Destinations Magazine

L'Apibo in the 2nd; Outstandering: What's Not to Like in Hipster Heaven?*

By Johntalbott

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Prequel: The Rue Tiquetonne is the hippest-gayest-neatist street in Paris I've tumbled on in years: kids on bikes, skateboards, skates; kids in pousettes, frontpacks, carriages; same sex/heterosex couples, some with said strollers, ratio 3/1; bald heads on men and women/full heads of hair ratio 1/4; smokers to non smokers ratio 3/300;  no tattoos visible; many Bobo's and tourists spotted, only one grandfather with (Ho-Ho, nudge-nudge) luscious grand-daughter and one bum seen.  It was like the Rue Ste-Marthe; except with more ethnic restaurants, hair & nail salons and cool stores and fewer pastelly-painted facades.  Conclusion: if there was ever an audience for a cool, new resto/bistro, it would be here.

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7.0 L'Apibo, at 31, rue Tiquetonne in the 2nd, (Metro: Etienne Marcel), is open everyday except Sundays for lunch and has a no-choice "menu" at 26 E for 3 courses and menu-carte for 32 E at lunch and dinner.

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Chalk it up to savvy or cowardice or blind-luck but I chose not to go with the tomatoes & mozzarella, bar and lemon cream "menu" but the menu-carte.  Colette always wants to know the provenance of the chef and here Anthony Boucher is recorded as passing through Jean, Le Cameleon and maybe Ferrandaise and Grand Pan according to one source.

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The amuse bouche was a lovely melon soup (clearly intended for a blisteringly hot day which it was not but just fine anyway) and then I had three nice pieces of eel, avocado two ways (sliced and as a guacamole), mango juice, sliced raddishes and coriander fraiche; boy, this guy knows how to sling hash.

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Then I had the rouget, undercooked as I love it, with potato cubes, zucchini slices and red pepper strips in a bouillabaisse-like sauce and ended with a chocolate fiesta - ganache, mousse, white chocy tuile and what was called a crumble but I'd deem a biscuit/cookie - all outside classification as many of the Tour de France mountain climbs are.

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Did I mention that the female-male couple in the front room-kitchen are adorable, charming and attentive?; no, well, they are; and the room is cool too.

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With a half bottle of Cotes du Rhone (you know, a half bottle of newly opened wine today is so much better than two glasses of yesterday's that they ought to make then Député, now Ile-de-France Public Health General Director Claude Évin a saint for passing the law that permits one to doggie-bag-home unfinished wine), a coffee, decent bread and the ever-present marshmallow, my bill was 46 E.

Go?  Despite Rubin's take that the food here is made too hastily, I'll affiliate myself with Toinard who thought the place fell somewhat between Michelin star food and bistro-gastro quality.

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