Le Guide Fooding’s Best Bistro of 2009
Raminagrobis, Greffier, Mistigri – you’ll find all the French chats here! Drawings, knickknacks, figurines and even two of the furry little beasts themselves… In addition to this feline obsession, the bottles of wine lining the dining room aren’t just there to look pretty. With a 400-strong collection, Le Chat has plenty to pair with Laurent Chareau’s (ex-Mac Val in Vitry and Café des Délices in Paris) very personal dishes. The last time we went, the €25 menu included: poppy seed-breaded mackerel goujons that were a little dry, cauliflower rémoulade with mustard seed and basil; subtle sautéed lamb with preserved lemon, apricots and cashew nuts, served with semolina mixed with carrots, chickpeas and cilantro; before a deliriously good baba au rhum infused with verbena instead of rum, and paired with peaches, nectarines and a rhubarb sorbet. Another option is the tasting menu where Laurent really lets loose: a chilled velouté with grilled sardines, citrus zest and celery seeds; cauliflower, tomato, cumin and beetroot panna cotta and a salmon gravlax; vitello tonnato with a whelk rémoulade, hazelnuts, kumquats and fried onions; rabbit rillettes with mussels, cauliflower rémoulade and mustard seeds; lamb shoulder with langoustines, roasted eggplant and an olive/lemon jus; floating island with summer berries, rose syrup and pink candied pralines… // G.B.
FEELING THIRSTY? A 13-page wine list centered around Loire vintages: a Pouilly-Fumé from the Domaine Serge Dagueneau et Filles (€5.80 a glass), a Sancerre red from the Domaine Delaporte (€29 a bottle), a Sèvre-et-Maine Muscadet from Vincent Caillé (€30).
PRICE: Menus €21.50 and €26 (weekday lunch), €29 to €32 (dinner) and tasting menu €47 (upon reservation only).