Marsangy’s new look.
When a friend suggested that we lunch at Marsangy, I was less than enthusiastic, since I had not been overly impressed on my previous visit. He assured me, however, that a new owner had taken over and that the food was delightful.
He was right about the food, and it turned out that the new owner, Jean-Luc Josse, was delightful as well, friendly and chatty and proud of his chef, François Loussert, who had quit his job as an accountant at the age of 25 and gone back to school to learn to cook.
Marsangy’s decor, which used to look like somebody’s grandma had done it up, has been spiffed up and is now attractive and comfortable. Josse had the good sense to leave the back wall covered with giant blackboards for the menu and wine list, and another wall covered in amusing old-fashioned advertising posters.
At lunchtime, two set menus of the day are available: €14.50 for two courses and €19 for three, but the three of us all ordered à la carte. I started with an onion stuffed with fresh goat
cheese and sitting in a pool of tepid pumpkin soup. This sounded more interesting on the menu than it was, and I didn’t like the superfluous bits of chewy ham floating in the soup. The dish would have been fine without it, and perhaps better if a more flavorful goat cheese had been used. One of my friends was happy with the soup of the day – onion – and
the other had a very pretty dish of thinly sliced beets of different colors. She found it rather boring, but I thought it was tasty with its zingy,
orange-infused sauce. We were all content with our main courses. Two of us had the quail stuffed with mushrooms, which I thoroughly
enjoyed. The accompaniment was as delicious as the bird: perfectly grilled endives and parsnip purée. My other friend had the fish of the day, merlan (whiting), nicely accompanied
by fennel and mandarin oranges and flavored with saffron.
We drank a fine little 2012 Côtes du Rhône from Domaine Jean David.
I thought the desserts were rather ordinary, but one of my companions loved the crémet d’Anjou, a fluffy dessert of whipped cream,
meringue and cooked strawberries. The other
dessert was a tarte tatin, which I would give a C+/B-.
A little work on refining the starters and desserts might be in order, but the new Marsangy, which uses only fresh, seasonal products, is already a fine little bistro that makes you feel welcomed, happy and satisfied.