As any Parisian who loves both good food and a good buy knows, you often have to travel beyond the city’s single-digit arrondissements to find some of its best eating these days. A perfect example is L’Entêtée—the name means stubborn, or determined, in the feminine gender—a minuscule bistrot in the 14th arrondissement just off the Rue Daguerre, one of Paris’s liveliest and best market streets. Seating only some 20-odd diners, it’s a delightful little place run by a talented self-taught chef who changes her wall sized blackboard menu constantly to reflect the season’s best produce. At dinner here on the cusp of spring, three of us enjoyed a hot tart of chopped caramelized endives and goat cheese to start, but were decidedly less impressed by skimpy portions of skinny green asparagus wrapped in bacon and slightly overcooked. Main courses, though, were excellent, including grilled scallops with an orange “caramel” sauce, sea bass with pistou (similar to Italian pesto), and a pot-au-feu de canard. Desserts were excellent, too, especially date mousee with an inspired salad of sugar-dusted fresh herbs. The service was charming, and there are some well-priced, good bottles on the very alert wine list, including an excellent Croze Hermitage that we happily tippled throughout the meal.
4 rue Danville, 14th, 01.40.47.56.81, Métro: Denfert-Rochereau. €30 per person without wine
Originally published in the May 2009 issue of France Today