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Nicolas Michel is constantly reinventing his ‘gastro-bistro’. The dining room was completely re-done in 2011, adding a welcoming area of communal tables, and more recently the kitchen got a thorough wash-and-brush-up. But the intention is not to put on airs – it’s still a chalkboard-menu sort of place, with an easy-going atmosphere to match.
In the evenings, there’s a single menu at €39 that includes starter, main and dessert. We began with a chartreuse of crab on a consommé of prawns and Vichyssoise cream, followed by a monkfish fillet in a black olive crust with green beans, chorizo and wild garlic, and to finish, a dark chocolate ‘surprise’ with blueberries and pistachio ice cream. All achieved a balance between refinement and simplicity on the plate, and the house specialities of casserole and seven hours slow cooked shoulder of lamb looked good on our neighbours’ tables.
The wine list concentrates largely on the expensive treasures of the Côtes du Rhône region, but it is possible to find a few (but not nearly enough) more affordable quality wines – a René Rostaing white from the Languedoc punched above its weight for €36. In the end, this restaurant is something like a great vintage: the years that pass give it a greater and greater charm.
1 rue de Cotte
|Transport:||Métro : Ledru-Rollin|
|Opening hours:||Du mardi au vendredi, de midi à 14h30 et de 20h à 23h. Le samedi, de 20h à 23h.|