De Sel et d’Ardoise
Little old Orléans may be poor in New Orleans flavor, but it’s rich in ideas! Need some proof? Head over to Claire and Maxime Voisin’s mini bistro, which features 20 tightly-squeezed-together seats, a school map on the wall and blonde wooden furniture. The day we went for lunch, the €25 menu included: white asparagus and a brave calf’s head with rhubarb confit and flavorful strokes of tarragon cream; a slice of leg of lamb with perfectly cooked vegetables – roasted carrots, pickled cauliflower, tender turnips, browned onions, steamed broccoli, puréed celery; before a dark chocolate tart nicely paired with caramel, vanilla ice cream and a dried fruit tuile. To drink, there’s a straightforward wine collection that’s a veritable tributary of the Loire River, which carries a Gamay from Olivier Bellanger (€6 a glass) alongside a Pineau-d’Aunis from the Vaillant family (€25), and even a Sancerre from the Domaine Claude Riffault (€42). Menu €23-26 (lunch), à la carte €38-42. // A.A.