5.0 La Clairiere, 43, rue St-Lazare in the 9th, 01.48.74.32.94, closed Sunday, is a place two of my friends had mentioned recently, one saying "Now don't go expecting to be dazzled, but for a neighborhood wine bar, it's a fun place." It looks like it's been here forever and perhaps it has, another friend and I walked right by today without noting it as remarkable, realized we'd gone too far and returned to a nice welcome and lots of chalkboards. We both chose to order the 27 E menu, although he insisted I order for him.
We split the first after he wisecracked that I only ordered the herring for him because he was Jewish (it was pretty good no matter for what ethnicity/culture) and the escargot pie (again solid.)
Then, he had the calamari (forced on him) with cauliflower, potatoes and noodles, whose sauce he sopped up every drop of with the OK bread and I had the veal kidneys forestiere (with just the right amount of wine sauce with mushrooms), broccoli, carrots and noodles, which sauce I also think he sopped up, although it all needed a bit of salt to make it move from ordinary to nice.
With all that and the pichets of Minervois, we were adequately filled but I wanted to try a dessert so we shared the chocolate mousse that I deemed much better than average.
The bill, which he picked up, was spied to be 89.30 E. (That includes one coffee).