When my friend Sami emailed to say that the Herald Tribune had raved about his favorite neighborhood bistrot – L’Agrume – and invited me to dinner there, I accepted with delight.

We arrived on the early side (8pm), and took our seats at the counter, where we watched chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi create each étape of our 5 course tasting menu (35 euros) in his tiny open kitchen.

Buratta di Bari was new to me – and turned out to be a sweet, fresh mozarella, served with a coulis d’asperges vertes, and finished with sel de truffes. Oh my!

The next course – pousse-pieds – was also a first, and Mr Franck filled us in as he moved from workspace to stovetop a few metres from our seats.

The mollusks – which he pan seared then tossed with a garlic and basil vinaigrette – come from rocky cliffs in Spain, where the rough seas make harvesting the animals dangerous work. The dish smelled and tasted like the ocean, and I used my bread to sop up the last of the sauce.

Perfectly poached sea bass followed, then a moist roasted chicken breast with carrots and a lemon confit. Dessert consited of 2 taste treats, a delicious panne cotta with a raspberry coulis, and homemade ice cream topped with cocoa powder and floating on a mint cloud.

Portions were perfectly sized and came at nicely timed intervals, so I left feeling sated – and, while not wishing for more food right away, made a mental note to return on my next trip.

15 Rue des Fossés Saint-Marcel, 5th
01 43 31 86 48

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