Diggity is distinguished from most other Paris restaurants not only by its unusual name but also by a sense of humor and a laid-back attitude. One example of the latter: dogs are allowed, so we brought our favorite Labrador, Pia, who was happy to meet Jax, the house husky.
Set in a former garage, this “café d’amour” is furnished with flea-market finds and rough wood booths with blue cushions. The sense of humor is evident in such details as the restroom hidden behind a bookcase that opens like a door in a murder-mystery castle and the menu on a tiny QR code inside a minuscule glass.
One thing is no joke here: the food, prepared by cheffe Domitille De Cenival, a graduate of the Ferrandi cooking school. We started off the meal with an amuse-bouche of some of her tasty “pot-au-feu croquettes,” filled with tender beef and served with a sauce of saffron-flavored aioli.
A friend and I split two starters that couldn’t have been more different from each other. One was a luscious stew of mushrooms in a lovely rich, winy meurette sauce with lardons.
The other was a wonderfully refined carpaccio of scallops with cauliflower cream, hazelnut powder, hazelnut oil and lime zest.
Another friend enjoyed the Japanese-influenced dish of oysters poached in a bouillon of lemongrass and white miso and accompanied by daikon radish, coriander and green onions.
We tested two main courses, the most popular being the quasi de veau (with a punning name, Quasiment Desveaux – one of the owners is Gaspard Desveaux). The succulent, generous serving of veal fillet, cooked to a perfect pink hue, came with braised and puréed fennel, a roasted clementine, powdered clementine peel and clementine zest. We were doubtful about clementine, which looked like a fresh one just plopped down on the plate, but it melded beautifully with all the other ingredients on the plate.
The other main course – bass with purée of Jerusalem artichoke, roasted Jerusalem artichoke, fried chestnuts and sweet-and-sour sauce – was deemed interesting but did not raise much excitement.
There were only three desserts on the menu, so we ordered them all and shared them. The most unusual – and the best-liked – was the goat cheese with braised fennel and caramel with miso. There were no complaints, however, about the spiced poached pear with lemon-flavored meringue or the chocolate tart on a shortbread base with salted-butter caramel. All excellent!
On top of all the other good things about Diggity, it has one huge advantage: it makes an effort to keep its prices low, especially appreciated in light of the up-creeping prices we have encountered recently, expected to go even higher because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Thanks to owners Desveaux and Hugo Messerschmitt for that. I know you were expecting me to say “Hot Diggity Dog! here, so there you go.Favorite