Le Saint Sébastien
How reckless it is to open a new restaurant in East Paris, the stronghold of haute tasting sensations! However, the gamble sure paid off for Daniela Lavadenz (ex-6 Paul Bert) and Thomas Deck (Deck & Donohue beers). The star duo have taken over this former neighborhood dive – a Formica bar, terrazzo flooring, sixties light fixtures –, where the talented chef Robert Mendoza (ex-Willows Inn on Lummi Island) now works. Embraced for you, the night we went: glistening Bellota morcilla (€8) – masterfully paired with a very rare oxidative Savagnin from the Domaine Mossu (€54 a bottle); a lively line-caught bass ceviche splashed with a delicate watercress marinade and sauced up with bread from Ten Belles (€14); beautiful monkfish tail first pan-fried and then cooked over binchotan charcoal, served with an erogenous eggplant and miso purée (€26); before an elegant tart with apple strips and compote, and a crumble topping (€80. Former environmental minister Nicolas Hulot can rest easy, the 400 wines carefully sourced by Bastien Fidelin (ex-Itinéraires) are guaranteed to be glyphosate-free: a highly drinkable Gamay from François Dumas (€6 a glass), a very buttery Fief du Breil from Jo Landron (€36 a bottle), a lustful Chardonnay from Pauline and Géraud Fromont (€55) – just a few highlights from the collection of natural winemakers (Bornard, Ganevat, Deiss, Baudouin, Bain, Valette…). Set menus from €20 to €24 (weekday lunch). À la carte €40-50. // G.LeP.