La Cantine du Coq is the only place we revisited for food during our stay, and we would have become regulars if we lived in Reims. It is just a block away from the forum plaza, and there is another location that is more of a wine bar closer to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
We were drawn to the place because it was not in the "trendy" plaza. As we walked by it was clear that this was the local lunch spot for residents because everyone knew everyone and service here was very professional and efficient because they cater to clientele who have to get back to work after their meal. Even though we were the only tourists, we were treated as hospitably as if we were neighbors. On our second visit the owner welcomed us back with, "One of each special like last time?"
We each had a glass of cool refreshing rosé to start our meal at 4 Euros ($5 USD).
There are only two menu choices for appetizer, main and dessert, and for two courses it's only 16 Euros ($18 USD). If you arrive late, they may be out of choices. The fish purveyor was eating at the bar on our first trip, and on our second visit, the owner had his meal at the end of service with another supplier; all reiterating the local fresh connections that make this place a warm and friendly place serving a few choices well.
One day the appetizer choice was fresh mozzarella with arugula and dressed in balsamic vinegar,
or a lusciously ripe melon with uncured local ham.
Another day the choice for appetizer was either a cold pasta and mushroom dish,
or hand made blood sausage with apples.
A main course choice one day was a tender filet of fish in buerre blanc with vegetables,
or a chicken in a cream sauce over pasta that was so copious I couldn't finish my plate:) I was amazed that as plain as this dish looked, the pasta was so tasty and the chicken so moist that I continued to eat long after I was full.
On another day, a hearty main course of braised beef and purée of potatoes,
or delicate salmon in buerre blanc over carrots.
Since my friend had the fish, she opted for a dessert of homemade apple clafoutis with freshly whipped cream. She adored the tart, but didn't like the apples which were a bit too sweet for her taste, so she ate around them :)
We ended with two cafés, wishing we could transport this wonderful place to where we lived; our consolation was that Reims is an easy trip and we could easily come back:)