A Sommelier earlier in the week gave us a bit of an ‘insider’s tip’, Le Severo is worth the trip to the back blocks of the 14th. It is nirvana for carnivores and hell for vegetarians. The tiny corner restaurant houses enough seats for around 20 punters and there’s an open kitchen in which a lone chef works his magic on some of the finest slabs of meat in the city.
Several large chalkboards list a good selection of Rhone and Burgundy wines and whilst I’m not always a huge fan of pairing red Burgundy with steak I do think there are exceptions, Gouges and Faiveley spring to mind. Just so happened they had a 2005 Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges ‘Les Vaucrains’ on the list, a wine that is perhaps 20+ year’s from its apogee but balanced and pleasurable in a kind of masochistic way now. It is deep, dark and brooding with notes of iron, soot and earth. In the mouth it is large scaled and structured and the wine cut through my steak like a vinous knife. With air there is an engaging waft of violets.
The menu here is pretty simple, there are all sorts of pig products for entrée and all sorts of cow products for main course and a couple of French classics for dessert. My entrée of ‘Andouille de Guemene’ smelled like a piggery and was quite confronting. It tasted excellent with all its fatty, pork intestine goodness and was laden with a lovely spice. Heidi’s Rosette d’Avergne ‘La Borie’ was thin slices of Saucisson that were intense in flavour and had a great length of flavour. Both sausage plates came with a huge dollop of butter and a bowl of bread that may have been sliced a couple of hours too early (doesn’t matter really as you just spread a bit more butter than is usually polite to get the moisture balance right).
Heidi’s steak tartare was one of the best we have encountered. The beef was ground on the spot and a little egg, some large capers and finely chopped shallots run through the minced meat, incredibly simple and satisfying. My faux fillet was perfectly cooked, charred on the outside and rare through the middle with a nice sprinkling of salt. The meat was aged, tender and had intense flavour. Both dishes were served with golden pommes frites, which were crunchy on the outside and light pillows of loveliness in the centre.
As desserts were read out Heidi proclaimed ‘I’m not having dessert’. I ordered the chocolate mousse and our waiter asked ‘two spoons’? To which Heidi responded loud, fast and hard ‘Oui’, perhaps a little too loud, fast and hard for someone not having dessert. The mousse was dark, bitter and creamy and utterly delicious.
This is an excellent local’s, corner bistro. If you love good meat and a bottle of Rhone or Burgundy you’ll find the trip out here to be well worth it.