Sunday, January 3, 2010

le barratin

the barratin shows up on google maps of the 20eme paris with a little martini glass. four of us went there for lunch and it makes me want to hit every little google map knife and fork and suitcase within a 2500m radius.

we showed up for lunch, just before the rush. typical windows onto the street with loud metal framed doors that don't shut perfectly, spartan tables and chairs, tile floor, and a simple small curved wooden bar from which you can see into the kithen.

only 2 tables large enough for us were free out of the 10 total, i wanted the one by the window. "desolee, c'est reserve!"


"one guest is already here" and up pops a little furry happy cat head, "c'est sa place."

so we take a seat in back, in front of the bookshelf with magazines and other provided reading material and glance at the menu, which is a large chalkboard on the wall with imperfect elementary school script of today's 3 course offering for 16 Euro with a few choices.

periodically, one of the waiters climbs up on chair to erase what is 86'd with his sleeve and scribble in its replacement. it's almost like a twitter feed...

we chose a wine from the neighboring chalkboard, and it was served in a simple thick-bottomed bottle. my dining companions had the lentil salad to start, i had very tasty flaky fresh cod-stuffed peppers with endives drizzled with olive oil.
the other's main dish was the same delicious fresh cod on tomato and onions in a broth, i had a vegetable and beef cheek soup with meat so tender i never needed a knife. a bit of salt, but no knife.
all very simple plates, what you could probably make yourself if you really put your mind to it, but let's face it, you'd rather be here in this cozy place, eating bright, perfect comfort food made from items purchased the day before from the market down the street.
an elderly couple had been seated at the table with the cat, who simply looked on as i did, occasionally closing our eyes the way cats do when they purr and are just simlply content. the chef came out from the kitchen to help the waiter when the place became jammed, i kept wondering why that wasn't my brother instead, with heccubus seated next the old people, growling happily, smacking his tail against a purse while constable cuddlesworth plays stupidly with a man's shoelace?

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