Le Café de Mars
In his lively bistro located just behind rue Saint-Dom’, Pierre Marfaing, the captain of the corkscrew behind the bar, proudly introduces you to his chef Gina, an autodidact from California. Running the kitchen since 2012, she cooks up fresh and colorful market cuisine, and her pretty lunchtime appetizer-main-dessert set menu (€25) draws in big crowds. The other day: roasted eggplant, pomegranate and zaatar (borrowed from Yotam Ottolenghi) or beef carpaccio with arugula and Mimolette for the appetizers; delicious scorpionfish ragout with snow peas, pear and ginger, or stunning roasted Oaxacan pork with patty pan squash and avocado; and for dessert, a goat cheese cake with blueberries for the American touch, or a traditional homemade chocolate cake, even better with a roasted Coutume coffee (€3). To drink, clever and worldly wines: biodynamic Vinho Verde from ViniBio (€5 a glass), Coteaux-du-Languedoc from the Domaine de la Font des Ormes (€28 a bottle)…. Set menus €22-25 (lunch), à la carte €36-44. // S.L.