7.0 L'Esquisse, 151 bis, rue Marcadet in the 18th, 01.53.41.63.04, closed Sunday and Monday (Metro: Larmarck-Caulaincourt) opened 3 weeks ago and already is a hit with the locals and folks following chef Laeticia Bret (ex-Ritz and Bistral, who works calmly and exactly like Daniel Rose at Spring not Jon Favreau in "Chef") on their motos. Its name, L'Esquisse, can be translated as sketch or beginnings and the sketch refers to the painting over the door and on their card, the beginnings to their newness.
Backstory: I ate here on the recommendation of my colleague Alain Fusion, the only French critic working in Paris in August it seems. The quartier, my quartier, was practically a "food desert" when we moved in 25 years ago; oh, there was Beauvilliers, Per Baco and the Cottage Marcadet but it took years before things took off with the Table d'Eugene, Sens Uniques, L'Insolite, Le Cafe Qui Parle, Jeanne B. and most recently Le Bistrot du Maquis. So to have a new top-top place with a 22 E 3-course lunch menu, 30-40 E a la carte offering and wines starting at 20 E, was promising indeed. Especially since I got back to Paris on my rentrée by flying via the South Pole to avoid my friend Bárðarbunga.
I started off with a fabulous dish of a terrine of pigs' feet with more fabulous shaved pickled vegetables (everything from carrots to celery to cukes) alongside a schmear of mayo; then quail cooked in two speeds (legs fried, breasts roasted was my guess) with shaved fennel; accompanied by a terrific 20 E a bottle vdT, bread this quartier hasn't seen in decades and superb Colombian (I think) coffee.
My bill with their filtered water, a half-bottle of wine and no dessert, was 34 E.
Go? Sure, go, ha-ha, you never will ("It's too far, it's too away from the Metro, it's too new.") Silly, silly people. This sort of place is what makes Paris's innovative chefs rule despite the groans from NY, Copenhagen and Girona.