Laiterie Sainte Clotilde
The white stone government buildings and overall silence cause your footsteps to echo in these deserted streets. With its graphic tiles, Formica tables and red benches (more exotic than vintage in these parts), Jean-Baptiste Varenne’s bustling neo-bistro brings a little joy to the neighborhood, delighting hearts and bellies alike. The day we went, the €28 menu had lured in the likes of celebrity architects Roland Castro and India Mahdavi with its strikingly beautiful everyday fare: a lively heirloom tomato salad with feta, sea beans and melon water; a Nadalian stroke of medium-rare duck breast with cherries, tarragon and a turnip purée; then a choco-la-la cake enriched with a dollop of raw cream for the winning shot. In the glasses: Crozes-Hermitage, Etincelle, from the Domaine Saint-Clair (€7.50 a glass), a white Touraine from the Domaine des Corbillières (€28 a bottle) or a Minervois, La Nine, from the Domaine Jean-Baptiste Senat (€44). Set menus €24-28 (lunch), à la carte €36-48. // M.J.-D.