There is nothing loopy about Les Loupiotes, but there is something very loud about it. If ever a restaurant needed acoustic rehabilitation, this is it. That’s my only complaint about this otherwise completely charming little bistro, where I ate last week with an old friend visiting from the States. Unfortunately, we had to catch up by shouting at each other.
For decoration, the simple interior relies mainly on wine bottles – full ones on shelves and empty ones holding dried flowers – and hanging lamps with variously shaped shades (“loupiote” means “small lamp”). The only server was rushing around like mad taking care of everyone, but whenever we flagged her down, she was happy to stop and patiently answer our questions or respond to a request.
The restaurant’s young cheffe specializes in broiler cooking. I started out with flash-cooked (a bit too long for my taste) octopus nicely accompanied by a chickpea salad and a classic sauce vierge, made with butter and lemon.
My friend had the mackerel marinated in sumac, accompanied by Greek yogurt with herbs and cucumber gel with basil. Both starters were given a touch of color by pickled red onions.
She followed that up with the line-caught fish of the day – trout – served with wonderfully flavorful carrots and fresh peas, accompanied by a fish-stock-based sauce whipped up with butter and lemon.
The skin on my coquelet (young cockerel) was flavored with Jamaican spices and delightfully crisped under the broiler. It came with especially delicious, thinly sliced potatoes and two sauces, one with smoked paprika and the other with wild garlic. Altogether, sheer delight.
For dessert, my friend was charmed by the broiled pineapple with coconut and lemon sauce, topped with lime-zested meringue, while I was overjoyed with my little chou pastries filled with tarragon-flavored custard and served with strawberries and strawberry marmalade.
Let’s hope that Loupiote’s owners will take measures to cut down on the noise levels so that diners can enjoy their wonderful meal in peace.Favorite