Sunset

Unexpected Pleasures of Lunch in a Trendy Bar

May 18, 2016By Heidi EllisonRestaurants

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The front dining room at Sunset.You would be forgiven for doubting the possibility of getting a good meal at this trendy 18th-arrondissement restaurant and bar with the California-style name Sunset, but you would be very wrong. I recently had an excellent lunch there with a friend.

The roomy place has a large bar and walls prettily painted by an artist, with figurative images inset amid panels of different colors. We chose the light-filled front room, but there is also a darker, cozier room in the back.

The two young women who took care of us – and I mean they really took care of us – were adorable, which always starts a meal right.

The price was also more than right: only €15.50 for a three-course menu, with two choices for each course. For the quality of the meal we had, that is hard to beat anywhere in Paris.

One of the starters was a chilled pea soup with fresh mint, smoked ricotta cheese and wasabi-coated peas. The perfect balance of refreshing

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yet substantial, with a welcome touch of spice. The other was an endive salad paired, as is traditional in France, with blue cheese, which in this case came in the form of a mousse. The

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addition of mixed nuts and raisins made it a pure delight.

The main courses were just as creative and appealing. The delicious mini-burger of beef and pork with herbs and spices was topped with roasted bell pepper and accompanied

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by a sauce of yogurt and coriander, perfect fries and a small salad. The chef managed to make what can be greasy junk food into something more sophisticated, and served it in just the right proportions, enough to make you feel satisfied but not stuffed.

The other main course was mackerel cooked in

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white wine and tarragon and served with a Provençal-style baked tomato and panelle (tasty Sicilian chickpea-flour fritters). Another perfect balance between refined and hearty. A vegetarian option was available for those so inclined.

For dessert, we both had the chocolate ganache

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with star anise, mint ice cream and granola. Lovely!

Sunset is a wonderful addition to a neighbourhood lacking in fine restaurants (with the exception of the Table d’Eugène, where it is not easy to get a reservation).

Go for the great lunch when the place is quiet. In the evening, it is crowded with young people enjoying cocktails and snacks or small plates. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.

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