Le Buisson Ardent/August/LaFourchette
We needed a place for lunch on Sat 10 Aug, when all our usual haunts had their "fermeture annuelle" signs up, and decided to try this bistro.
On arrival we got a great welcome, chaleureux to say the least. Menus were brought and we were offered a carafe of water and directed to the wine list in case we wanted an aperitif (welcome change from a hard sell on bottled water/apero). The menu had 3 choices each for starter, main, dessert; in addition we were given an amuse bouche of carrot & orange soup with star anise which nicely balanced its three ingredients.
My starter was rabbit terrine: a generous slab with a well judged accompaniment of mildly spicy fruit chutney. The other starter was gravadlax served with celeriac in a puree and in tiny pieces, some citrus sauce, another good pairing, and a pea & wasabi cream, light on the wasabi which pleased my wife. Mains included cod, and our choices: casserole of lamb sweetbreads with confit of lemon, this needed a touch of salt but was delicious, the sweetbreads wonderfully tender. The other main was chicken breast with polenta, mushrooms & onions and a bacon foam, a wonderful dish, the chicken moist & tender, tasty smoky accompaniments and the polenta a revelation for someone who rarely eats it. Obviously cream had been added and also, according to the waiter, a touch of horseradish just enough to give depth but no fire. Desserts: biscuit rose with rum, layered with an apricot & raspberry filling with rosemary, and iced melon & watermelon soup with a touch of cassis and a cappuccino topping of cream, served with a madeleine. Wine list was fairly short with choice of bottles or 50 cl carafes.
All starters were 13 euros, mains 26, desserts 11, or 3 courses for 40 euros but with a La Forchette deal the 3 courses cost 28 euros, a great price for the quality. Just goes to show how right Parigi was in his 26/7 post re August. Also that gands can be reassured La Forchette deals are indeed honoured in practice.
Last Saturday was a bit chilly but on a nice day, their terrace would be a great spot. It's in the shade of the trees and the pavement is wide so the tables aren't next to the kerb.
Now we need to come up with somewhere comparable for lunch on Saturday 17/8, a bigger challenge! suggestions welcome.