Biggest crush of 2018
Otonali (“next to” in Japanese) is a table d’hôte style restaurant located right next to Bertrand Larcher’s Breizh Café – who already owns 10 restaurants in Japan and nine others in France. In this refuge decked out with blonde wood, ceramic and concrete, he hosts guests around an immense oak wood table, with views of the open kitchen. Inside, the imperturbable Yasu (former right hand man of Fumio Kudaka, the virtuoso chef of the Table Breizh Café) sent out some impressive tapas the night we went: lovely fried eggplant in a delicious dashi broth (€8); tasty veal and clam tartare, prepared as a tataki (€15); Breton lobster tucked into maki with a ginger and apple confit center (€16.50); stunning wagyu beef ravioli in an admirable beef consommé (€15); before an all-buckwheat finale, with ice cream, honey and puffed grains of the same plant (€6.80)… Yum! The other house musts are also worth trying, like the addictive buckwheat shell pasta with mussels and andouillette (€16), or the marvelous mouthfuls of karaage-style fried chicken (€15). To drink, there’s a very cosmo(nip)politan menu, with excellent sakes (a Junmai Ginjo Sohomaré at €45.50 for 250 ml) and some pretty bottles of wine: a Bourgogne-Aligoté from Catherine and Claude Maréchal (€6 a glass); Nuitage, a Melon from Marc Pesnot in Burgundy (€37 a bottle); or a Morgon Vieilles Vignes from Guy Breton (€40). À la carte €5-28. // S.L.