L’Ange 20 proposes a bargain that’s hard to beat in the city center of Paris: A lunch menu, not during weekend, of 19.5 E for Starters + Main dish + Dessert, or 16.5 E for two courses among those three. I chose the latter. If you want to keep the price down at 16.5, there’re only 1 choice for starters of this formula: warm goat cheese with salad, so I didn’t take it and opted for Main dish + Dessert, for which I could choose from the dessert menu, among 7 different kinds of sweets and cheese plate. If you look at the website of L’Ange 20 in english, you won’t see this lunch formula, only “A la carte” menu. The online menu, both english and french, are not really up-to-date either, at least for the day I was there.
The restaurant is a tiny bistrot, with a very typical Parisian look (for what I’ve experienced so far). The decoration is retro and friendly. The kitchen is open and in the room, you can ask to have a table where you see the young chefs cooking. I forgot to ask, and as I was alone, they put me at a small table next to the pillar. Other tables can be a little too close to each other, but that’s expected in a bistrot.
I ordered “une carafe d’eau”, which is free tap water (in France it’s free in all restaurants). I thought that I would order wine at the same time I order the meal, but the waiter didn’t ask, so I also forgot about wine.
My main dish is roasted rabbit saddle, with polenta. They took quite a while to deliver it: I was the first customer, and they had plenty of time to prepare the rabbit before the 2nd customer arrived. The 2nd customer ordered his meal, his starter arrived, then I still wait for another 10 mins before my dish arrived. That rabbit was sure too fast to catch. But it was delicious.
The meat was tender and the skin was crispy, with a just amount of spices. Polenta is usually not something I like (or I haven’t tasted real Italian polenta yet), but serving this polenta with white cheese (ricotta? feta? I don’t remember) and some herbs made it much better. For me the tomato sauce didn’t add much, but it’s not something to criticize either. The best (and fastest) rabbit that I have ever eaten. The free accompanying bread is nothing special but for 16.5 E price you couldn’t ask for more.
For desserts, I chose cheesecake. You can also choose a cheese plate, if you’re still hungry. The best (and smallest) cheesecake that I have ever eaten, but I haven’t eaten much of cheesecake in my life, considering that cheesecake parts in anglo-saxon shops or Starbucks are huge and look really heavy. Not this one. The sablé underneath was yummy, the raspery was fresh (not a frozen one), and the fruity sauce balanced well the fat cheese taste.
It looks like a joli musketeer hat, isn’t it?
Price: 16.5 euros/person, lunch formula
A very satisfying meal, which was abundance enough for an adult. If you happen to need a restaurant lunch, this is the top choice. But its diner menu (for evenings, or during weekend) is not such a bargain: 28 E approximatively for 2 courses, and 37 E for 3 courses, which still is reasonable for the area’s price, but which is bit too much compared to its lunch menu. So, when I travel, I often book lunch in restaurants and eat diner in my room, either self-cooking or supermarket bread+cheese+olive+wine. If you can obtain a good bread, that supermarket meal is nothing less than great.
If you want to eat at L’Ange 20, book ahead by all means. It’s very popular at the moment, and its website has 10 options of language!
L’Ange 20 is right next to Place des Vosges, and the Marais quarter, so you can have an enjoyable ballad nearby, looking at the art galleries, and pop into the Victor Hugo house at the corner. When I was there some weeks ago, there’s a Poem exhibition in the house, and it’s rather intriguing for me: for one and only one poem of Hugo, one not even that long, they exhibit everything they could find relate to that poem. Some paintings inspired by it, some art arrangements from college students. It was a small exhibition, but catchy. I don’t know if it’s still on, I look up on their website, but it’s not on the ongoing exhibitions list, nor in the archive old exhibition list either. If you’re interested by Hugo, if you pass by that house, and if the poem is still on, try not to miss it. The rest of the house is interesting (and rather flamboyant), but I’ll probably leave it to another post.