“Incredible eggs” at Farago.
It’s lunchtime again. Here are a few options for lunches that go beyond ordinary sandwiches and salads but won’t weigh you down with heavy plats du jour.
Farago is a trendy “pintxoclub” on the wonderfully calm Cours des Petites-Ecuries in the 10th arrondissement. A pintxo is a type of Basque or Spanish tapa, a piece of toast with something tasty on top. The day we went there, only four were on offer, not all of them technically pintxos. The tortilla was very good,
although it was rather gooey inside. In general, I think tortillas are rather bland anyway, however, and I preferred the others.
The “œuf incroyable” really did taste incredible: a plump egg cooked perfectly at low temperature sat atop a slice of toast slathered
with truffle cream, a delightful marriage. The piquillos farci (stuffed chilis) and txangurros (a crab preparation) were both very fine, although the latter should have been crabbier.
We shared the dessert of the day, an “entremet
passionata,” which turned out to be a tricolored cake that was okay but lacking in personality.
The restaurant also offers a €15 lunch menu that includes a pinxto, a main course and a drink (wine included). Not a bad deal.
Continuing the trendification of the Boulevard Beaumarchais begun by the opening of the concept store Merci in 2009, the Maison
Plisson is an upscale (and overpriced) fine grocery with an adjacent restaurant. I stopped in for a late lunch recently and tried a Scandinavian-style open-face sandwich on grainy toasted dark bread topped with
wonderfully unsalty pieces of poached haddock, yogurt/horseradish cream, red cabbage compote and wine-marinated raisins, served with a salad of mache (lamb’s lettuce). What a terrific combination of contrasting flavors and textures! I loved every bite, and it paired perfectly with the glass of Viognier I had with it. The large piece of chocolate cake I took home with me was slightly dry but otherwise tasty.
The lunch spot Pickled has not just one but three “concepts”: each plat du jour contains a pickled ingredient, as the name suggests, and
every week it is inspired by a different country and a different color theme. The day I ate there, the country was China and the color was orange. The dish – five-spice duckling with honey/soy/ginger sauce served with egg
noodles, soy pickles, miso-fermented daikon and golden turnips – was tasty enough but didn’t seem worth the pricetag of €12.50. The plat du jour is also available in the form of a baguette sandwich for €7.50.
Finally, I liked the (single) concept of a place called Naàn, which makes sandwiches with Indian naan (flatbread) as well as curries, but was disappointed by the result. Run by a lovely family, with Mom cooking in the kitchen, it is
homey and pretty, with cushioned banquettes, rugs, colorful photographs and attractive light fixtures. My “cochon naan,” however, with
pulled pork and apple sticks, contained too much meat that was far too dry. It was also fairly flavorless in spite of the menu promise of garam masala and raspberry mustard. This is a good idea that deserves better execution.
Farago: 11, rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris. Métro: Château d’Eau. Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner. Saturday for dinner only. Fixed-price lunch menu: €15. Fixed-price dinner menus (for two people minimum): €20 and €30. A la carte: around €35. farago-pintxoclub.com
Maison Plisson: 93, boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris. Métro: Saint Sébastien Froissart. No reservations. Open Monday, 9:30am-9pm; Tuesday-Saturday, 8:30pm-9pm; Sunday, 9:30am-7pm. www.lamaisonplisson.comFavorite