Wed 3 Nov 2010
42, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, in the 11th Arrondissement.
01 43 55 09 49. Closed Tues and Wed.
From the people behind the classic Astier comes a sparkling new eat-in épicerie.
The two addresses don’t have much in common decor-wise. The 64-year-old Astier is an old-fashioned, red-checked-tablecloth kind of place, but Jeanne A. (named after Madame Astier) is definitely of this century, with clean lines and funky mismatched chairs.
There are some small tables for two or three, but the seating is otherwise convivial, with a fantastic space for large parties in the back; a neat wooden table for communal seating in front; and a row of stools along the counter from which you can watch the cooks do their thing below the swaying hams and birds that hang from the ceiling.
The food is simple, fresh and mostly classic French while paying heed to the contemporary obsession with pedigreed ingredients.
The shelves are stocked with products you’ll want for your own pantry and a few bins of fresh produce, plus some attractive kitchen equipment. A glass case displays charcuterie, including a gorgeous jambon persillé, myriad hams and several terrines. There are also elements for creating your own composed salad, including marinated artichokes, carrots, capers, bits of roast chicken, shrimp and greens.
We started with a morsel of terrine, loaded with chicken livers. It’s one of several snack-size offerings, including foie gras, smoked salmon, olives from Cédric Casanova and an assortment of cheeses.
Roast duck with gratin dauphinois.
Main courses come off the rotisserie. The roast chicken—not just any bird, but the black-footed Challans variety—was crisp and juicy. Duck wrapped with thin slices of chorizo was downright succulent, the rosy slices almost fork-tender. A fine gratin dauphinois and mesclun salad accompanied both plates.
There was an apple crumble and a raspberry mille-feuille on offer for dessert, but after sitting in front of the display of cantal and comté all night, we couldn’t resist a cheese plate.
As for the wine—at only 5 euros a glass and poured from a magnum—we couldn’t resist another glass of that, either.
In a nutshell: Part grocery, part bistro, Jeanne A. offers classic comestibles in a convivial setting.
Price check: Snacks and starters, 3–10 euros, mains 12–17 euros. A bargain.
If you like the sound of Jeanne A., you’ll also enjoy past Foodie Fave Cantine de Quentin:
52, rue Bichat, in the 10th.
01 42 02 40 32.
Open for lunch Tues–Sun.