Monday, August 6, 2007

Le Baratin

A super little wine bar/bistro without white tablecloths, 3, rue Jouye-Rouvé, Belleville in the 20th arrondissement. Metro: Pyrenées. A great find by my otherwise food-uninterested companion in Pariscope, the what's-on-in-Paris-this-week mag. Our last dinner in Paris, couldn't have been better. Delicious food and wine; warm, knowledgable people, full of wry humor. There was soul in everything.

We had a mild quail/onion appetizer, beef cheeks in a summer variation, with a light bouillon and new vegetables. Topped with pureed sorrel, that donated the acidity, that kept the whole dish light. Mussels, too, and a delicious cherry dessert with vanilla mascarpone cream. The food builds on the French classics with new variations. We had a great time with the people at the next table, they told us that the cook is Argentinian, a woman.

The wines: a Loire chenin, Benoit Couralts Gilbourg, a table wine, VdTdF. Chenin is one of my favorites, this one had the body and little tight bzzz, that I go after. Mmmm. Class. Then a Bandol, good. For dessert I had a Côteaux du Layon, Loire's well kept sweet wine secret, from Domaine Cousin-Leduc. Organic. As good as everything else, and I'd been longing for a glass all week. The waiter brought some great sweet bubbly rosé, too, that was perfect with the cherries.

Not expensive. 40 Euros/55 dollars for two, tip included. We called first, a good idea... they've got 10 or 12 tables, and it's crowded. You can buy their wines to take home, too. Great place.


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