Le Timbre

Does Size Matter? Not in This Fine Bistro

December 17, 2014By Heidi EllisonRestaurants
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Le Timbre: small, simple, comfortable.

The restaurant Le Timbre, which owes its name to its postage-stamp-sized kitchen and a dining room that’s not much bigger, has had a new chef/owner, Charles Danet, since September, so it was time to make a return visit to this Left Bank favorite.

I arrived early for lunch, before any other customers had shown up, and had the pleasure of a long chat with Danet and his wife. The latter, who takes care of the customers while he cooks, is from Montpellier in the South of

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Le Timbre chef Charles Danet.

France; he is a native Parisian who has returned to his hometown after cooking his way around Belgium and Australia.

The new Timbre’s concept is simple: a three-course menu at lunchtime with no choices for €26 and, in the evening, three (more elaborate) courses for €36, four for €41 and five for €49. A cheese course can be added for €7.

I was lunching with my food-blogger friend and his wife. Since none of us had any allergy- or aversion-based objections to the menu du jour, which would have been taken into account by the chef, our first course arrived speedily: dorade (sea bream) with a soothingly

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creamy cauliflower mousse and flavor enhancement from a perfectly cooked leek. A delicious, beautifully balanced dish.

It was followed by a tender entrecôte with a

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deep, dark, meaty flavor, wonderfully complemented by kabocha squash purée and parsnips.

The dessert, baked apple with homemade

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pannetone ice cream, was simple and tasty, another success.

Some restaurants do not put much effort into their lunch menus, which usually cost less, but at Le Timbre I felt pampered by a truly fine meal enjoyed in sympathetic surroundings, with real tablecloths (an endangered amenity?) and napkins, and a clean, minimalist decor, the only decorative flourish being the tree-branch-shaped shelf pictured at the top of the page.

Unoriginally, I compared Le Timbre to a postage stamp at the beginning of this review, but it is really a little gem.

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