Destinations Magazine

Muxu in the 11th: An Unexpectedly Fine Birthday Lunch; Hot Food in a Hot Nabe.

By Johntalbott

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6.5 Muxu, 16, rue Deguerry (corner of St Maur) in the 11th, (Metros: Belleville or Goncourt), closed Sundays, is a new Basque restaurant across from a tapas restaurant (what are the odds of that?) besides the great light square in front of the St Joseph church, in front of which go and endless stream of Bobo's, hipsters, dudes, branché-types, painfully-thin couples, would-be artists and some people who look like they actually work - and of course, as the wall graffito announces - Horny Teens.

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The interior is quite edgy, but the noise level quite acceptable and the menu (22 E) and carte quite interesting and reasonable.

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 My intended birthday meal partner, the French friend I've known the longest here, woke up with a bad case of the "GI Oops" and felt she'd better see her doctor rather than eat with me, so I soldiered on; ordering a really, really good dish of raviolis of shrimp with tomatoes and marjoram (which looked like a mess but was anything but); really, really interesting risotto with chorizo, citrus and cheese; and a small brioche pain perdu which, with its cream and red (honeysuckle?) berries, was mighty fine.

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With a 50 cl carafe of red, no bottled water, so-so bread, coffee with a home-made Basque mouchou (Muxu) and their own digestif (don't be fooled by the IKEA sticker) made with verveine (not charged for), my bill was 45 E or 90 E a couple.

Go?  For the warm welcome, fine service and Chef Antonin Girard's splendid food, give it a go.  I'll be back with my better half ASAP.

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