I have friends who live all over the world, from Australia and Brussels to New York and Philadelphia. Now that I finally have all my furniture, clothes, and cookware here, I am beginning to feel at home here, but I miss my friends from Los Angeles even more than I miss the weather there! Every Parisian has reacted the same way when they hear where I moved from; they say, "Really?!" then they look up at the sky imaging blue, warmth, and smile at me like I'm crazy to have traded. I've only been able to endure the rainy gray skies and cold weather because I love living here in spite of the winter weather, so maybe I am crazy, but I'm happy :)
The spots of blue and sun this winter have cheered me with hope of spring and summer, and I had visitors from L.A. who came bringing me even more hope of friends who will come. After they spent the day sightseeing without me, we met for dinner at La Table des Anges. It was a perfect place to bring Angelenos. With a friendly casual vibe and fresh market ingredients, it was as if L.A. came to Paris and my friends liked it so much they wanted to bring it back to L.A.!
The Pigalle area used to be the red light district until new chefs found the rents affordable and made this area the new food mecca. The charming welcome was enhanced by the fluent English speaking servers because neither of my visitors spoke French (we were the only people speaking English in the restaurant, so this was definitely not a tourist destination). With lunch menus for 2 courses at 16€ ($20) and three course dinners for 32€ ($40), this is a bargain for food by a chef who has worked in places where the menus run 3-4 times more. We ordered a bottle of Sancerre for 39€ ($55) which was a lovely compliment to our fish dishes.
A savory amuse of consommé with fresh coriander was a warm and savory way to welcome us and awaken our palates.
We looked at the menu with three courses, but none us us could imagine eating that much. When we saw what neighboring diners were ordering, we asked the waiter what the dishes were and decided to order the specials. The whole bar (bass) for 25€ ($30) looked so good I had to order it and loved the fresh fish atop luscious cepes mushrooms, roasted eggplant, carrots, and root vegetables. It was a hearty portion and I enjoyed every bite.
My friends ordered the skrei 23€ ($28), a kind of cod fish with the same vegetables as accompaniments, but a different sauce and they both ate every bite.
If I had any room after my main course I would have ordered a dessert. Both my friends wanted dessert and ordered the pistachio crème brûlée. They insisted that I taste it and I was glad I did because it was much lighter than most and was not too sweet.
When we asked for our bill, we were treated with apple shots. They weren't too strong or sweet, like a grappa or sambuca, more like a light clear apple juice with alcohol, an adult dessert:)
The best meals are shared with people who bring sunshine and warmth with their presence:)