Chef Christian Constant’s Café Constant (now Café Lignac) was just that: a constant pleasure. Two of its former stalwarts – Wolfang Staudinger and chef Étienne Hervé – have now founded their own restaurant, honoring their former place of employment by calling it Café Content, once again an apt name, since we left feeling quite contented after a recent meal there.
The limited menu offers three dishes for each course. For the starter, we sampled the dorade (sea bream) ceviche, which came with a salad of fresh peas, pomelos and celery with citrus vinaigrette. It was all wonderfully fresh, but the deconstruction of the individual parts didn’t make much sense – after, all the great thing about ceviche is the way all the flavors and textures meet and greet each other in a citrusy juice.
My vegetarian friend had the lovely crispy potato rolls with curried leeks, which came with an arugula salad. It was an original, pleasing starter.
He followed that up with a dish that sounds tempting even to confirmed meat eaters: ravioli stuffed with spinach and pistachios and topped with ricotta cream and ice plant leaves.
The two meat eaters in the group went for the yassa (a West-African stew) made with marinated lamb shoulder, served with delightful, light-as-air sweet-potato gnocchi and green asparagus for a change of color. It was a warming, comforting dish.
For dessert, the vegetarian (not a vegan, obviously) was happy with a plate of three cheeses with a delicious chutney.
The kiwi carpaccio with apple, ginger and cucumber syrup was delightful, but there was no sign of the promised whipped cream. Instead, it was topped with popcorn, an original but irrelevant touch – it lacked any connection with the rest of the dish.
The tasty chocolate “fudge” was much lighter than the real thing and came with a piece of stewed rhubarb, a pile of chocolate cookie crumbs and a citrus condiment.
You’d be hard-put to beat the prices here. The starters and desserts were all under €10, and the main courses €20 or less, far below the standard for this type of gourmet bistro. The service was charming and the decor simple but pleasing, with wooden tables and chairs, and lots of mirrors, including one on the ceiling. Add it to your list.
See our Favorite Restaurants by Arrondissement page to find a good restaurant in the neighborhood where you want to eat.Favorite