or €29) that depend on the chef’s whim of the day. On our visit, it was a duck fillet salad and a shellfish soup with a quenelle of horseradish mousse, followed by a fillet of cod in a lemongrass sauce and an assortment of satisfying mini-desserts, especially the creamy rice pudding.
The service was perfect – though we were there on a slow day. However, in a touristy district where good restaurants are few and far between, this friendly bistro will soon find a loyal clientele.
|Venue name:||Aux Verres de Contact|
52 boulevard Saint-Germain
|Opening hours:||Du lundi au samedi de 12h15 à 14h et de 19h15 à 23h|
|Transport:||Métro : Maubert - Mutualité|