The woman at the table next to us talked up the chef, Christophe Philippe, and asked if I’d been to his previous location. I said, no, but I’d read about it. Apparently he has a devoted following. (He came out to deliver some plates and to chat with patrons; he seems quite down-to-earth.)
We were there for the bargain lunch, 19€ for two courses. I had a glass of very nice Faugères for 5€. Our starters were thinly-sliced veal tongue with mayonnaise and salad, and accras made with sole, both quite nice.
For mains I chose the tripe aux olives with purée, and my partner had joue de boeuf “croustillant” (slow-cooked beef cheeks seared on both sides to develop a crust) with fried polenta.
The TimeOut entry for Amarante suggests that lunch is “light”. I don’t know what they are talking about. These were generous and filling portions, loaded with flavour. If dinner is heavier, I don’t know if I’d be able to manage it (though, on the basis of this lunch, I’d be inclined to make the attempt).
For an extra 3€ each, we could have had a simple dessert on the menu, but we chipped in another 3€ and split the chocolate mousse made with cocoa from São Tomé et Príncipe, which was lovely (not too sweet, rich flavour, good texture).
Old-fashioned without seeming retro, very casual and relaxed atmosphere. Why was this place not packed? (Okay, it was a Monday lunch in January during Fashion Week, but still.)