6.5 Ô Divin, 35, rue des Annelets in the 19th, (Metro: Botzaris) 01.40.40.79.41, was a fine natural/etc wine place opened about 3 years ago in part of a space (more about that later) I recall reading that folks like David Bowie and Joe Cocker (and, alright... Serge Gainsbourg) recorded in. It's been on my famous long list for all those three years but last Sunday, when I read in the JDD version femina, that Naoufel Zaïm had reconfigured the place (to have 19 covers - small eh?, but again more later) and brought in Mathieu Moity – whose cv looks like he moved through some of the great kitchens in Europe - Noma, Chateaubriand, Bras, etc., I suggested to a fellow-blogger-contributing editor at Paris by Mouth who primarily reviews wine - we go, he lept at the chance to return.
I made the reservation in my name and got there a bit before he did and was greeted warmly by M. Zaïm who didn't know me from Adam, but who offered me a charming white while I waited and when my famous new friend showed up, the spot-lights went up exponentially. My oh my. Anyway, the carte is limited but as you will see, good and 3 courses for 20 E reminds me of what Eric Frechon did for 190 FF around the corner a few years ago. The wine list is beyond my ken but met with my companion's approval.
We both chose a starter of marinated chinchard (saurel or horse mackerel) with gingerfied beets and raddish slices (which I immediately attributed to influences from both Inaki Aizpitarte and René Redzepi); then I had I the merlu with fennel, eggplant caviar (this guy really has a touch with veggies) and an emulsion of - can you believe it? - bulots? - and he had what was to me the best piece of beef of the summer, with artichokes and potatoes. Then both of us had the clafoutis of plums.
Our bill was not itemized, with good reason, because I suspect my friend (and I) got comp'd to a lot, because 83 E for what we had in food and wine and coffee doesn't totally compute, but who's complaining?
Now back to the space issues. The restaurant at present has 19 seats, but if you will look at the fascade there are those red and white things - ah ha - that's the terrace and studio where David Bowie et al probably did more than drink natural wines. It's huge, so it's the dream/maybe intention/maybe established plan to expand greatly into this very big building. Neat! Nifty! I'll be back.
Go? With my blessings my good readers, and until next time, happy eating.