For over 30 years, Tim Johnston has been celebrating the “Auld Alliance” between France and Scotland his way, in his wine bar with beautiful bottles and small French plates. Between crates of wine, children’s drawings and photos of rugby clubs, his daughter Margaux (who took over the family business in 2014) and her husband, chef Romain Roudeau (ex-La Régalade), send out clean and heartwarming dishes. The night we went, on the €31 menu: tender plancha-grilled octopus served with haricots verts, pistachios and tangy rhubarb and sour cream – or even a fantastic duo of burratina with zucchini tempura served with peas and mint; generous pork chops from the Clavisy farm in good company with gnocchi cooked with sage, butter beans and spinach, all caressed by a Parmesan cream and titillated by a basil/cilantro/dill/tarragon quartet; before ending on a high note with a trembling verbena panna cotta with rhubarb, sprinkled with a few gargiguette strawberries and a very British shortbread cookie.
FEELING THIRSTY? There are only very good options to choose from in his wine-o-theque of a hundred often natural or biodynamic wines. Sip in house or take to go: a sparkling Le Mag 14 from A.R. Lenoble (€10 for 120 ml), a lively Corail rosé from the Château de Roquefort (€26 a bottle) or even a rich and tannic Cahors Petites Cailles 2013 from Le Clos Triguedina that’s spicy and has a long finish (€58 a bottle).
PRICE: Set menu €16.50 (lunch, dish of the day + a glass of wine + coffee), menu €25; menu €31 (dinner).