Claire et Hugo
For six years, Claire Baubrit and Hugo Lallemand crisscrossed Troyes and its surroundings from behind the wheel of a burger truck, before setting their sights on this former dry cleaner’s shop that they reconverted into a bistro, épicerie and bakery, where they make five homemade breads using organic, local, heirloom grains! Add to all that a dreamy terrace, a greenhouse for citrus (citron, kalamansi, kaffir lime, sweet lemon, Buddha’s hand, etc.), a garden/orchard, and you wind up with a truly insane spot, where happiness is found on the plate! The day we went for lunch, on the €24 menu: a subtle combination of smoked herring, crisp leeks, green grapes, and a yogurt, Ardèche mustard cocktail with oil infused with Buddha’s hand from the garden; octopus that was as tender as a Turkish delight, intensified by a harissa/peanut/basil dip; before ginger-poached plums with a hazelnut shortbread and a sheep’s milk yogurt sorbet. The dinner and Saturday lunch menus are more of the same goodness, but you choose four to five courses from seventeen possible options – ex.: soft-boiled egg, lemon, anchovies, seaweed and pickles; mussels with buckwheat, bell peppers, eggplant and basil; rump steak in chicken broth with shiitake mushrooms, green plums and cilantro; Hereford steak with carrots and horseradish; a blueberry financier with a verbena cream and grapefruit; raw chocolate sorbet with a coffee cream and black cardamom. // Gilles Dupuis
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a conscientiously short, organic and natural selection of wines to choose from: a Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune white from the Domaine des Rouges Queues (€4.50 a glass), a Mondeuse from Marie and Florian Curtet (€37 a bottle), a Coteaux-Champenois red from the Fleurys (€43), etc.
PRICE: Menus €24 (weekday lunch), €39 and €46 (dinner and Saturday).