5.5* Les Choses, 12, rue Monge in the 5th, 01.71.50.70.61, (Metro: Cardinal Lemoine, Maubert-Mutualite) closed Sundays, is a place my cooking expert/writer/blogger pal who lives in the nabe passed while doing some scouting for me a few weeks ago about when Dans Les Landes would open. Her report - "It looks interesting; we should go" despite that fact that while it's been open since last August, the big boys have missed it.
The exterior looks modern, despite the stone-work, and in the rain (I didn't Photoshop the recycling bins out to give the photo some color), it could be mistaken for a dry-cleaner or fungible tony "Fifth" shop. But inside, with more stone, cool bar and photos of Marilyn, Willy Ronis's "boy with baguette," etc - it's all resto.
The ardoise gives the plot away: all fish, all day, every day, plus two specials: today - sole at 15 E and 6 oysters at 14 E. Oh, I should mention, coming here, I walked past the Maubert-Mutualite market and drooled at the sight of the patagos, which I haven't had in weeks.
The 16 E "menu" looked pretty damn good, but we were seduced by the sole special - both of us. For a starter, Madame had the salmon, lox-fashion and I had the, you've got it, patagos with a fiery pepper sauce - wonderful.
Then, as I said, we both had the sole with butter sauce which came with lemon, thankfully, but it still needed some oompf from both fleur de sel and a strong olive oil to boost its flavor; ordinary Morton's was OK, but they could do better. The roasted carrots and potatoes that came with it were nickel.
Then again, we both hankered for the same thing - the chocolate mousse which came with deconstructed fluffy cream, a slice of kiwi fruit and one each - raspberry and strawberry (tch-tch, not locavore). But compared to the mousse we'd had together a few weeks ago, it was on another higher plane.
Our bill, with a more expensive bottle of wine than I would have gone for (but hey, she loves wine like I love my wallet), no bottled water, fine (probably next door Eric Kayser's) bread and two coffees was 102.00 E.
*I should note that I gave it a 1.5 bonus because they had the sagacity to undercut their own a la carte price (26E) for the sole as today''s daily special (15 E), but deduct .5 because of the lack of a bottle of gutsy olive oil and fleurs de sel on the table - or anywhere for that matter - and NO CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED.
Go? I'd say so, especially if, like my friend, you live nearby - since the demise of the much-loved Bistro Cote Mer (Caroline Rostang's baby), there hasn't been such a good fish joint nearby.