When it comes to restaurants, diners are spoiled for choice in the Batignolles area of Paris. Le Bordeluche is one of the ones that stands out with its fresh market cuisine.
The two friends I went there with found the atmosphere, decor and service rather cold and unfriendly, but I wasn’t bothered. The waiter wasn’t especially warm, but he did his job efficiently even though he was alone and was pleasant and even rather smiley and chatty toward the end of the evening. The decor is simple and pretty, with blond-wood furnishings, a tiled floor, a long horizontal mirror, a gilded sunburst mirror and a rack of plants up near the ceiling.
My friends weren’t that impressed with the starters, either, but once again I did not agree with them. I wouldn’t say they were of great culinary artistry, but they were very tasty and made with the freshest ingredients. We shared two. One consisted of multicolored tomato wedges topped with Avruga caviar, sitting on a bed of cheese crumble with a green sauce. The other was a half zucchini stuffed with sea snails and hazelnuts. Pickled onions added a lively touch. Both were beautifully presented.
The generous main courses finally made my friends happy – really, really happy. Terry had the cod with fresh peas and white onions, all cooked to a turn, and topped with coconut foam. Mary was thrilled with her pintade (Guinea fowl) cooked with red peppers and Swiss chard and served with a few anchovies and olives for extra piquancy.
Hard to say which was the best of the three main courses, but I thought mine was fairly spectacular although quite simple. It was a filet mignon (tenderloin) of pork, pink and succulent, served with unusual sides of stunningly tender eggplant and Romain lettuce, rolled up on itself and cooked in the wonderful meat juices.
My two fellow diners were so contented with their meal that they didn’t want dessert. Impossible to eat another bite, they said, but I insisted on ordering one to share: a chocolate cake made with 70% chocolate and served with coffee-flavored Greek yogurt. It worked its magic, inspiring near ecstasy. Terry resolved to never again make a cake without choosing the finest chocolate, so impressed was she by the rich, oozing cake.
For me, the only drawbacks of the restaurant were slightly elevated prices, although not exaggeratedly so, and the excessively high noise levels. A little effort from the owners could solve that problem.