Sunday, December 06, 2009
Caffè dei Cioppi
Tiny dining room - 14 seats!
Buffala mozzarella with grilled vegetables and roquette
Subtle, if watery , safran risotto
Sbrisolona: Dessert of the year?
I decided to let things cool down and go after Mr. Tout le Monde Bloggeur Critique to test this hot new table which virtually anyone has heard about by now such as their gastronomic press firestorm been.
This tiny little table is located not too far away from the Bastille in a grungy but ever increasingly bobo part of the 11th arondissement, and hidden along a small passageway, which in the summer has a great little terrace. The dining room has only 14 seats, making last minute bookings pretty much impossible (we had an hour to eat..), but it's worth trying your luck because this place is great value. The ambience is very elbow to elbow, with diners getting all chummy, cool Jazz piped in, the kitchen totally open plan with casseroles boiling away, and three stools at a sort of bar with a full view of the action. The chef used to second the kitchens of the Relais Plaza at the Plaza Athenée hotel, and for the price the cooking shines pretty bright, with only a couples hicks here and there. I hoped to have the burrata cheese advertised on the menu, but , hélas, even being the first client of the day, they were out of stock and replaced it with an excellent mozza, accompanied by a salad of grilled veg and roquette. The following lasagna with sausage was delicious, although the safran risotto, for me, was pretty bland and too watery, and needed a copious dusting of pepper and salt (I'm told their red wine and sausage version is really good, but wasn't on the menu). Desserts were impeccable, especially the crunchy corn flour and almond based biscuits (known as sbrisolona) and marscapone cream, surely one of the most delicate sweets of the year. Count on spending about 30-35 Euros per person with a glass or two of wine.
Caffè dei Cioppi
159 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 11th
+33 1 43 46 10 14