La Pente Douce

La Pente Douce (Toulouse)

© Nico Froment

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As the great Claude (Nougaro) would say, chef Hamid Miss’s accent is awash with gravelly tones. This self-taught chef and Kenitra native used to work at Airbus, but now he endlessly illuminates the Les Chalets neighborhood with his improbable restaurant La Pente Douce (blonde hardwood floors, Poulsen suspension lamps, a bar dotted with spices, jazz playing in the background…). The Thursday we went (the blessed day of couscous!), the chef’s menu was a real treat, featuring in order of appearance: a deliciously plump roasted porcini mushroom with tender tomatoes and four types of sesame seeds; an extraordinary couscous that combined a ginger broth, extra-fine wheat, quinoa, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and bulgur wheat all caressed with Bordier butter, plus herbed suckling lamb kefta, caramelized lamb neck and lamb brisket, organic vegetables, fiery harissa, onions cooked in balsamic vinegar, and pomegranate seeds – wow! Before a delightfully plump corne de gazelle cookie paired with verbena caramel and a lemon-saffron cream. The evenings are less Berber-influenced, but Hamid puts on just as fine a show, featuring dishes like salmon tartare, cucumber spaghetti, organic Ariège trout roe, an oyster and yuzu soy sauce dressing, with wasabi and sesame; a poached egg with country bacon and mushrooms; sea bream with eggplant caviar and bisque… // M.R.

FEELING THIRSTY? Very clean wines: a Saint-Chinian white from the Domaine Les Eminades (€8 a glass), a Corbières from the Domaine des 2 Anes (€42 a bottle), a Corsican white from Antoine Marie Arena (€54), a Cornas from Matthieu Barret (€72).

PRICE: Menus €35 (lunch) and €45 (dinner), à la carte €40-43.

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