I almost cancelled the reservation when I drove past « Gare au gorille », a very small and unnoticeable restaurant on rue des Dames in the Batignolles. But Georges Brassens had sung « Gare au gorilla… supérieur à l’homme dans l’étreinte, bien des femmes vows le diront » (Beware gorillas, superior to man in hugging, many women will tell you) and my curiosity had risen. Very glad I went in.
This restaurant, which had been recommended by a group of young men, is surprisingly charming and excellent. It was hard to book because ebooking did not seem to work and you have to call in a slot of a couple of hours every morning or afternoon. And then the phone is permanently engaged. But after a few tries, I managed to secure a table for 8.15 pm (just before the 8.30 crowds…).
We started out by ordering an Orange artisanal wine (not rosé, not white, not red but orange) Ageno, produced in Italy by Elena Pantaleoni : the taste at first is similar to dry cider but the more you drink it the more addicted you get. It is quite an amazing experience and I felt fine the next morning ! The waiter was totally charming and interested by our daring order.
Then followed a series of little plates (it seems to be the fashion) at 9€ each. Raw beef in carpaccio (fantastic), sea asparagus with vitello tonato, sardines tempura with tartar sauce, rouget à l’escabèche. It was followed by an exceptional duck for three with pommes darphin (similar to the Swiss rösti) of which we had a second order, and a large plate of semi cooked vegetables. Dessert was chocolate sherbet with strawberries, very light. We all came out with happy spirits and the walk through the animated streets of this charming corner of 17 th arrondissement made us sleep wonderfully. (70€ appr. tel: 01 42 94 24 02)
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