As you enter this narrow neo-bistro (blonde wood, Flos light fixtures, an unfinished column), the house motto appears in capital letters: “WORK HARD & BE NICE TO PEOPLE.” This is what the man of few words, Antonin Bonnet (ex-chef at Sergent Recruteur), seems to live by. Because his Quinsou (an Occitan word for a type of European songbird) sings a perfect tune, with its first-rate ingredients and homemade bread made using heirloom red wheat. On the “petit” prix-fixe lunch menu, the day we went: a thick slice of beetroot in a sweet and sour sauce, covered in begonia petals that had notes of sorrel, and whelks from Normandy; robust grilled pork chops with thick-cut bacon, a rich jus, kohlrabi (grilled and puréed) and chard; before a damson plum clafoutis with prunes in Armagnac and a fromage blanc sorbet. Another option is the metronomic five-course tasting menu: cuttlefish from Sables-d’Olonne with spinach, squid ink and sesame; monkfish with potatoes, chard and curry; lamb chops with broccoletti and anchoiade; a tamarind-infused chocolate square over an almond cookie with elderflower ice cream… // D.C.
FEELING THIRSTY? Olivier Dopke handles the corkscrew, serving his very personal selection of wine: a Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine from the Domaine de l’Ecu (€7 a glass), an Alsace-Sylvaner from Achillée (€39 a bottle), a Bandol rosé from the Domaine de la Bérude (€40), a Savoie red from Adrien Berlioz (€42)…
PRICE: Set menus €38-54 (lunch) and €78 (dinner; food and wine pairings +€45).