Here’s to a little gentleness in a brutalist world! Amongst a hubbub of choreographed bodies, Eva Jaurena has opened Mingway inside the Centre National de la Danse’s concrete core. Along with her partners Florent Ciccoli and Greg Back (Café du Coin, Les Pères Populaires), the founder of the Ernest food solidarity network makes food and drink joyfully jerk about. Inside his windowed kitchen, Léo Aït Bahaddou (ex-Buffet) is tasked with delighting guests for next to nothing, seated in both the cathedral-like dining room and on the immense terrace along the Canal de l’Ourcq. The day we went for lunch, €16 earned us: elegant pointy cabbage sprinkled with pine nuts and Parmesan; a devilishly good free-range pork chop with roasted parsnips and an onion/apple/white wine compote; before an incredible chocolate, pecan and caramel brownie. At night, classy tapas take over: cauliflower smoked over thyme with beetroot ketchup; lamb brioche with a mint and yogurt sauce; French toast cake with tonka bean whipped cream… It’s worth noting that an Ernest chef is invited every Saturday to shake up the brunchtime tradition. // Matthieu Jauniau-Dallier
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s organic Gallia beer (€4 for 330 ml) and reliable wines: Le Marmot, a Gard red from La Grange Saint André (€5 a glass), a Rackham from Laurent Cazottes in the Tarn (€24 a bottle) or a white Languedoc from Le Mas des Agrunelles (€24),etc.
PRICES: Dish of the day €10, set menus €13-16 (lunch). Tapas ⁄5-10 (dinner). Sandwiches €6. Brunch €22.