I came back to Au Passage later that week when Elizabeth invited me to have lunch with her family before both of us are leaving Paris. I was bummed to get the invitation on the same week I already ate there so I asked if they can make it an early dinner instead. There was no problems to change it from lunch to dinner at the same day, even though we were 6 people. That was really nice. At dinner time the place changes and becomes a chic french style tapas bar. Menu changing daily, small-medium size dishes of seasonal ingredients priced between 4-9 euro and a wine list.
We were a table of six so we asked for the entire menu, excluding the oysters and the cheese platter. Even though the specialty dish of lamb shoulder wasn’t available at that night, we had too much to eat.
The dishes came to our table in four waves. It felt right, as if separated into different categories.
First batch: appetizers and charcuterie.
We could not eat all the anchovies so we asked to get started on the second batch of dishes: Sea food and tomato salad.
On to batch 3 on our table: meat and green salads.
And finally for the last batch of dishes, the desserts:
Why was I so happy about this place?
It has a good balance between simple food and great matching of unusual ingredients from all over the world, not compromising the quality of the products. How can this place keep up the good quality in these low prices? It seems that the budget is invested on the food itself instead of an extravagant decor of the place. Focusing on what’s important, while making a real buzz without the fuss. Everything is effortless but still remarkable.
And the lunch deal the next day? Taking last night’s leftovers and making an affordable “all combinations possible” menu – this is just genius! Gives a place for the chef to be creative, every day something’s new. Sometimes it’s not working out, like the first course we had at lunch, but the low pricing and overall warm and inovating experience makes you forget about the little slips in the way.
The space is small but it’s effectively occupied. Some of the storage and fridges are standing in the dinning room because the kitchen is small. Nothing is wasted, people are happy.
This place is not perfect, but it’s awesome. It’s laid back, fun and teasing. Everything is well thought and a lot of talent is put into it. It’s not a place to impress or to have a serious dinner, just a place to have a casual glass of wine with friends and eat some real good food in the meanwhile. I’m thinking that if I ever to open my own place, this restaurant will probably be a better role model than some high end restaurants. Bread sauce, who would have thought!!