Behind the windowed facade, it’s serious business: a light wood bar, tightly-squeezed together blue tables and black metal chairs, for a total of 18 guests. At his tiny Besançon eatery, chef Etienne Bellot puts food on the table and gets straight to the point: leeks and sauce gribiche or a soft-boiled egg caressed by a silky cod brandade to start; for the second course, risotto pampered with asparagus and lemon, titillated by Parmesan aged for 30 months; or free-range chicken thigh cooked like a beef bourguignon paired with lardons, mushrooms and a delicate potato purée. For dessert? Black forest gateau with cherries, diplomat cream and a sponge cake drunk on kirsch; or very British lemon posset made with an egg-free cream sauce, plus a Breton shortbread to boot. // Sophie Fonfek
FEELING THIRSTY? In addition to the house cocktails (chocolate Negronis, Bloody Marys with or without vodka, espresso martinis, €3.50 to €6.50), there are clean wines – an Anjou red from the Domaine de L’Enchantoir (€4.80 a glass), Bons Ju, a Rhone white from the Domaine de la Graveirette (€26 a bottle), a Pinot noir from Les Petites Pouilles (€26 a bottle).
PRICE: À la carte €20 (lunch), €30-34 (dinner).
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