Café des Ministères

Café des Ministères (Paris)

© Café des Ministères

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In the mood for a little traditional charm? Then head over to the Assemblée neighborhood, with its beautiful hôtels particuliers and cushy, overpriced brasseries… as well as the discreet Café des Ministères (a marbled bar, cobalt blue banquettes). After years of cuisine that was as pleasant as a parliamentary meeting, it’s now been taken over by the Sévègnes duo – Roxane in the dining room and Jean in the kitchen. There’s nothing too revolutionary on the menu, but the Ducasse-trained chef’s dishes have plenty to put you in a good mood! The other day at lunch: a perfectly prepared homemade noir de gascon pork and chicken liver terrine, served with a small jar of pickled vegetables; astonishing “gras double” beef tripe in a sublime sauce basquaise, available as either an appetizer or a main; light and airy vol-au-vent, generously filled with veal or lamb sweetbreads, free-range chicken, spinach and a sublime truffle jus: truly superb! And for the finale, an excellent baba au rhum made with slightly syrupy rum from Martinique, plus some delicious chantilly cream. Everything else on the menu was as classic as could be: calf’s head with sauce gribiche, stuffed tomatoes with basmati rice, line-caught hake with sauce basquaise, profiteroles or pavlova for dessert… // Albert Gredinbar

FEELING THIRSTY? There are over 300 often-clean labels to choose from: L’Impatiente, a Vézlay from the Domaine de la Croix Montjoie (€9 a glass), Terre de 3, an Anjou blanc from Terra Vita Vinum (€39 a bottle), a Fleurie from the Domaine de Fa produced by Maxime Graillot (€50)…

PRICE: Dish of the day €19 (lunch), à la carte €35-80.

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