In the front of Ô Divin, a new restaurant in an out-of-the-way corner of Paris’s 17th arrondissement, is a small deli selling fine wine, cheese, sausages and more. Beyond it is a pretty dining room with bouquets of fresh flowers and a few artworks on the walls – including a large black painting with a red, yellow, white and black star (my dining companion saw it as an abstraction of a man in underpants; see photo below to decide for yourself).
He was sorely disappointed because he had accidentally read the dinner menu on the blackboard menu outside on the sidewalk and had his heart set on ordering the ceviche and pigeon. Alas, they were not on the lunch menu (but would surely be worth going back for in the evening).
He is a meat lover and was not tempted by the three choices available for each course, but finally chose the meatiest of them, beginning with, for the starter, the black pudding terrine, which we shared. It was an excellent choice, with the briefly cooked slices of top-quality boudin nice and crispy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside.
The meatiest choice for the main course was the stuffed tomato. The pork filling was brilliantly spiced and the perfectly ripe tomato sat in a pool of tasty spinach sauce.
I chose the cod, a beautiful piece of fish prepared “Grenoble-style” (with capers and lemon). It was cooked to perfection – juicy, with a pearly sheen – but served with less-than-exciting boiled potatoes and turnips.
For dessert, we shared a perfect Paris-Brest (chou pastry with praline cream), creamy and rich, rather than the healthier options of sautéed plums with yogurt and granola or melon with ginger sorbet and verbena meringue.
The set lunch menu here cost only €20 for three courses. The service was pleasant (but not totally present, as the server was also waiting on customers in the deli), and the food prepared by a young woman chef was simple but top-notch. If I lived in the neighborhood, Ô Divin would probably be my canteen, and I hope to go back soon for a presumably divine dinner.