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Friday, May 10, 2013

Bones - Skeletal Remains

So Co. and I finally got around to another much talked about neobistrot/wine bar in the 11th - quite simply, Bones, as in bare bones, dem bones: unadorned decor, stoney walls, basic ingredients.  King of the B's - beards (scruffy), boys (servers, save the one female on the waitstaff who was busily carving up a suckling pig at the bar), BO(effin)HEMIA.  I put my straightedge on the shelf last month and so fit right in amidst all the scruffiness.  If I didn't know better, I would have thought I had taken a time machine back to Seattle grunge.  Walk right in, sit right down at the wine bar in front or one of the little tables to while away an hour or two with your homies, washing down some oysters, jambon jambon, or the aforementioned pig, with a well-appointed, all-natural red or white.  Or, like us, reserve a table in the spatially challenged raised dining area and work your way through the server rotation.

Florent Ciccoli's venue, manned in the kitchen by Aussie chef (via Au Passage) James Henry (pictured), offers a bare-boned 4 plate tasting menu (40€; add 8€ for a cheese course), with a couple tasty amuse bouches to start.  For the evening of our visit, the menu belied the slowly unfolding Paris spring, with the obligatory May offerings of asparagus, oursin, and miel.  (Yes, it does snow in Paris, but not in May.) Noisy, but not overly so, I never could quite figure out what music was filtering out from the back amidst all the surrounding albeit low-key chatter.  But no need to further aggrandize, extemporize, improvise, or existentialize, we're talking Bones, so just the facts, Jack.



The Carte:
 (click to enlarge)

Amuse Bouche 1:  oursin, ricotta, & oyster

 Amuse Bouche 2:  broth with smoked eel

1st course:  bonite, petits-pois, cresson

2nd course:  Asperge d'argenteuil, seiche, encre

3rd course:  Cabillaud (in lieu of the veau basque, the latter of which underwhelmed Co.):

4th course:  miel, noisette, lait de chevre

The verdict is a split decision - thumbs up from your's truly and a thumb horizontal from Co.  Bones comes off a bit like Chateaubriand's younger brother, energetically emulating but falling short of equaling the old pro.  Still, I had an enjoyable evening - the bonito and fish were really excellent, the bread homemade, the vibe hip, and the wine suitably imbibing - a reasonably priced Roussilon, aptly named (given the Aussie chef) HOP La Laffite (26€).  My guess is that it won't take much arm-twisting to drag Co. along for a return visit when, I am sure, it will be much more difficult to reserve.

43 rue Godefroy Cavaignac
Paris 75011
tel: 09 80 75 32 08

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