If you’re looking for dinner at a small bistro with real Parisian food and ambience, call the dogs off, the search is over.
My wife Gill and I ate here a couple of years ago, on a trip to see the French Open tennis at Roland Garros, and have often since drooled at the memories of the experience.
Tucked away in a little side street, near the bizarrely constructed Pompidou Centre, L’ange 20 has just ten tables, as close together as a mother and her newly born baby. So if you’re after romance and a grand high-ceilinged restaurant with dazzling chandeliers and an army of fawning waiters….look away now.
But if you’re after fabulous, simple, hearty French cooking at reasonable prices, in a cosy atmosphere (you’ll probably know your neighbours very well after sitting in their laps for a couple of hours) and with great service, grab a chair.
Thierry, the owner and chef, works his magic in full view of the diners in a kitchen the size of my handkerchief. The young French front-of-house guy is very smooth, with helpful explanations and suggestions for food and accompanying wines, if you need some hand-holding. All in excellent English, if needed, and with a sense of humour.
I was flying solo this time. I enjoyed my meal of chicken gizzard (gesiers) salad with smoked duck; fondant lamb cooked for 7 hours, with crispy sautees potatoes and green beans; white chocolate mousse with a fruit coulis thingy….but not as much as last time.
That might have been more to do with missing Gill than the standard of the food, which was again very accomplished.
Apart from the cosiness of the tables, be aware that because of its consistently high rating on Trip Advisor the restaurant seems to attract a very high proportion of non-French diners. The food may be typically French, but the clientele isn’t.
Make sure you book well in advance. Fixed price menu is 17 Euros for a main course, 25 for two and 33 for the full-monty three courses with small supplements for a couple of the show-stopper dishes.