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
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
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
deep, dark, meaty flavor, wonderfully complemented by kabocha squash purée and parsnips.
The dessert, baked apple with homemade
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.