7.0 L'Auberge du 15, 15, rue de la Sante (yes that Sante) in the 13th, RER: Port-Royal, 01.47.07.07.45 is closed Sundays and Mondays and was "found" by Adrian Moore who posted a post on his blog this week saying "go now before it's impossible to snag a table" [because] "Food Intelligence, Fooding, Figaroscope, L'Express, expat bloggers, etc etc, [will soon make it] "ze next big thing."
I arrived to find my English food critic pal sipping a quite decent white. They have a 26 E no choice "menu" (today petit pois soup, a fricassee of turkey and blanc mange or was it fromage blanc? - no matter) and a 59 E degustation one. The regular carte has about 2 entrees, 5 meat choices (all but one for 2 or 4 persons) and one fish dish (today); so a major deficit is the limitation in choices if all wish to order their own way.
The chef (Nicolas Castelet, ex of Ralphs, Arpege and Ledoyen) first offered us the soup of petit pois which had a dollop of cream and bits of pistachio (exactly like Adrian's watercress soup); delicious.
Then I had the asparagus (white stems and green flowers) with morrels and a intense-tasting sauce (also pictured by Adrian) which both of us soaked up with the warm country bread; again delicious.
Then we shared the 68 E rolled fillet of lamb in whose center was a morsel of lamb kidney - nice touch and absolutely nickel product.
My friend then had the cheese course, all three of which were very very good, again with the fine bread.
With two coffees, a St Chinian and no bottled water our bill was 131 E.
Go? Indeed. As the now re-patriated Richard Hesse would put it:
Pros: Great food, terrific product.
Cons: A bit overpriced and overcharged (until pointed out); and very loud.
I recalled that the last time I was on the rue de la Sante, I saw what was reputed to be Paris's last vespasian (Americans always called them pissoirs), but passing by the famous prison today where the famous are shielded by tinted glass not "perp-walked," was saddened to see it had been replaced by a banal guardhouse.