Le Rocher de la Vierge
Best dive of 2018
In a neighborhood that has more than its fair share of kebab shops, this ageless dive does pretty well for itself. Since opening in October 2016, Le Rocher de la Vierge (decked out with a zinc-topped bar, a photo of the Rock of the Virgin Mary in Biarritz, mismatched furniture) always delivers, absurdly without fail. Run by Mikaël, Khoi (two former chefs at L’Esquile) and Paul (an ex-sommelier at Le Chateaubriand), you’ll find a typically French set menu option at lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, which might include dishes like a gourmet haddock, beet and apple salad; veal cheek
s from Charles Delagausie served in a rich jus with carrots, mushrooms, leeks and orange; and a perfect pear-almond tart for dessert. On Thursday and Friday evenings, Mika whips up some pintxos: lentils from Le Lauragais, pork trotters, buckwheat; veal sweetbreads, hummus; citrus millas cake…. And every Monday at noon, Khoi dons the apron, serving up Vietnamese cuisine: yellow noodle and duck soup, crispy spring rolls…. A real free-wheeling diet that’s even better when you start digging into the beautiful wine list crafted by the masterful Paul: a Rhône red from Léon et Séraphin (€5 a glass), a Languedoc Du Vin pour les Anges from Olivier Cohen (€15 a bottle), etc. Set menu options appetizer/main €13, appetizer/main/dessert €15.50. Pintxos from €7 to €9. // P.L.