Backstory: For months I've been telling Colette that I was losing it; names at parties; dishes a few days ago; tennis match opponents years ago - and always I've gotten a response - "Me too." Well today, it happened to us both. We got on Bus #95, transferred to bus #80, got to St Augustin and I said "Whoops, we're not where we're supposed to be." "Get off." Wandered about, got an Uber, texted frantically, changed directions twice, got home." "We don't have a reservation today." "No." "Yikes." "Ok, call Louis." Forelock tugging, call, would you have two seats?" "Only at the comptoir." "Phew."
So here we are at Louis at the counter facing the chef, his co-chef whose head bumps up against the metal vent and the plongeur/aka onion slicer/aka man-about-all-duties, watching everything. What a treat, hasn't happened since I was at Dominique Bouchet, when I was relegated to the same position and watched DB plate everything and oversee the kitchen and oversee the front of the house - the same with Stephane Pitre; it was truly an experience watching magic being made.
Here, you put yourself in the hands in the chef; there are two "menus" and once you are piped aboard, you're gonna love it. So first came the trio of amuses with EVOO; then a soup with a toasted slice of lemon - (Quick break - Chef leans over and says "You sure you don't want this lobster thing that's the best I've ever done?" What'd'm'a'gonna say?) "Sure Chef." And it was indeed pretty damn good.
Then came out the main course - two perfectly toasty-crusted pieces of line-caught lieu - meanwhile in our face - the beat went on.
And then dessert of pannacotta, strawberries and apricots and some very fine prune (offered) and an opportunity to chat with the chef.
PS Other places are suffering from the bombing, strikes and recurrent French malaise, but not Louis - he was packed to the gills today, including a basement full of chefs from all over.
Our bill, with 1.5 bottles of wine, no bottled water but 2 coffees, was 97 E a couple. Man oh man, can this guy cook!