La panse mène la danse! This is the motto of Thomas Cassagnes, an Aveyron native through and through, who’s renovated the old Express Bar on Rue Saint-Maur, turning it into a rustic-chic bistro (walls and counter top as white as snow, old mirrors, gramps’ old cow bells) which mixes cool vinyls with dishes from his homeland, served from midday until late, and where the belly does indeed call the shots. On the plates by Louis Kothe (ex-Champeaux, under Ducasse), refined rustic beauties, as befits: next-level sausage with aligot, roast leeks with sauce ravigote, prime rib from Maison Conquet with bearnaise sauce… Our lunch? Farçous (chard fritters seasoned with garlic and parsley) with a creamy dollop of lemon herb dip, followed by sea bass fillet flanked by a gang of thym smoked beets, before a crème brûlée generously drizzled with Jura vin jaune. And to help you digest, there’s some heavy beats blasted from the turntables… // Thomas Jossin
FEELING THIRSTY? A cool wine list that’s still work in progress, including: Point de Fuite, a Tarn red from the Domaine La Pierre Levée (€7 a glass), a white Beaujolais from Arnaud Combier (€45 a bottle), and Version Sud, a Provençal grenache vinified in Burgundy by Frédéric Cossard (same price), among other well-known heavy weights – Carmarans, Foillard, Bouju…
PRICE: Menu €34-50.
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