Voilà! Hélène Darroze has crossed the Seine to the Right Bank for the first time since her Gascon childhood and her historic restaurant on rue d’Assas. She’s opened up a rather preppy bistro – hardwood floors, an open kitchen, a hubbub at 94 dB and a cozy cocktail bar upstairs. The best seat in the house is definitely one at the bar, kindly offered up in cases of reservation mix-ups… The perfect place, it turns out, to observe the busy chefs, led by Thomas Piat (after 10 years working for Boulud in NYC and London), as they prepare the rotating dishes of the week. On the €24 lunch: ravishing leeks vinaigrette with bottarga; chistorra-style mussels that were a little overcooked, with some delicious thick-cut fries cooked in goose fat; before an inevitable red berry pavlova (€9). Otherwise, there are stuffed tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms on Mondays, lamb shoulder and gratin dauphinois potatoes on Thursdays, etc. Want some more good advice? Dig into the amuse-bouches (tasty fried chicken and cumin-spiced potato mousseline, andouille from Pascal Manoux… from €8 to €15) and beautiful pieces served à la carte for two – roasted nape of hake from Saint-Jean-de-Luz with chimichurri sauce (€44), or impressive Angus short ribs with ranchero sauce (€64), with extra sides (honey-glazed carrots, crispy potatoes with rosemary and Basque sheep’s milk cheese… from €6 to €8). Wash it all down with a white Manzoni Fontanasanta or a Monthélie from Fanny Sabre (€9 a glass), chosen on the fly since there wasn’t a wine list available yet at this newly opened establishment. At night, bartender Gioele Proietto Di Silvestro (ex-Le Fou) lovingly prepares drinks upstairs from the cocktail menu for €15, including a Herbe Rouge with Martini Rubino, Galliano L’Aperitivo, liquid cream, cocoa bean and shell, and fresh mint. Menus €24-29 (lunch), à la carte €37-69. // Y.N.