Wine-filled shelves, wooden tables, spherical suspension lamps, mirrors engraved with the restaurant’s logo, walls adorned with silly inscriptions (“Life is food”) and drawings of vegetables (probably those from the chef’s garden in Courances, in the Essonne department). In his star restaurant on Rue Surcouf, the prolific Tomy Gousset (Hugo & Co, Marso & Co), who also did stints at Taillevent, Le Meurice and Daniel in NYC, delighted us this year! The night we went, on the small-prices-big-payoff menu: a sublime appetizer of grilled mackerel with tiger’s milk, like a ceviche sprinkled with chickpeas – or a stunning red kuri squash ravioli with mascarpone and truffle from Burgundy (+€7); crispy yet tender veal cheeks cooked for eight hours in a consommé and then breaded and fried, with chanterelles sautéed in butter and shallots and deglazed in vin jaune, with an incredible jus de viande; a legendary Ossau-Iraty pressé with black cherry jelly; and finally, for the last loop of this gustatory roller coaster, beautiful strawberries on a Genoise sponge base with an almost Tagada-like strawberry sorbet. At lunch, the set menu will have Parisians wondering if they’re still in the 7th arrondissement: chestnut velouté with speck and croutons; organic roasted salmon with curried mashed zucchini, fried kale and a shellfish jus, or free-range guinea fowl suprême with green cabbage, grapes and button mushrooms. // F.P.
FEELING THIRSTY? Democratic wines (Nuance, a Sancerre white from the well-named Vincent Pinard at €9 a glass, a Quinta Antonio Madeira red at €8), an elusive Corton-Charlemagne from the Domaine David Moret 2015 at €30 a glass, or a Côte-Rôtie from the Domaine Jamet 2015 at €180 a bottle, etc.
PRICE: Set menus €28 (lunch), €50 (dinner) and €75, à la carte €57-66.