February 8, 2010By Heidi EllisonArchive

In Good Taste

A plain backdrop for a fine meal.

Unpretentious, friendly and inexpensive, with excellent food – what more could you ask for in a restaurant? Some would say an attractive decor, but we all have different priorities. Marsangy has no decor – just simple wooden tables and chairs, and a huge green slate with the wine list handwritten on it in chalk covering the entire back wall. Anonymous little wall lamps with orangey shades provide soft lighting. In other words, there’s nothing to offend good taste, just a plain backdrop for a fine meal.

We started with a blissfully delicious nage d’amande, a light yet creamy soup infused with saffron and full of queen scallops (small clam-like shellfish) and al dente vegetables. The house terrine, served with a confiture of onions, was chunky and flavorful, with just a hint of nutmeg contrasting with its meatiness.

The seasonal chalkboard menu offered scallops on the shell, cooked (or hardly cooked) to perfection, each one garnished with sautéed endives and lardons (small cubes of bacon), which might have overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the scallops but didn’t. The huge portion of lamb shoulder came on the bone, pink and juicy inside and served with big butter beans.

Desserts included a dense chocolate cake filled with chopped sweet chestnuts and a tarte tatin made with apples and mangoes and served with ice cream.

We chose a fine, fruity little 2004 Clos Marie Pic St-Loup for €19 from the extensive, reasonably priced wine list.

The sole waiter retained his good humor and efficiency even when the small dining room was full of happy, noisy diners.

We’ll go back soon and often to try Burgundian chef/owner Francis Bonfillou’s faux filet à la bourguignonne and other specialties.

Marsangy: 73, avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris. Tel.: 01 47 00 94 25. Closed Saturday lunchtime and Sunday. Métro: Parmentier. Fixed-price menu: €22 for two courses.

Heidi Ellison

© 2006 Paris Update

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