85, rue de la Roquette, in the 11th Arrondissement.
01 43 71 90 75. Mon–Fri, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Looking at the storefront of this pocket-size Paris restaurant, you might walk right past it, not only because of its size, but also because of the name posted above the door: “Chevaline,” which translates to “horse butcher.” This place was indeed once a horse butcher, but now it’s home to a great new lunch spot. Delphine Zampetti, last in the kitchen of Le Verre Volé, is putting her stamp on the place with a switch in letters—CheZ Aline.
Zampetti's sundry salads.
Zampetti has produced a deli extraordinaire. When I arrived before the lunch rush, there was a freshly made tortilla sitting atop a deli case housing a unique selection of salads, including a corn, green pepper and mussel mix; an octopus and cucumber pairing; and my favorite, yellow beans with sun-dried tomatoes in an herb vinaigrette.
You can also choose from a range of interesting made-to-order sandwiches, like the large baguette stuffed with Prince of Paris ham, artichokes and a generous slathering of garlicky pine nut pesto. That’s going to be a staple for me on many future Paris picnics.
Large baguette with Prince of Paris ham, artichokes and garlicky pine nut pesto.
There is one cold and one hot dish rotated and served daily. Expect inventive fare like a cool pig cheek salad or classics like roasted chicken served with a side of zucchini. You can wash it all down with one of the bottled fruit juices, or choose from a half-dozen French and natural wines all picked and priced to complement your lunch.
Desserts may include just-fallen-off-the-tree peaches in a buttery crumble, or summer strawberries with fromage blanc.
Since there are just four barstools inside and a small terrace for a table or two, arrive early. Or plan on creating the perfect picnic to take with you.
In a nutshell: A must-visit before your next picnic to purchase unique sandwiches and homemade salads at affordable prices.
Price check: Sandwiches, 6–8 euros; mains, 9–10 euros; desserts, 5 euros.
If you like the sound of CheZ Aline, check out Rose Bakery. Read the review.
46, rue des Martyrs, in the 9th.
01 42 82 12 80. Tues–Sun, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
30, rue Debelleyme, in the 3rd.
01 49 96 54 01. Tues–Sun, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
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