Sometimes in life, you’re just lucky.
Lucky to have a day off because it’s a national holiday (Ascencion Day), the sun is shining and you’re with your favourite Frenchie on the other side of Paris, just to have a walk and find a place for lunch. And all of the sudden, you find yourself in the same street of that interesting restaurant you’ve been dying to try and they happen to have two seats available.
Which is really lucky, since they only have a few seats, don’t do reservations and it’s one of the most popular places in the neighbourhood (and maybe even Paris). And they give you seats at the bar, which is, in my opinion, the best place to sit because that’s also the kitchen. Yep, they have no other place to prepare food than right behind the bar. There’s a small cubicle in the back, which I mistook for an extra kitchen, but what later turned out to be the dishwasher!
In this restaurant, the staff really has to be super efficient and flexible to get everything done in such a small space. Maybe this is the reason why the atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly, everyone is making jokes and all this while working their butts off.
Pierre Sang, the owner/chef, is known in France as one of the finalists of Top Chef, the French version of Master Chef, and for mixing western and Asian flavours. The concept is simple, there’s a fixed menu (which they can alter if you have allergies or just don’t want to eat certain things), to which you can add some extra courses if you want to. We started with salmon, a dill sauce, some pesto, green beans and fish eggs. Not a standard combination, but it all went beautifully together.
Our main course was a really tender beef, with sautéed vegetables and a spicy red pepper sauce, which was fantastic with the meat. For dessert we took cheese and a sweet dessert, to share and to be able to experience both. The cheese was a slice of a delicious Cantal, which was huge and standing just in front of us, next to the butter (which is served with fantastic bread, I think we ate three baskets of it…). The sweet dessert was a chocolate cake with a mint granita and fresh fruits.
The funny thing is, they don’t tell you what you’re going to eat when they serve you. You’re supposed to taste it without knowledge, and you’ll be surprised how hard it is to tell what it is you’re tasting. Once you’re done, the staff tells you what you just ate!
At the end of your visit, another pleasant surprise awaits you, the bill! They work with a fixed menu for a very reasonable price. There are just three options for lunch, of which we chose the in-between variant of a 3 course meal for 25 euro (there’s also a 2-course menu and a 5-course menu). And unlike some other Parisian restaurants, they don’t even try to make some extra money out of the drinks. I totally get why people stand in line outside to eat here.
As all self respecting finalists of Master Chef, Pierre Sang too has a cookbook. My boyfriend bought one for me, to add to my collection of cookbooks (my first signed cookbook! And actually, my first signed book in general)
Yes, you could say it was my lucky day!
You can find more info on the Pierre Sang website. The waitress told us that the best chance of getting a spot is, not very surprisingly, on weekdays.