A Englishman in France, on a mission to prove the French that we Brits can cook. Chris, the head chef and manager of a small restaurant in the 15th arrondissement called Le Timbre, may have a long way to go but he's made an incredibly good start.
You're unlikely to find this restaurant by stumbling across it. It's on a small side street in between two more major thoroughfares... but once you're here, you'll realise it was well worth the effort.
I came for lunch with my boss one quiet weekday at the end of August. It was just the two of us in this indeed postage-stamp-sized restaurant (read: no good for a intimate dinner for two, but a good Parisian experience and you never know who might be sitting at the table next to you.)
I started with the escaragots with tomato ragu and garlic bread while my friend had the boudin. I loved the escargot. I love them anyway, but this was such a different, interesting take on the old classic - the freshness of the tomatoes but the garlic bread still delivering that old familiar kick.
For the next course, my friend had a piece of sole, cooked to perfection, whilst I opted for the pig's ear with mushrooms and garlicky potatoes. (I had such attractive breath after this meal let me tell you!)
Ensuite was the cheese course, with a distinctly English feel to it: a mature Cheddar with a couple of shots of tawny port. I was very pleased to see the trusty old Cheddar making its appearance and my French boss admitted that he enjoyed the English cheese!
At this point my dining partner held up the white flag of defeat but I carried on and had a most delicious, thick chocolate mousse with vanilla crème anglaise...
... and then finally coffee.
I don't often go deep down on the Left Bank, but if I find myself in the quartier and hungry, this is where I will make my beeline. The whole meal was delicious. The wines were gorgeous (and they have a substantial 'cave' downstairs too which enables them to offer a wide range.) You'll probably be served by a very friendly and tireless waitress, while Chris will prepare your meal from the counter at the back so you can watch it being cooked before your very eyes. It's all very English-speaking-friendly too so that's a big bonus if you're unsure of your French. Highly recommended!
3, rue Saint Beuve, 75015
metro: Notre Dame des Champs