“But we’re just a block from Ty Breizh. They’ve got galettes with wild mushrooms this time of year. And here? This place looks so touristy.”
After 5 years together, I have learned to understand Mr French speak. “That will be complicated” means “no“. “Aren’t you happy I’m helping you do the dishes?” means, “Wow. How do I get away with doing so little around the house?” and saying “There are no tourists around here” when we were just 50 metres from the Gare Montparnasse meant he wasn’t in the mood for crèpes and really, really wanted to try this place. His next comment only confirmed my interpretation.
I sighed my way through the front door as Mr French asked for a table in the sunlight, which flooded much of the front dining area. Once seated I started looking over the menu, already convinced I was going to hate the place. But, wait, what were the asterisks by most of the dishes listed? Scanning down I read, “these dishes were prepared in-house, using only fresh ingredients”. My mood changed in an instant. Here was a place that respected quality. We were in for a decent meal after all.
Looking around with new respect, I was suddenly charmed by the old-fashioned scale filled with Carabar candies, the cheerful decor and the friendly wait staff. We were there for the pot au feu, so it seemed churlish to order anything else. It arrived at our table in a large copper pot, with a plate of crisp pickles and genuine sea salt. As Mr French had suspected it was memorably delicious, the vegetables cooked so that they remained firm and flavourful, the meat melt-in-your-mouth succulent.
The food was so good, I decided it was worth the calories to try their house made chocolate mousse. I was not disappointed. This is Parisian dining as we like it; no super star chef, no month-long waiting list and a predominantly local crowd going out for food that is as delightful as the people at your table without being over worked or fussy. Miam.