Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Le Marsangy – Gotta Lovett
A lot of catching up to do. With Parisians finally bundling up against the first cold wave of the season, and none too soon I might add, those corner bistrots, brasseries, and cafés in the capital look even more tempting than usual, warm and inviting. And I’ve been taking advantage. The blogger’s plight: so many restaurants in Paris, so little time.
Sandwiched around a terrific meal at Mark Singer’s La Cave Gourmande and leading up to what no doubt will stand as my dinner of the year on Monday night at one of Paris Restaurant and Beyond’s faves, Ze Kitchen Galerie, there were more than a few meals I never got around to reviewing. The blogger’s plight, redux. A couple of casual, traditional haunts in the 11th were worthy of note and memory (the others long forgotten). One of which was Le Marsangy on avenue Parmentier, a no-frills, solid bistrot with fresh ingredients, a carefully chosen wine list, and a proprietor (or patron-chef d'orchestre, as one customer reviewer put it) who increasingly reminded me of Lyle Lovett the deeper I got into the Pinot Noir (that's the real Lyle to the left, by the way). Le Marsangy is a rather small establishment, but nonetheless, I had less a feeling of other diners breathing down my conversation than in much larger venues. I remember wood, glass, and a lived-in feel, just like you’d expect from a neighborhood bistrot in Paris off the tourist trail. My pate salé de caille with lentilles was original without
flamboyance. Along the way, Co. appreciated her wild boar (sanglier au airelles), but was disappointed with the giant shell pasta in lieu of a preferably more compatable mashed potato accompaniment. Hey, it was a try. Co. had much kinder words for her panacotta aux cerises dessert, and the plat de fromage was formidable, from which I constructed one of my more memorable selections of cheese this year.
The aforementioned Pinot Noir went down well with our plates, but a bit too light for my taste. Next time, I’ll ask Lyle for advice, because I have a feeling he certainly could be helpful. This is someone who obviously takes his wine seriously, the entire list reproduced exquisitely on the far wall, a job that must have been quite an undertaking. The blogger’s plight: so many bottles, so little time.
Overall, for a three-course meal for two, with a bottle of wine, the tab came to a reasonable 87€. Le Marsagny isn’t the sort of place you go hunting for the gourmandise experience, but it’s the sort of place you’d be happy to spend a comfortable evening with friends. I just wish I had a bistrot like this in my neighborhood.
73, avenue Parmentier
tel. 01 47 00 94 25
Web site: none
Coming Next: More From the 11th.