[Paris, 6e] La Cantine du Troquet Cherche-Midi

I like the formula (not formule) at this mini-chain: no reservations (so one can get in on Friday or Saturday night if one goes early), no menu but reasonable prices, generous and tasty portions of well-cooked Southwestern cuisine. I believe the intention is not to be a destination but to serve a neighbourhood, and I believe I would eat at these places regularly if I lived within a reasonable commute. We’d been to two other locations in 2014 (Pernety and Dupleix; there are five in total) and enjoyed those, but I think Cherche-Midi is new. Here are some of the dishes we had on two 2017 visits.

Couteaux (razor clams) seem to be a staple at these restaurants. Alas, with the current state of my orthodontics, I couldn’t manage more than a couple.

Soft-cooked egg, seared fresh foie gras, mushrooms, shaved black truffle. We split this 18€ starter; it was terrific. (Most other starters are 7-10€.)

Braised lamb shoulder with eggplant purée; scallops; great chips; and amazing stewed tomatoes. Those tomatoes alone are worth a visit.

Really good tarte Tatin. I am a sucker for this dish but it can be pallid or soggy. Not this time.

Good selection of wines by the glass or carafe, friendly service. Can get a little crowded and buzzy but not to the point of being annoying; other diners were convivial also. Carte seems to rotate slowly (on our two visits a week apart, maybe about 25% difference).

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Thanks, we will note this for the future. We psssed it a few times when we were crossing paths with you last month --it’s less than two blocks from our favorite apt. on the same lovely street and very near two other faves of ours – Mamie Gateau (for shared lightish lunch) and Le Petit Verdot, dinner. – Jake (from over at CH France).

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold