8.0 Saturne, 17, rue Notre Dame des Victoires in the 2nd, 01.42.60.31.90, Metro Bourse, closed weekends has been open only a few weeks and already the blogosphere and big boys in the print press have fallen all over themselves praising it - and with good reason.
It's in a funny place (for me) and looks rather undistinguished from the outside but on entering it strikes you with its message - we're serious, from the white plaster to the original stone columns to the new raw wood floor and tables to acres of wine cases. I'm embarassed to say I didn't recognize Lemoigne (front room) and Chartier (at the piano) from Les Racines but my perfect-pitched, prize-winning writer pal did and soon we got the full treatment.
There were several differences from prior reports, which were mainly of the 59 E almost no-choice six-course dinner and lack of a wine list. Today, the 35 E lunch menu had 2 starters, 3 mains and 2 finishers and the wine list was 20 pages long, separated into helpful regional categories, and had very reasonably priced choices.
My friend needed some bread so I grabbed a handy cotton holder of divine freshly cut 2-day fermented bread. Fantastic. Since she was working I ordered one of the most interesting sounding wines, a Crepuscle, an almost pink wine that smelled like apple cider but had both an assertive bio/natural punch and a white-wine sensibility.
She and I know each others eating preferences pretty well and need to try everything, so it was easy for her to pick the slice of browned outside/raw inside white tuna with a thin leek and subtle mushroom sauce and me to have the calamari with nicely coriander-dressed, incredible heirloom tomatoes and subtle eggplant sauce with a kick that the grilled skin added. Both were clearly among the best firsts of the rentree.
Then (both of us eschewing the cod with clams; no reason, it looked great) she had a chunk of nicely cooked pintade and I had a wonderful, properly undercooked (without asking) thick lamb chop - both accompanied by various greatly sourced and perfectly cooked veggies (the carrots and beets striking me the most forcefully.)
On a roll by then, she had three aged cheeses: a nutty gouda, tasty comte and thinly-shaved hard Normand one and I had a bottom of chocolate, center of caramel and top of milk mousse concoction that was very, very good.
Was there nothing wrong? Yup. As everyone else has mentioned, the noise level is unacceptable for talking. Since they cannot change the huge sky-light they've got to add muffling to the walls.
Our bill = 96 E with 2 coffees and a divine madeleine and no bottled water.
Go? Apparently you missed the subtitle and rating.