5.6 Le Cette, 7 (Got it, cette, 7), rue Campagne-Premiere (that of General Hoche at Wissembourg in 1793 where guess which side won?) in the 14th, 01.43.21.05.47, closed weekends (Metro: Vavin) was written up June 10th and again today in A Nous Paris by Jerome Berger with the same photo but different wording and ratings (3/5 then, 4/5 now). It has one of those minimalist fronts without a sign or awning-name, but a cheery interior and an inscrutable/unreadable minimalist business card. Whether these miminalist type represent the zen influence of chef Katsunori Nakanishi or Setois-spirit of Xavier Bousquet I don't know.
However the carte is easy to read and the wines nicely priced and so it was off to the races with a packed house consisting of:
-4 rich women drinking bottled water and not a bottle but rather one glass of white wine each
-A Minister and his staff arriving in one of those Minister-cars holding what all Ministers do, a pack of sheets of paper (no computers for Hollande’s government)
-One PDG with an open-necked shirt and suit
-One American lady smoking non-stop at a table just at the entry to the restaurant
-At least two paunchy neighborhood regulars
-Two dottering ancien riche/nouveau pauvre types
-But not one hipster in sight, sorry Souphie.
I started with a splendid mushroom soup that was pretty much the best on the planet; then a paleron of beef that looked all the world like it was pre-made at Metro and not as I'm used to, in a thick black-brown wine sauce but a thin-greenish cabbage bouillon which was pretty weird-tasting until I added the proffered mustard, whereupon it became quite tasty; and ended with a very nice apricot tart.
Anything wrong here John? Well, if you push me:
-I never got the amuse of olives and only got the industrial bread and sugar for my coffee after asking
-the lady at the bar was pretty clueless, skill-less and while able to fill carafes of tap water made the Illy coffee equally watery
-the American music while playing tunes I love was a bit overamp'd (64.2 dB).
The bill, with a half bottle of Glou and no bottled water, was 34 E.
Go? or more to the point, bring Colette next month? I dunno, let's see. I suspect this team - great Japanese chef, friendly-attentive host, first-day-at-work barmaid - will get into their groove and this place in a year will be harder to get into than it was today when they only turned away two couples.