I had a guest from Israel in Paris, Shlomo, and I reserved us a table at Rino, a gastronomic bistro French-Italian fusion style restaurant. It’s located in the 11th district which seems to be filling with cute little restaurants and pubs. The place is tiny, squeezing in about 40 guests maximum, the luckiest got a table outside, it was the perfect weather to enjoy the evening breeze, and whoever reserved a table of four could ask to sit in front of the open (tiny) kitchen. We did not get any of the special seats but nonetheless had a fantastic dinner.

Rino’s entrance door. When I say tiny place I do mean tiny. The fact that about 40 diners can squeeze in is very impressive and crowded indeed.

Lucky bustards, sitting in the high sits in front of the open kitchen

The bread and wine corner. The special thing about Rino is not only food but wine list from Italy and France.

Simple, neat, romantic, intimate space even though, or maybe because, of the compactness.

The menu… what disappointed us a little was the lack of choice because me and Shlomo can share plates but there was just one choice – a menu or a bigger menu. 41 euro (4 course) / 58 euro (+2 extra courses)

We went for wine by the glass, and did not regret this decision because we tasted 3 different Italian wines, all excellent thanks to our lovely waitress / sommelier.

We couldn’t wait for the bread another minute. Starving. It was good. We asked for butter. I overheard someone asking about the bread, he was told it’s “Du Pain et des Idées”. I was not surprised, the same bread they use in Frenchie.

Neither of us know anything about Italian wine so we had to gamble. The first white was unique, amber color and very deep in flavors.

It was my favorite (Italians apparently write the important things on the back label)

The second white was lighter in color and texture but still very well rounded.

Two thumbs up for the wine list by the glass.

Ravioli de pecorino, tomate, concombre
Ravioli of pecorino, tomato, cucumber

Green and red tomatoes with clear tomato water (salad juice as we can relate to as Israelis), with some olive oil, small cucumber and some nice fresh leaves

Who doesn’t like to soak his bread in tomato water?

The raviolis were not bad but the filling a little too subtle, more ricotta than pecorino I think.

Chinchard de ligne, maïs, capucines, courgettes
Mackerel caught with a fishhook, corn, Capuchin, zucchini

A cute side view

I really liked this dish. When we first walked into Rino we smelled food (open kitchen this is why). I said I think what I smell is grilled mackerel. When we got the menu we had no idea what Chinchard means but turns out it’s Atlantic horse mackerel, a fancier species of the good old mackerel. The matching with a very light corn puree and yellow and green zucchini was remarkable. 

For the red wine, we chose the more full and earthy, heavy choice and it was not bad at all.

The back label

Côte de boeuf, carottes, algues, persil, fleurs
Rib of beef, carrots, seaweed, parsley, flowers

Sounds like a whole mess of weird stuff together, flowers and sea-weed? With beef and carrot? But totally pulled it off.

Some portraits break before digging into the meat course

That’s me

The carrot was so interesting. It sat on some parsley puree, on top were all these beautiful edible flowers and the pink dices were bone marrow. The sea-weed was noticeable but not overpowering. The only thing I found off putting was the fresh leaves on top which were un-seasoned and looked sad. The meat was delicious if you like almost rare beef.

Making space for the dessert:
Fruits rouges, rhubarbe, semifreddo a l’abricot et jasmin, financiers
Berries, rhubarb, semifreddo of apricot and jasmine, financiers

Sounds fantastic on the paper but we agreed it was our least favorite dish of the meal. The financiers were too dry and crumbled not in an elegant way.. The semifreddo was more like whipped cream with some apricot flavor but all together just okaish. I loved the bowl though. 

Stepping out of the restaurant, full and happy we could see the kitchen tininess.

This is almost the whole thing. Brings back  some memories..

Working their asses off

Gloomy sky in a perfect weather night over Rino

In one word: recommended. In some more words: we truly enjoyed this dinner. The good: menu of 4 courses (entree-fish-meat-dessert) for 41 euro – a barging, 2 of the courses were really good, wine matching is super and the atmosphere is fun and relaxed. The bad: only one set menu (no choice at all), the service was slow because the two waitresses had a lot of work to do but we didn’t mind having our dinner slowly, also it’s crowded which some people have a hard time with, the dessert was the downfall in our opinion.

When I told my mom I had a good time with Shlomo she said: “with Shlomo it’s always fun!”.

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One Response to Rino, Tiny But Full Of Surprises

  1. Nachman says:

    ahaa.. the quality of density… 😉

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