February 8, 2010By Heidi EllisonArchive

Accent on Good Food

The Canal Saint-Martin has left behind its colorful past as a working canal in a seedy neighborhood and now attracts hordes of pleasure-seekers as soon as a ray of sunshine peeks through the clouds. Not all of them are content to sit on the canal’s concrete edge with a picnic, however, and new eateries are profiting from the area’s trendiness.

The most recent is L’Accent, whose owner, Daniel, is no stranger to the area – he owned a restaurant on the other side of the canal until he moved to Latin America 10 years ago. Back in the old neighborhood, he has created a laidback restaurant with a casual, friendly ambiance. Already packed with locals and canal tourists, it features exposed stone and brick walls, a colorfully tiled wooden bar, a cozy dining room in the back with upholstered banquettes and a terrace facing the quiet street. The only annoying note is the large TV screen showing music videos (at least the sound is turned low).

The food is traditional French, with occasional reminders of Daniel’s Provençal origins, such as anchovies with tapenade (an olive-based spread) or mullet with pistou (basil, garlic and olive oil). The portions are American-sized (huge), and the leg of lamb and rib steak we sampled recently were excellent. Also on the menu were such dishes as the ever-popular confit de canard, rabbit in mustard sauce, and skate with a garlic cream sauce. The homemade fondant au chocolat and berry tart offered for dessert were delicious. The wine list features a number of New World offerings, rarely seen in Paris, along with a limited selection of modest French wines.

L’Accent: 12, av. Richerand, 75010 Paris. Tel.: 01 42 38 00 13. Fixed-price lunch menu: 13 euros. A la carte: around 35 euros per person, wine included.

Heidi Ellison

© 2005 Paris Update

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