Fish is usually expensive in Paris, but Montmartre has a really good catch with Le Winch, where the menu features a reasonably priced, imaginatively prepared catch of the day. The seriousness of the kitchen is underlined by impressive details for this good-value category, including excellent cheese and some of France’s best butter from Jean-Yves Bordier in St-Malo. Starters here recently included lamb’s lettuce salad with sautéed langoustines, orange sections and a light vinaigrette; and another salad of herring, goat cheese and poached baby vegetables, an improbable combination that was in fact delicious. There was Asian inspiration in the main courses—griddled shrimp with basmati rice and a delicate coconut-milk-and-lemon-grass sauce; and fresh cod in a light curry sauce with raisins and almonds. Desserts included fromage blanc with sautéed apples in salted-butter caramel sauce and a first-rate Paris Brest (choux pastry filled with caramel and hazelnut cream). The relaxed atmosphere attracts a cross-section of locals, some of whom stop by for a drink at the bar just inside the front door, lit by a bank of fishing lanterns. Friendly service and a good selection of wines by the glass round out the appeal of this low-key find.
44 rue Damrémont, 18th, 01.42.23.04.63. €25 per person without wine
Originally published in the October 2007 issue of France Today