Les Diables au thym, my new cantine

Leeks “crayon” braised with shells and truffle vinaigrette

The first time I tasted Eric Lassauce’s cooking was at a friend’s house across the street from his restaurant, Les Diables au thym, on 35 rue Bergère, in the 9 th arrondissement. The whole dinner was delivered as we were progressing and I still remember the côte de veau with carrots that we ate. Never had I tasted such a beautiful veal. So when the same friend, also called Eric, invited me to lunch, I went with real eagerness. I had Foie gras de canard which was excellent with its nut bred, and he had the Poireaux crayon, a very original way of cooking leaks.

The restaurant has the most extraordinary collection of lamps hanging from the ceiling

I hesitated with the raviolis filled with pumpkin and its mushroom broth. Then we both ate the chou farci aux marrons with wild mushrooms, a fairly light filled cabbage served on chestnut purée, which was delightful.

So I decided to go back, for dinner this time, and had Scottish poached salmon with carrots and orange juice. Salmon can be really tedious these days, but there it tasted just as it does on a small Loch near Inverness, fresh and genuine. Desserts were equally good and surprising like the yellow plumb poached in ginger (directly inspired by the chef’s year spent in Japan) and the fig tart.

Sablé fig tart with almond milk ice cream

The result is an unpretentious venue near Hôtel Drouot and the Palace, with real food lovers and a manager and chef who love Japan. Menus range from 25 to 42 € depending on how many courses you choose and wines are carefully selected and priced.

Les Diables au thym (a pond in French on devils with thyme and “diablotin”, little devils) could soon become a regular outing venue. The only disappointment is that the menu changes with seasons. So you might not find everything I mentioned when you next go… but the spirit and the soul of the chef will be there. (35 rue Bergère, 01 47 70 77 09 or on Lafourchette.com.)

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