Dear readers, here is another great Paris restaurant find for you. Desnoyez reminds me of Etsi, reviewed here a month or so ago. Both are off-the-beaten-track small bistros with an attractive, uncomplicated decor. And both serve simple, creative, seasonal dishes made with excellent ingredients for truly reasonable prices.
They also share a friendly, familial feel. We were served at Desnoyez by a kindly young woman who had something motherly about her.
Desnoyez is located in the 19th arrondissement on a little street of the same name (but spelled Dénoyer), famous for the near-total coverage
of its facades with graffiti. So far, the restaurant’s spiffy blue-painted storefront has been spared, but I wonder how long that will last.
We were immediately stunned by the prices, lower than any we had seen in some time: starters and desserts for €4, and main courses for €12 and €13. Even the wine, the very pleasing organic, biodynamic 2015 Le Rendez-vous des Accolytes from the Domaine des Accoles in the Ardèche, made from Grenache grapes alone, cost only €22.
The handwritten lunch menu featured two choices for each course, so we tried them all. The baby leeks with goat cheese faisselle (something like cottage cheese), hazelnuts
and excellent olive oil was a treat, all freshness and subtle flavors. The chicken livers (I love them, but they are rarely seen on restaurant
menus), were tender and pink, as they should be, and wonderfully flavored with vinegar, coriander and tarragon.
The main-course fish, maigre (meager), which seems to be very popular in Paris restaurants these days, was perfectly cooked, with a nice
crispy skin, and served in a colorful arrangement with an amazingly good carrot purée and a pretty assortment of green and red vegetables.
The tasty Duroc pork sausage was moist and had a fine texture. It was served with parsley
root purée, a pleasant change from the usual potato or celeriac purée.
Desserts were a fine piece of goat cheese
sprinkled with oregano and served with some more of that excellent olive oil, and a lovely
orangey crème brûlée.
Apparently, dinners at Le Desnoyez feature more complex dishes. I’ll be more than happy to go back and try them any time. This is the kind of place I love.