The Café du Coin is the corner café/restaurant everyone wishes they had in their neighborhood. In fact, it is worth leaving your neighborhood to eat in.
First of all, the price of the lunch menu can’t be beat: €19 for three courses. The servers are adorable and easygoing and the ambience just as relaxed in the pretty café with its 1950s-style bar, big windows and green plants.
My friend and I decided to share and began with two of the three starters on offer. The mini-pizza the restaurant is known for was fine (though not hot enough), but nothing out of the ordinary
The surprise hit was the flatbread with labneh (cream cheese made from strained yogurt) and offal, which in this case consisted of chicken hearts and livers, seasoned with za’atar (a mixture of Middle Eastern herbs). Doesn’t sound thrilling, but it was – wonderfully tasty, down-home comfort food.
The main courses were equally enjoyable.The tender pintade (guinea fowl) was accompanied by polenta and trompettes de la mort (horn of plenty) mushrooms, with coriander seeds in the sauce for added zing.
The encornets (squid), lightly cooked and still tender, were served with cauliflower, blettes (Swiss chard) and a squirt of squid ink. Another big success.
There was no slouching when it came to the desserts, either. We thoroughly enjoyed a lovely chocolate ganache paired with a scoop of “gwell” (Breton-style fermented milk; thanks to Susie Murphy Hemsworth for the definition) ice cream, and a stunning pear tart with a buttery crust, served with the same ice cream.
The next time you are planning to run out for a quick but mediocre lunch at the local café, think twice and consider taking the time to change neighborhoods for a lunch (or dinner) you will remember.
And, in case you don’t believe me, eating at the table next to us were the youthful chefs of three other Paris restaurants: Coup d’Œil, Jouvence and the soon-to-open Terra au Chez Nous 2.