3.8 NNN* l’Ordonnance, 51, rue Hallé in the 14th, 01.43.27.55.85, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, 3 courses for 29, two for 23 €. The name means prescription not artillery (that’s ordnance) and I’d read that it was the moral equivalent of a hospital canteen, perhaps in Miam, serving the faculty at the two hospitals nearby (Rochefoucauld + Sainte Anne’s, the psych hospital) so I suggested to a French colleague [who works at the latter] that we hold a planning meeting there.
It has a no-smoking room and we were all alone for 2 hours. My friend indicated that it had been a mediocre resto before, called the Auberge du Petit Tonneau, but had really been spiffed up and the carte indicated one dish called sabodet Bobosse, so I thought the chef had probably spent time in Michel Bossard’s Le Quincy kitchen, a good sign.
We had a pretty good meal; he had cantaloupe with ham and then veal with wild mushrooms which he deemed pretty good; I had a wonderful cassolette of escargots, industrial and wild mushrooms and a terrific demi-melted chunk of cheese followed by a rather banal civet of duck with the identical sauce with wild mushrooms as he did; our shared mashed potatoes suffered two bites.
Our wine (from the Sologne, near from where Quincy comes) was cheap (20 €), fruity and very good with all dishes. But back to the name; it turns out that it’s named not after the nearby hospitals, but after the street it’s on, the rue Hallé (Jean-Noel Hallé was a noted physician of his time who defended Lavoisier, you remember him from Chemistry 1, eh?,) unsuccessfully, alas, before the Convention; he was guillotined in 1794, (now you didn’t recall that did you?),
The bill, oh yah, the bill = 71 € for 2 with two menus, two coffees and one wine.
Should one go? Not if you’re schlepping from the Right Bank; but my friend will be back and I’m telling another friend staying at the nearby Marriott to go.
*Originally published in October 2007
NNN* = If I lived nearby it would tilt to the bigger grade.