Destinations Magazine

Les Déserteurs in the 11th: Hot, Smoking Hot, New York Times Hot!

By Johntalbott

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6.5 Les Déserteurs, 46, rue Trousseau in the 11th (the ex-Rino space),, closed Sundays and Mondays (Metro: Ledru-Rollin) is of course, as you now know, named after the deserters from the Sergent Recruiteur, Daniel Baratier and Alexandre Céret, who had served in the kitchen and picked the wines, respectively, there.  It's taken me a while to get to it, but I wanted to go with my old friend and companion at arms, the Real Food Critic, whom it turns out is, by now, a habitué.  It has a fixed aka no choice, "menu" except for allergies etc. (I always declare mine for tofu and bran) and my pal said "You know, these days, I don't want to make decisions, let them choose."  Not me, but OK.

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Ignore the photos of the lunch and dinner "menus" and follow along:  first we had a tremendously huge, perfectly cooked white asparagus spear with an anchovy paste, chopped Kalamata olives and a nasturtium leaf; then a perfectly cooked piece of merlu (hake) with salicornes onto which was poured a terrific boullion of crab seasoned with ginger that gave it a spicy zip; then some fresh Corsican broccio with olive oil; and a dessert of rhubarb with fromage blanc and a sorbet of rhubarb and calamondin, aka citrofortunella microcarpa, calamansi, calamonding, calamandarin, golden lime, Philippine lime, Panama orange, Chinese orange, acid orange, calamansi, kalamansî, limonsito, simuyaw, limau kasturi - whew.

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Our bill, with two menus, no bottled water. a bottle of wine and two glasses to go with cheese and dessert, outstanding bread and two coffees, was 100 E.  dB level 90 - wow!

Go?  My friend declared it "A great neighborhood place" which is like saying "Pas mal!"  It was filled today, some 6 weeks after opening, with at least one wine merchant, food writer, chef, owner and blogger.  I predict that Les Déserteurs, Will and Le Servan will be the next three places the NYT points to.  You are forewarned.

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