On a friends recommedation, I made a reservation for lunch at this neghbourhood place. (Marais- at the corner of Charles V and St. Paul). They raved about the tagliettele and white truffels and I could not resist the call of that. So after a very busy morning changing hotels from rue Jarente to Place Vendome (quite an upgrade), I hurried back to the Marais for my long anticipated meal.
The restaurant has an Italian feel with stone walls and small tables with checkered clothes. The clientele seemed mostly from the neighbourhood -- a mixed crowd, ranging from the older American couple sitting next to me, who lived in an apartment down the street, to the very well dressed couple in the same exquisitely tailored top coats, and stylish attire underneath. They looked like Cole Porter (a la Kevin Kline).
As each patron entered the Senora greeted them effusively and with much air kissing. I was not greeted so sweetly, in fact there was scarcely any welcome and the senora never came to speak to me.
That and the closeness of the tables--to get into my seat the table was pulled out and then slid back when I was seated, was not an auspicious beginning.
Now to the Food!
I wanted only one thing--the pasta with white truffles. I could smell it before it arrived at the table. The wonderful, unique aroma of the italian fungus.The dish was simply prepared with olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese with a large quantity of shaved white truffles on top. That, some bread and a lovely wine was just heavenly. I cleaned the plate, including the small shards of truffle tasting cheese in the bottom of the bowl. This is as food is meant to be and even better because it is seasonal. You can only eat this wonderful food for a short period every year.
The restaurant has a very nice Italian cellar. I had a Barbera d'Alba, Elio Grasso, 2000. It was lucious--smooth and garnet red in colour. I think it is from the same terroir as the truffles.
I don't know if I will return to this place, just because I did not feel welcome and the tables were too close and uncomfortable. However, there is a room upstairs where the tables are farther apart and I would recommend specifying it when reserving.