Seasoned bistro chef Christophe Philippe impresses with exquisite meat dishes at his second major opening.
From the outside, this little address near Bastille appears quite unassuming. Nothing but the name L’Amarante and the words ‘Cuisine de France’ are printed on the glass, and if you peer inside, the interior design looks similarly basic, with classic red benches, bistro-style furniture and large mirrors on the wall. But the menu tells another story.
The head chef at L’Amarante is Christophe Philippe, who worked through a number of established kitchens before opening Chez Christophe a few years back. L’Amarante is his second project, and it’s already become one of the most talked about restaurants in the area – mainly because it serves great French cooking at relatively cheap prices. Take the lunchtime ‘worker menu’, which allows visitors to choose between four different starters, mains and desserts at €22 for all three or €19 for two courses. Simple yet varied, there’s something for everyone. Start with a fantastic melon soup dotted with crunchy, streaky bacon, and follow it up with an exquisitely tender cheek of veal, so soft it can be cut with a fork.
Portions aren’t overly generous (as is often the case with bistronomie), but you’ll still come away feeling satisfied here, especially if you’re looking to grab something light on a weekday. For a more substantial evening meal, this is the place to try specialities like starters of perfectly cooked Bourgogne snails or pig’s trotters (€10), while main courses feature calf sweetbreads and Limousin lamb (€25-€30). In every one of Philippe’s dishes, taste comes out on top.