Le Café de Mars
In this chic and sophisticated bistro, owner Pierre Marfaing and Californian chef Gina McLintock cultivate their idea of cool with old-fashioned beauty: venerable cracked bistro tile floors, a midnight blue and crimson red Formica bar, and plump Marilyn red faux leather benches. A tricolor sense of décor which opens its borders on the globetrotting lunch menu (€26): a reinvigorating salad of arugula, lamb’s lettuce, spinach, raspberries, walnuts, blue cheese and pickled shallots; soba noodles with broccoli, kale and sesame seeds in an Asian dressing – or an incredible “drunken dragon” steak marinated in whiskey and served with silky mashed potatoes and shiitake mushrooms, truly one for the books; before a really heady goat cheese and blueberry cheesecake. And don’t forget about all the fruit filling the glasses: Avis de Vin Fort, a Bourgueil from Catherine and Pierre Breton (€5.50 a glass), a vinho verde Silex (€26 a bottle), or Côte de Py, a Morgon from Foillard (€48). Set menus €23-26 (weekday lunch), à la carte €36-45. // M.J.-D.