Le Pas Sage
1, passage du Grand Cerf, in the 2nd Arrondissement.
01 40 28 45 60. Mon–Sat, noon–1 a.m.
I love the many passages of Paris. There are the ones that silently slide off major streets, revealing hidden gems under colorful, covered galleries. Then there’s the growing number of notable restaurants that share the name, like the Michelin-starred Passage 53 and the eclectic back-alley Au Passage. Now there’s Le Pas Sage, a relaxed neighborhood bistro located on the attractive passage du Grand Cerf and the sometimes sketchy rue St.-Denis.
Le Pas Sage is a narrow, softly lit room with a checkered floor and good energy from the crowd and waitstaff. The young French owner promptly greeted us and asked us what we wanted to drink. There was no printed wine list, just the owner himself. We told him we were looking for a big red to warm us up on the cold night. He first suggested a Châteauneuf du Pape, which was pretty pricey, so he recommended something similar for less than 30 euros. The Domaine de la Janasse he brought was a little lighter than a Châteauneuf du Pape but still enjoyable, and I appreciated the price consideration.
Paris Charcuterie: country ham, smoky salami, bresaola and crunchy cornichons.
We started with the charcuterie plate, which had a nice mix of country ham, smoky salami and bresaola, plus a side of crunchy cornichons. The chewy, sliced bread and fresh butter could have stood on its own, but with the meat it made the perfect accompaniment.
The warm pumpkin squash soup was velvety and rich, but I wished there had been a dash of hot sauce or spice to give it some punch (though if I had a euro for every time I said that in Paris, I would have a sriracha factory on the Champs Elysées and would be opening new locations by now).
Trout and lentils.
My trout was pretty no-nonsense: it was simply cooked and served over a rather unwieldy bed of dark lentils, which brought some stability and earthiness to the strong fish. The homemade ravioli was stuffed with a lovely and flavorful herbed chevre and surrounded with a light nutty tomato sauce. I only wish the pasta had been rolled a little thinner, making it less chewy, but the flavors worked well together.
There’s a rich chocolate fondant and ice cream on the menu for dessert, but you may just want to end with some cheese, such as the cantal entre-deux and St.-Nectaire fermier.
In a nutshell: Le Pas Sage is a friendly neighborhood bistro with a warm atmosphere and host. They’re offering a revolving menu of solid plates at a good price.
Price check: Starters, 6–19 euros; mains, 15–17.50 euros; dessert/cheese, 6–10 euros.
If Le Pas Sage sounds good, chances are you’ll like Le Pantruche. Read the review.
3, rue Victor Massé, in the 9th.
01 48 78 55 60. Mon–Fri, lunch and dinner.
Le Pas Sage
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