7.0 Le Galopin, 34 Rue (and Place) Sainte Marthe in the 10th, closed Sunday and Monday (Metro: Belleville) is a place that was tipped on the tomtoms several months ago as about to be opened by Romain Tischenko, one of the Top/Master-Chef types I discussed recently, and I alerted my best food pal who lives nearby to go to and tell me what she thought, but wouldn'ya know she never got around to it so we went today.
The menu likes like a thousand others - 2 firsts, encornets/etc or sebaste/etc, 2 mains, barbue/etc or duck/etc, and two desserts, listed as apple/etc and agrumes/etc. "Come on John, why all the etc's?"
So, for a first she ordered what was called encornets with raddish and fennel - nonsense, it had layered flavors and an oil and a subtly complex mix of senses - I had what was described as sebaste (rockfish-like) which was warm, with cauliflower and aoili - balderdash, it too had layered flavors and a subtly complex mix of senses. So far so good, we'd found her resto 2-blocks away for the next 50 years.
Then she had the barbue listed as coming with parmentier potatoes and capers; no problem, there were instead wonderful tempured leeks and whole potatoes and (I think) other things; and I had the duck with chicon (Northern endives) and crisp lettuce leaves. We argued, for the first time in our long relationship, over who was scoring best.
Not feeling in the least way deceived, indeed, reveling in the tastes this guy was throwing at us, I looked forward to the simple sounding apple or agrumes, assuming, as in most joints, it would be baked apple slices versus a soup of agrumes; unhunh again; my pal had what was really a complexly comprised cake of apple, nuts and chestnuts and I had a, wha'd'ya call it, soft squishy cake with an orange in the center and piquillos somewhere and a mini-macaroon/meringue of what, violet? Good Lord!
Now why did I rate this a 7/10 as my colleague Aurelie Chaigneau did in the JDD not higher? Than what? Higher than this year's top ten - Sola, l'Antre Amis, l'Agape Substance, Kei, Qui Plume La Lune, Tintilou, Septime, L'Auberge du 15 and Les Ambassadeurs? As Sinatra, I think, sang "this has been a mighty fine year." BTW: looking for a mighty fine movie that has Oscar written all over it; go see The Artist; B&W/silent until the last few takes.
Our bill, with incredible bread, which I encourged my buddy to find out about as a local, two three-course menus at 25E and much too much red Cheverny by the carafe (who says red Loires must be had only in summer? Some fool) plus two coffees - was 86 E.
Go? My friends, indeed my enemies, get thee out of the nunnery and to the 10th. This guy has stars written all over him.