It wasn’t easy, but for the sake of my readers, I trekked all the way out to the chic 16th arrondissement, leaving behind the trendier quarters of Paris – the ninth, 10th, 11th, 19th and 20th, where most cool new restaurants open these days – to test La Table d’Eugénie (not to be confused with the excellent Table d’Eugène), located in the leafy land of embassies, well-bred French families and American expatriates from the business and diplomatic worlds. This two-month-old neo-bistro is owned by four chefs associated with some of Paris’s top restaurants, François Rodolphe, Philippe Marc, David Rathgeber and Alain Lac, friends who had the idea of opening a business together and offering updated versions of bistro classics, with Rathgeber in charge of the kitchen.
La Table d’Eugénie is neatly and expensively done up in an elegant updated brasserie style, with big-shaded designer lamps, red banquettes, exposed brick walls and framed advertising posters from the past.
Instead of the usual crowd of friendly, casually dressed young servers, we were greeted with big smiles by professional waitresses dressed in black and white, who proved to be both efficient and solicitous.
We were there for lunch, and I stuck to the fixed-price menu: two courses for €22 or three for €29. I started with the foie gras, which turned out to be an excellent decision. Three generous slices, beautifully marbled and served correctly at room temperature, were
accompanied by still-warm sticks of toasted raisin bread – the best we had ever tasted, my friend and I agreed – and a fig compote. With a few grains of fleur de sel sprinkled on top, these ingredients sang in perfect harmony. A fresh, well-seasoned arugula salad on the side was just the right complement.
My friend skipped the first course (luckily, there was more than enough foie gras for both of us) and ordered the delicious sweetbreads, another generous helping, served with nicely
cooked carrots and capers, from the extensive menu, which also offered classics like beef tartare and jarret de veau (veal shanks), as well as the now de rigueur hamburger.
For my main course, I had a hearty, satisfying dish: roast chicken supreme with orecchiette
(ear-shaped pasta), morels and green asparagus. The chicken was juicy and tender, the pasta al dente and the sauce flavorful.
Dessert on the lunch menu was cheesecake (just the cheesy part) in a glass topped with
a mango sauce. Not the most exciting dessert I’d ever had, but fine.
With its pleasant atmosphere, sympathetic service, quality ingredients and careful cooking, I recommend La Table d’Eugénie to anyone who lives in the neighborhood, and when I am next there, I will not hesitate to go back to this unpretentious, well-run restaurant worthy of its tony precincts.Favorite