Christine is tucked away on a quiet street in the bustling 6ième, a veritable oasis of calm amid the throngs of shops and people in the popular St. Germain des Près neighborhood. It is easy to spot with the bright orange paint and the huge fork logo above the door. The fork theme is repeated on both the door handle and etched into the glassware, reminding diners that this is one of the increasingly rare places where all ingredients on the menu are freshly made. I find it sad that many places use frozen or packaged food in the capital of gastronomy, and now some menus, like the one at Christine's, state that all the food is freshly made to emphasize their commitment to providing quality meals.
One look at the salt and pepper on every table should dispell any idea that your meal would be anything less than stellar.
They offer three choices of menus for lunch which range from 22 - 28 € ($30-$35 USD) depending on how many courses you want and if you want drinks with your meal. I chose the mid range menu with an appetizer and main course with wine and coffee. Dinner ranges from 27-60 € ($35-80 USD) with luxurious ingredients like foie gras and truffles.
I chose two fish courses, the first a mackerel filet over spinach with a delicious lime and sesame vinaigrette and cockles that I could have eaten twice for a main as well. For my wine I chose a sauvignon blanc that paired nicely with fish.
The fish of the day was bar, or sea bass with braised endives, but they had run out (one proof that they use only fresh ingredients is that they run out and have no frozen reserve), so my server asked if I minded a substitution of St. Pierre (another white fish) and salsify (a local root vegetable like a turnip/carrot). Of course I didn't mind and was very happy with my custom dish.
Before my café finish, I was presented with this florentine praline and chocolate cookie with a tiny tagine
which I opened to reveal... sugar cubes!
My decaf was presented with a twisted spoon perched on the rim, adding to the fun personality of this place:)
There is nothing better than finding a small place off the beaten track which maintains high standards while maintaining a sense of fun. In a neighborhood where prices for real estate are one of the highest in the city, you can enjoy views of the multimillion € buildings as you walk off your lunch :)