Pouzenc (Paris)

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If chef-proprietor Fabrice Pouzenc (ex-Ferrandi and Pralu) no longer works the lunchtime service, it’s so he can be better prepared at night! The neighborhood crowd happily piles into his cute bistro (white walls, marble tables, invariable geometric tiling) to dig into one of the two menus available. The night we went, we got things started on a good note by opting for the €34 version: an octopus and coco de Paimpol bean salad that was colored with squid ink and a little bland; beautiful swordfish tataki marinated in lemon, cucumber in a thyme-infused cream, plus mixed greens dressed in hazelnut oil; before an irresistible mirabelle plum soup with homemade ricotta and saffron (from the Drôme) ice cream for dessert. What we snatched off a friend’s plate (a practice highly encouraged here) wasn’t bad either: a Marmande tomato tartare with figs and a sesame crust, zucchini stuffed with kefta-style lamb served with preserved lemons. // A.D.

FEELING THIRSTY? An organic Urfé Viognier white from the Domaine Sérol (€7.50 a glass), a full-bodied Coteaux-d’Ensérune red from Terrà Lisa (€18 for a 460-ml pitcher), a red Les Débonnaires from Luc Sébille or a biodynamic Cheverny from the Domaine des Huards (€30 a bottle).

PRICE: Menus €26-34.

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